WorldWideScience

Sample records for plausible biological explanations

  1. A plausible explanation for male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khan M

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Mohammad KhanDepartment of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Chichiri, Blantyre, MalawiAbstract: The phenomenon of consistent male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation (TIP is not well understood. It cannot be explained on the basis of microbial virulence, Peyer's patch anatomy, ileal wall thickness, gastric acidity, host genetic factors, or sex-linked bias in hospital attendance. The cytokine response to an intestinal infection in males is predominantly proinflammatory as compared with that in females, presumably due to differences in the sex hormonal milieu. Sex hormone receptors have been detected on lymphocytes and macrophages, including on Peyer's patches, inflammation of which (probably similar to the Shwartzman reaction/Koch phenomenon is the forerunner of TIP, and is not excluded from the regulatory effects of sex hormones. Hormonal control of host-pathogen interaction may override genetic control. Environmental exposure to Salmonella typhi may be more frequent in males, presumably due to sex-linked differences in hygiene practices and dining-out behavior. A plausible explanation of male dominance in TIP could include sex-linked differences in the degree of natural exposure of Peyer's patches to S. typhi. An alternative explanation may include sexual dimorphism in host inflammatory response patterns in Peyer's patches that have been induced by S. typhi. Both hypotheses are testable.Keywords: explanation, dominance, male, perforation, ileum, typhoid

  2. A plausible explanation for male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    The phenomenon of consistent male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation (TIP) is not well understood. It cannot be explained on the basis of microbial virulence, Peyer's patch anatomy, ileal wall thickness, gastric acidity, host genetic factors, or sex-linked bias in hospital attendance. The cytokine response to an intestinal infection in males is predominantly proinflammatory as compared with that in females, presumably due to differences in the sex hormonal milieu. Sex hormone receptors have been detected on lymphocytes and macrophages, including on Peyer's patches, inflammation of which (probably similar to the Shwartzman reaction/Koch phenomenon) is the forerunner of TIP, and is not excluded from the regulatory effects of sex hormones. Hormonal control of host-pathogen interaction may override genetic control. Environmental exposure to Salmonella typhi may be more frequent in males, presumably due to sex-linked differences in hygiene practices and dining-out behavior. A plausible explanation of male dominance in TIP could include sex-linked differences in the degree of natural exposure of Peyer's patches to S. typhi. An alternative explanation may include sexual dimorphism in host inflammatory response patterns in Peyer's patches that have been induced by S. typhi. Both hypotheses are testable.

  3. Invariant visual object recognition: biologically plausible approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Leigh; Rolls, Edmund T

    2015-10-01

    Key properties of inferior temporal cortex neurons are described, and then, the biological plausibility of two leading approaches to invariant visual object recognition in the ventral visual system is assessed to investigate whether they account for these properties. Experiment 1 shows that VisNet performs object classification with random exemplars comparably to HMAX, except that the final layer C neurons of HMAX have a very non-sparse representation (unlike that in the brain) that provides little information in the single-neuron responses about the object class. Experiment 2 shows that VisNet forms invariant representations when trained with different views of each object, whereas HMAX performs poorly when assessed with a biologically plausible pattern association network, as HMAX has no mechanism to learn view invariance. Experiment 3 shows that VisNet neurons do not respond to scrambled images of faces, and thus encode shape information. HMAX neurons responded with similarly high rates to the unscrambled and scrambled faces, indicating that low-level features including texture may be relevant to HMAX performance. Experiment 4 shows that VisNet can learn to recognize objects even when the view provided by the object changes catastrophically as it transforms, whereas HMAX has no learning mechanism in its S-C hierarchy that provides for view-invariant learning. This highlights some requirements for the neurobiological mechanisms of high-level vision, and how some different approaches perform, in order to help understand the fundamental underlying principles of invariant visual object recognition in the ventral visual stream.

  4. Heritability and biological explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turkheimer, E

    1998-10-01

    Modern neuroscientific and genetic technologies have provoked intense disagreement between scientists who envision a future in which biogenetic theories will enrich or even replace psychological theories, and others who consider biogenetic theories exaggerated, dehumanizing, and dangerous. Both sides of the debate about the role of genes and brains in the genesis of human behavior have missed an important point: All human behavior that varies among individuals is partially heritable and correlated with measurable aspects of brains, but the very ubiquity of these findings makes them a poor basis for reformulating scientists' conceptions of human behavior. Materialism requires psychological processes to be physically instantiated, but more crucial for psychology is the occasional empirical discovery of behavioral phenomena that are specific manifestations of low-level biological variables. Heritability and psychobiological association cannot be the basis for establishing whether behavior is genetic or biological, because to do so leads only to the banal tautology that all behavior is ultimately based in the genotype and brain.

  5. Biologically Plausible, Human-scale Knowledge Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Eric; Gingerich, Matthew; Eliasmith, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Several approaches to implementing symbol-like representations in neurally plausible models have been proposed. These approaches include binding through synchrony (Shastri & Ajjanagadde, 1993), "mesh" binding (van der Velde & de Kamps, 2006), and conjunctive binding (Smolensky, 1990). Recent theoretical work has suggested that…

  6. Plausible Explanation of Quantization of Intrinsic Redshift from Hall Effect and Weyl Quantization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smarandache F.

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Using phion condensate model as described by Moffat [1], we consider a plausible explanation of (Tifft intrinsic redshift quantization as described by Bell [6] as result of Hall effect in rotating frame. We also discuss another alternative to explain redshift quantization from the viewpoint of Weyl quantization, which could yield Bohr- Sommerfeld quantization.

  7. Turing patterns and biological explanation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serban, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Turing patterns are a class of minimal mathematical models that have been used to discover and conceptualize certain abstract features of early biological development. This paper examines a range of these minimal models in order to articulate and elaborate a philosophical analysis of their episte......Turing patterns are a class of minimal mathematical models that have been used to discover and conceptualize certain abstract features of early biological development. This paper examines a range of these minimal models in order to articulate and elaborate a philosophical analysis......, promoting theory exploration, and acting as constitutive parts of empirically adequate explanations of naturally occurring phenomena, such as biological pattern formation. Focusing on the roles that minimal model explanations play in science motivates the adoption of a broader diachronic view of scientific...

  8. Speech recognition employing biologically plausible receptive fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fereczkowski, Michal; Bothe, Hans-Heinrich

    2011-01-01

    The main idea of the project is to build a widely speaker-independent, biologically motivated automatic speech recognition (ASR) system. The two main differences between our approach and current state-of-the-art ASRs are that i) the features used here are based on the responses of neuronlike spec...

  9. Classification using sparse representations: a biologically plausible approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratling, M W

    2014-02-01

    Representing signals as linear combinations of basis vectors sparsely selected from an overcomplete dictionary has proven to be advantageous for many applications in pattern recognition, machine learning, signal processing, and computer vision. While this approach was originally inspired by insights into cortical information processing, biologically plausible approaches have been limited to exploring the functionality of early sensory processing in the brain, while more practical applications have employed non-biologically plausible sparse coding algorithms. Here, a biologically plausible algorithm is proposed that can be applied to practical problems. This algorithm is evaluated using standard benchmark tasks in the domain of pattern classification, and its performance is compared to a wide range of alternative algorithms that are widely used in signal and image processing. The results show that for the classification tasks performed here, the proposed method is competitive with the best of the alternative algorithms that have been evaluated. This demonstrates that classification using sparse representations can be performed in a neurally plausible manner, and hence, that this mechanism of classification might be exploited by the brain.

  10. Causal and Teleological Explanations in Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yip, Cheng-Wai

    2009-01-01

    A causal explanation in biology focuses on the mechanism by which a biological process is brought about, whereas a teleological explanation considers the end result, in the context of the survival of the organism, as a reason for certain biological processes or structures. There is a tendency among students to offer a teleological explanation…

  11. Developmental dynamics: toward a biologically plausible evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lickliter, Robert; Honeycutt, Hunter

    2003-11-01

    There has been a conceptual revolution in the biological sciences over the past several decades. Evidence from genetics, embryology, and developmental biology has converged to offer a more epigenetic, contingent, and dynamic view of how organisms develop. Despite these advances, arguments for the heuristic value of a gene-centered, predeterministic approach to the study of human behavior and development have become increasingly evident in the psychological sciences during this time. In this article, the authors review recent advances in genetics, embryology, and developmental biology that have transformed contemporary developmental and evolutionary theory and explore how these advances challenge gene-centered explanations of human behavior that ignore the complex, highly coordinated system of regulatory dynamics involved in development and evolution.

  12. On the biological plausibility of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Robert V

    2015-01-01

    An emerging environmental health issue relates to potential ill-effects of wind turbine noise. There have been numerous suggestions that the low-frequency acoustic components in wind turbine signals can cause symptoms associated with vestibular system disorders, namely vertigo, nausea, and nystagmus. This constellation of symptoms has been labeled as Wind Turbine Syndrome, and has been identified in case studies of individuals living close to wind farms. This review discusses whether it is biologically plausible for the turbine noise to stimulate the vestibular parts of the inner ear and, by extension, cause Wind Turbine Syndrome. We consider the sound levels that can activate the semicircular canals or otolith end organs in normal subjects, as well as in those with preexisting conditions known to lower vestibular threshold to sound stimulation.

  13. A biologically plausible embodied model of action discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rufino eBolado-Gomez

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available During development, animals can spontaneously discover action-outcomepairings enabling subsequent achievement of their goals. We present abiologically plausible embodied model addressing key aspects of thisprocess. The biomimetic model core comprises the basal ganglia and itsloops through cortex and thalamus. We incorporate reinforcementlearning with phasic dopamine supplying a sensory prediction error,signalling 'surprising' outcomes. Phasic dopamine is used in acorticostriatal learning rule which is consistent with recent data. Wealso hypothesised that objects associated with surprising outcomesacquire 'novelty salience' contingent on the predicability of theoutcome. To test this idea we used a simple model of predictiongoverning the dynamics of novelty salience and phasic dopamine. Thetask of the virtual robotic agent mimicked an in vivo counterpart(Gancarz et al., 2011 and involved interaction with a target objectwhich caused a light flash, or a control object which did not.Learning took place according to two schedules. In one, the phasicoutcome was delivered after interaction with the target in anunpredictable way which emulated the in vivo protocol. Without noveltysalience, the model was unable to account for the experimental data.In the other schedule, the phasic outcome was reliably delivered andthe agent showed a rapid increase in the number of interactions withthe target which then decreased over subsequent sessions. We arguethis is precisely the kind of change in behaviour required torepeatedly present representations of context, action and outcome, toneural networks responsible for learning action-outcome contingency.The model also showed corticostriatal plasticity consistent withlearning a new action in basal ganglia. We conclude that actionlearning is underpinned by a complex interplay of plasticity andstimulus salience, and that our model contains many of the elementsfor biological action discovery to take place.

  14. Biologically plausible and evidence-based risk intervals in immunization safety research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowhani-Rahbar, Ali; Klein, Nicola P; Dekker, Cornelia L; Edwards, Kathryn M; Marchant, Colin D; Vellozzi, Claudia; Fireman, Bruce; Sejvar, James J; Halsey, Neal A; Baxter, Roger

    2012-12-17

    In immunization safety research, individuals are considered at risk for the development of certain adverse events following immunization (AEFI) within a specific period of time referred to as the risk interval. These intervals should ideally be determined based on biologic plausibility considering features of the AEFI, presumed or known pathologic mechanism, and the vaccine. Misspecification of the length and timing of these intervals may result in introducing bias in epidemiologic and clinical studies of immunization safety. To date, little work has been done to formally assess and determine biologically plausible and evidence-based risk intervals in immunization safety research. In this report, we present a systematic process to define biologically plausible and evidence-based risk interval estimates for two specific AEFIs, febrile seizures and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. In addition, we review methodologic issues related to the determination of risk intervals for consideration in future studies of immunization safety.

  15. A biologically plausible model of time-scale invariant interval timing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Rita; Ledberg, Anders

    2010-02-01

    The temporal durations between events often exert a strong influence over behavior. The details of this influence have been extensively characterized in behavioral experiments in different animal species. A remarkable feature of the data collected in these experiments is that they are often time-scale invariant. This means that response measurements obtained under intervals of different durations coincide when plotted as functions of relative time. Here we describe a biologically plausible model of an interval timing device and show that it is consistent with time-scale invariant behavior over a substantial range of interval durations. The model consists of a set of bistable units that switch from one state to the other at random times. We first use an abstract formulation of the model to derive exact expressions for some key quantities and to demonstrate time-scale invariance for any range of interval durations. We then show how the model could be implemented in the nervous system through a generic and biologically plausible mechanism. In particular, we show that any system that can display noise-driven transitions from one stable state to another can be used to implement the timing device. Our work demonstrates that a biologically plausible model can qualitatively account for a large body of data and thus provides a link between the biology and behavior of interval timing.

  16. Biologically plausible learning in recurrent neural networks reproduces neural dynamics observed during cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miconi, Thomas

    2017-02-23

    Neural activity during cognitive tasks exhibits complex dynamics that flexibly encode task-relevant variables. Chaotic recurrent networks, which spontaneously generate rich dynamics, have been proposed as a model of cortical computation during cognitive tasks. However, existing methods for training these networks are either biologically implausible, and/or require a continuous, real-time error signal to guide learning. Here we show that a biologically plausible learning rule can train such recurrent networks, guided solely by delayed, phasic rewards at the end of each trial. Networks endowed with this learning rule can successfully learn nontrivial tasks requiring flexible (context-dependent) associations, memory maintenance, nonlinear mixed selectivities, and coordination among multiple outputs. The resulting networks replicate complex dynamics previously observed in animal cortex, such as dynamic encoding of task features and selective integration of sensory inputs. We conclude that recurrent neural networks offer a plausible model of cortical dynamics during both learning and performance of flexible behavior.

  17. A biological plausible Generalized Leaky Integrate-and-Fire neuron model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhenzhong; Guo, Lilin; Adjouadi, Malek

    2014-01-01

    This study introduces a new Generalized Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (GLIF) neuron model. Unlike Normal Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (NLIF) models, the leaking resistor in the GLIF model equation is assumed to be variable, and an additional term would have the bias current added to the model equation in order to improve the accuracy. Adjusting the parameters defined for the leaking resistor and bias current, a GLIF model could be accurately matched to any Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) model and be able to reproduce plausible biological neuron behaviors.

  18. A swarm intelligence framework for reconstructing gene networks: searching for biologically plausible architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kentzoglanakis, Kyriakos; Poole, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the problem of reverse engineering the topology of gene regulatory networks from temporal gene expression data. We adopt a computational intelligence approach comprising swarm intelligence techniques, namely particle swarm optimization (PSO) and ant colony optimization (ACO). In addition, the recurrent neural network (RNN) formalism is employed for modeling the dynamical behavior of gene regulatory systems. More specifically, ACO is used for searching the discrete space of network architectures and PSO for searching the corresponding continuous space of RNN model parameters. We propose a novel solution construction process in the context of ACO for generating biologically plausible candidate architectures. The objective is to concentrate the search effort into areas of the structure space that contain architectures which are feasible in terms of their topological resemblance to real-world networks. The proposed framework is initially applied to the reconstruction of a small artificial network that has previously been studied in the context of gene network reverse engineering. Subsequently, we consider an artificial data set with added noise for reconstructing a subnetwork of the genetic interaction network of S. cerevisiae (yeast). Finally, the framework is applied to a real-world data set for reverse engineering the SOS response system of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Results demonstrate the relative advantage of utilizing problem-specific knowledge regarding biologically plausible structural properties of gene networks over conducting a problem-agnostic search in the vast space of network architectures.

  19. Synthetic biology: a challenge to mechanical explanations in biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2012-01-01

    In their plans to modify organisms, synthetic biologists have contrasted engineering and tinkering. By drawing this contrast between their endeavors and what has happened during the evolution of organisms by natural selection, they underline the novelty of their projects and justify their ambitions. Synthetic biologists are at odds with a long tradition that has considered organisms as "perfect machines." This tradition had already been questioned by Stephen Jay Gould in the 1970s and received a major blow with the comparison made by François Jacob between organisms and the results of "bricolage" (tinkering). These contrasts between engineering and tinkering, synthetic biology and evolution, have no raison d'être. Machines built by humans are increasingly inspired by observations made on organisms. This is not a simple reversal of the previous trend-the mechanical conception of organisms-in which the characteristics of the latter were explained by comparison with human-built machines. Relations between organisms and machines have always been complex and ambiguous.

  20. Looking for plausibility

    CERN Document Server

    Abdullah, Wan Ahmad Tajuddin Wan

    2010-01-01

    In the interpretation of experimental data, one is actually looking for plausible explanations. We look for a measure of plausibility, with which we can compare different possible explanations, and which can be combined when there are different sets of data. This is contrasted to the conventional measure for probabilities as well as to the proposed measure of possibilities. We define what characteristics this measure of plausibility should have. In getting to the conception of this measure, we explore the relation of plausibility to abductive reasoning, and to Bayesian probabilities. We also compare with the Dempster-Schaefer theory of evidence, which also has its own definition for plausibility. Abduction can be associated with biconditionality in inference rules, and this provides a platform to relate to the Collins-Michalski theory of plausibility. Finally, using a formalism for wiring logic onto Hopfield neural networks, we ask if this is relevant in obtaining this measure.

  1. Biologic plausibility, cellular effects, and molecular mechanisms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borow, Kenneth M; Nelson, John R; Mason, R Preston

    2015-09-01

    Residual cardiovascular (CV) risk remains in dyslipidemic patients despite intensive statin therapy, underscoring the need for additional intervention. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, is incorporated into membrane phospholipids and atherosclerotic plaques and exerts beneficial effects on the pathophysiologic cascade from onset of plaque formation through rupture. Specific salutary actions have been reported relating to endothelial function, oxidative stress, foam cell formation, inflammation, plaque formation/progression, platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, and plaque rupture. EPA also improves atherogenic dyslipidemia characterized by reduction of triglycerides without raising low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Other beneficial effects of EPA include vasodilation, resulting in blood pressure reductions, as well as improved membrane fluidity. EPA's effects are at least additive to those of statins when given as adjunctive therapy. In this review, we present data supporting the biologic plausibility of EPA as an anti-atherosclerotic agent with potential clinical benefit for prevention of CV events, as well as its cellular effects and molecular mechanisms of action. REDUCE-IT is an ongoing, randomized, controlled study evaluating whether the high-purity ethyl ester of EPA (icosapent ethyl) at 4 g/day combined with statin therapy is superior to statin therapy alone for reducing CV events in high-risk patients with mixed dyslipidemia. The results from this study are expected to clarify the role of EPA as adjunctive therapy to a statin for reduction of residual CV risk.

  2. A biologically plausible learning rule for the Infomax on recurrent neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Takashi; Kaneko, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Toshio

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental issue in neuroscience is to understand how neuronal circuits in the cerebral cortex play their functional roles through their characteristic firing activity. Several characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity have been reproduced by Infomax learning of neural networks in computational studies. There are, however, still few models of the underlying learning mechanisms that allow cortical circuits to maximize information and produce the characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity. In the present article, we derive a biologically plausible learning rule for the maximization of information retained through time in dynamics of simple recurrent neural networks. Applying the derived learning rule in a numerical simulation, we reproduce the characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity: cell-assembly-like repeats of precise firing sequences, neuronal avalanches, spontaneous replays of learned firing sequences and orientation selectivity observed in the primary visual cortex. We further discuss the similarity between the derived learning rule and the spike timing-dependent plasticity of cortical neurons.

  3. Antimicrobial resistance and biological governance: explanations for policy failure.

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    Wallinga, D; Rayner, G; Lang, T

    2015-10-01

    The paper reviews the state of policy on antimicrobial use and the growth of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR was anticipated at the time of the first use of antibiotics by their originators. For decades, reports and scientific papers have expressed concern about AMR at global and national policy levels, yet the problem, first exposed a half-century ago, worsened. The paper considers the explanations for this policy failure and the state of arguments about ways forward. These include: a deficit of economic incentivisation; complex interventions in behavioural dynamics; joint and separate shifts in medical and animal health regimes; consumerism; belief in technology; and a narrative that in a 'war on bugs' nature can be beaten by human ingenuity. The paper suggests that these narratives underplay the biological realities of the human-animal-biosphere being in constant flux, an understanding which requires an ecological public health analysis of AMR policy development and failure. The paper suggests that effective policy change requires simultaneous actions across policy levels. No single solution is possible, since AMR is the result of long-term human intervention which has accelerated certain trends in the evolution of a microbial ecosystem shared by humans, animals and other biological organisms inhabiting that ecosystem. Viewing the AMR crisis today through an ecological public health lens has the advantage of reuniting the social-ecological and bio-ecological perspectives which have been separated within public health.

  4. A biologically plausible transform for visual recognition that is invariant to translation, scale and rotation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel eSountsov

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Visual object recognition occurs easily despite differences in position, size, and rotation of the object, but the neural mechanisms responsible for this invariance are not known. We have found a set of transforms that achieve invariance in a neurally plausible way. We find that a transform based on local spatial frequency analysis of oriented segments and on logarithmic mapping, when applied twice in an iterative fashion, produces an output image that is unique to the object and that remains constant as the input image is shifted, scaled or rotated.

  5. Gene-ontology enrichment analysis in two independent family-based samples highlights biologically plausible processes for autism spectrum disorders.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Anney, Richard J L

    2012-02-01

    Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a range of genes from discrete biological pathways in the aetiology of autism. However, despite the strong influence of genetic factors, association studies have yet to identify statistically robust, replicated major effect genes or SNPs. We apply the principle of the SNP ratio test methodology described by O\\'Dushlaine et al to over 2100 families from the Autism Genome Project (AGP). Using a two-stage design we examine association enrichment in 5955 unique gene-ontology classifications across four groupings based on two phenotypic and two ancestral classifications. Based on estimates from simulation we identify excess of association enrichment across all analyses. We observe enrichment in association for sets of genes involved in diverse biological processes, including pyruvate metabolism, transcription factor activation, cell-signalling and cell-cycle regulation. Both genes and processes that show enrichment have previously been examined in autistic disorders and offer biologically plausibility to these findings.

  6. Plausibility of the implausible: is it possible that ultra-high dilutions ‘without biological activity’ cause adverse effects?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Zulian Teixeira

    2013-06-01

    .7% of cases the potencies were described as below of the 12ª Centesimal, the point beyond which the likelihood of a single molecule being present in the remedy approaches zero”, the authors claim that “in the majority of cases, the possible mechanism of action involved allergic reactions or ingestion of toxic substances”. With this approach, the authors seek to dismiss the biological effects of ultra-high dilutions, because if they cause AEs would be confirming the plausibility of its possible therapeutic effects. However, toxicological tests are required to affirm that AEs are a consequence of toxic (allergic effects of the substances or of ‘imponderable’ effects of ultra-high dilutions. In view of the recent report cited in the review [12] in which a complex homeopathic medicine indicated for treating infant colic (Gali-col Baby, GCB caused apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs were described by the National Institutes of Health consensus group in 1986 as “an episode that is frightening to the observer and that is characterized by some combination of apnea (central or occasionally obstructive, color change (usually cyanotic or pallid but occasionally erythematous or plethoric, a marked change in muscle tone (usually marked limpness, choking or gagging” [13] in consequence of the ‘toxicity of active ingredients’ (Citrullus colocynthis, Matricaria chamomilla, Bryonia alba, Nux vomica, Veratrum album, Magnesia phosphorica and Cuprum metallicum at potencies between 4C and 5C, Oberbaum et al. [14] performed a toxicological study of these components showing that “doses ingested in the GCB series were 10-13 orders of magnitude smaller than those reported to cause toxic reactions in humans” and that “there was poor correlation between symptoms with GCB and toxic profiles of the components”. As alternative explanation, they suggest that “four components (Veratrum album, Cuprum metallicum, Bryonia alba and Matricaria chamomilla have an

  7. Interactions between cultural, social and biological explanations for language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steels, Luc

    2012-03-01

    This is a reply to commentaries on a target article in this volume reviewing models for the cultural evolution of language. Many commentaries amplify positions taken in this article but they also cover novel issues in social evolution and biological evolution, which are briefly addressed here.

  8. Biology, Culture and Society: An Explanation of Human Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandel, Barbara

    Traditional sociological conceptions of human group development and early human group behavior are critiqued in light of anthropological, biological, and physiological data. The objective of the study was to identify shortcomings of sociological research when non-sociological data is consistently ignored. Review of sociological studies of human…

  9. A Necro-Biological Explanation for the Fermi Paradox

    CERN Document Server

    Kane, Stephen R

    2014-01-01

    As we learn more about the frequency and size distribution of exoplanets, we are discovering that terrestrial planets are exceedingly common. The distribution of orbital periods in turn results in many of these planets being the occupants of the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Here we show that a conclusion of prevalent life in the universe presents a serious danger due to the risk of spreading Spontaneous Necro-Animation Psychosis (SNAP), or Zombie-ism. We quantify the extent of the danger posed to Earth through the use of the Zombie Drake Equation and show how this serves as a possible explanation for the Fermi Paradox. We demonstrate how to identify the resulting necro-signatures present in the atmospheres where a zombie apocalypse may have occurred so that the risk may be quantified. We further argue that it is a matter of planetary defense and security that we carefully monitor and catalog potential SNAP-contaminated planets in order to exclude contact with these worlds in a future space-faring era.

  10. Providing Vertical Coherence in Explanations and Promoting Reasoning across Levels of Biological Organization When Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jördens, Janina; Asshoff, Roman; Kullmann, Harald; Hammann, Marcus

    2016-01-01

    Students' explanations of biological phenomena are frequently characterized by disconnects between levels and confusion of levels. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effects of a hands-on lab activity that aims at fostering the ability to reason across levels. A total of 197 students (18 years of age) participated in a randomized,…

  11. Natural selection and the conditions for existence: representational vs. conditional teleology in biological explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, John O

    2005-01-01

    Human intentional action, including the design and use of artifacts, involves the prior mental representation of the goal (end) and the means to achieve that goal. This representation is part of the efficient cause of the action, and thus can be used to explain both the action and the achievement of the end. This is intentional teleological explanation. More generally, teleological explanation that depends on the real existence of a representation of the goal (and the means to achieve it) can be called representational teleological explanation. Such explanations in biology can involve both external representations (e.g., ideas in the mind of God) and internal representations (souls, vital powers, entelechies, developmental programs, etc.). However, another type of explanation of intentional action (or any other process) is possible. Given that an action achieving a result occurs, the action can be explained as fulfilling the necessary conditions (means) for that result (end), and, reciprocally, the result explained by the occurrence of those necessary conditions. This is conditional teleological explanation. For organisms, natural selection is often understood metaphorically as the designer, intentionally constructing them for certain ends. Unfortunately, this metaphor is often taken rather too literally, because it has been difficult to conceive of another way to relate natural selection to the process of evolution. I argue that combining a conditional teleological explanation of organisms and of evolution provides such an alternative. This conditional teleology can be grounded in existence or survival. Given that an organism exists, we can explain its existence by the occurrence of the necessary conditions for that existence. This principle of the 'conditions for existence' was introduced by Georges Cuvier in 1800, and provides a valid, conditional teleological method for explaining organismal structure and behavior. From an evolutionary perspective, the

  12. Applying Computerized-Scoring Models of Written Biological Explanations across Courses and Colleges: Prospects and Limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Minsu; Nehm, Ross H.; Urban-Lurain, Mark; Merrill, John E.

    2011-01-01

    Our study explored the prospects and limitations of using machine-learning software to score introductory biology students’ written explanations of evolutionary change. We investigated three research questions: 1) Do scoring models built using student responses at one university function effectively at another university? 2) How many human-scored student responses are needed to build scoring models suitable for cross-institutional application? 3) What factors limit computer-scoring efficacy, and how can these factors be mitigated? To answer these questions, two biology experts scored a corpus of 2556 short-answer explanations (from biology majors and nonmajors) at two universities for the presence or absence of five key concepts of evolution. Human- and computer-generated scores were compared using kappa agreement statistics. We found that machine-learning software was capable in most cases of accurately evaluating the degree of scientific sophistication in undergraduate majors’ and nonmajors’ written explanations of evolutionary change. In cases in which the software did not perform at the benchmark of “near-perfect” agreement (kappa > 0.80), we located the causes of poor performance and identified a series of strategies for their mitigation. Machine-learning software holds promise as an assessment tool for use in undergraduate biology education, but like most assessment tools, it is also characterized by limitations. PMID:22135372

  13. Asian Americans and European Americans' stigma levels in response to biological and social explanations of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zhen Hadassah

    2015-05-01

    Mental illness stigma is prevalent among Asian Americans, and it is a key barrier that prevents them from seeking psychological services. Limited studies have experimentally examined how Asian Americans respond to biological and social explanations of mental illness. Understanding how to educate and communicate about mental illness effectively is crucial in increasing service utilization among Asian Americans. To assess how genetic, neurobiological, and social explanations for the onset of depression affects Asian American and European American's mental illness stigma. 231 Asian Americans and 206 European Americans read about an individual with major depression and were randomly assigned to be informed that the cause was either genetic, neurobiological, social, or unknown. Various stigma outcomes, including social distance, fear, and depression duration were assessed. Consistent with prior research, Asian Americans had higher baseline levels of stigma compared to European Americans. Greater social essentialist beliefs predicted positive stigma outcomes for Asian Americans, such as a greater willingness to be near, help, and hire someone with depression, but genetic essentialist beliefs predicted negative stigma outcomes, such as fear. In addition, a social explanation for the etiology of depression led to lower stigma outcomes for Asian Americans; it decreased their fear of someone with depression and increased the perception that depression is treatable. For European Americans, both genetic and social essentialist beliefs predicted a greater perception of depression treatability. Although genetics do play a role in the development of depression, emphasizing a social explanation for the origin of depression may help reduce stigma for Asian Americans.

  14. Using Animals to Teach Children Biology: Exploring the Use of Biological Explanations in Children's Anthropomorphic Storybooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geerdts, Megan; Van De Walle, Gretchen; LoBue, Vanessa

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Anthropomorphism--the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman entities--has long been a staple of children's media. However, children's experiences with anthropomorphic media may interfere with biological reasoning instead encouraging an anthropocentric view of the natural world. To date, little research has addressed…

  15. Modeling systems-level dynamics: Understanding without mechanistic explanation in integrative systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, Miles; Nersessian, Nancy J

    2015-02-01

    In this paper we draw upon rich ethnographic data of two systems biology labs to explore the roles of explanation and understanding in large-scale systems modeling. We illustrate practices that depart from the goal of dynamic mechanistic explanation for the sake of more limited modeling goals. These processes use abstract mathematical formulations of bio-molecular interactions and data fitting techniques which we call top-down abstraction to trade away accurate mechanistic accounts of large-scale systems for specific information about aspects of those systems. We characterize these practices as pragmatic responses to the constraints many modelers of large-scale systems face, which in turn generate more limited pragmatic non-mechanistic forms of understanding of systems. These forms aim at knowledge of how to predict system responses in order to manipulate and control some aspects of them. We propose that this analysis of understanding provides a way to interpret what many systems biologists are aiming for in practice when they talk about the objective of a "systems-level understanding."

  16. Explanations for adaptations, just-so stories, and limitations on evidence in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Richard J

    2016-11-01

    Explanations of the historical origin of specific individual traits are a key part of the research program in paleontology and evolutionary biology. Why did bipedalism evolve in the human lineage? Why did some dinosaurs and related species have head crests? Why did viviparity evolve in some reptiles? Why did the common ancestor of primates evolve stereoscopic vision, grasping hands and feet, nails instead of claws, and large brains? These are difficult questions. To varying degrees, an explanation must grapple with (1) judgments about changes in fitness that might follow from a change in morphology - without actually observing behavior or measuring reproductive success, (2) the relationship between genes and traits, (3) limitations on doing relevant experiments, (4) the interpretation of causes that are almost certainly contingent, multifactorial, interactive, hierarchical, nonlinear, emergent, and probabilistic rather than deterministic, (5) limited information about variation and ontogeny, (6) a dataset based on the random fortunes of the historical record, including only partial hard-tissue morphology and no soft-tissue morphology, (7) an equally partial and problematic (for example, time-averaged) record of the environment, (8) the compression of all data into a geological time scale that is likely to miss biologically important events or fluctuations, (9) dependence on a process that can only be inferred ("form and even behavior may leave fossil traces, but forces like natural selection do not", (1:130) ) and finally, (10) the assumption of the "adaptationist programme"(2) that the trait in question is in fact an adaptation rather than a consequence of genetic drift, correlated evolution, pleiotropy, exaptation, or other mechanisms.

  17. Introductory biology students' conceptual models and explanations of the origin of variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speth, Elena Bray; Shaw, Neil; Momsen, Jennifer; Reinagel, Adam; Le, Paul; Taqieddin, Ranya; Long, Tammy

    2014-01-01

    Mutation is the key molecular mechanism generating phenotypic variation, which is the basis for evolution. In an introductory biology course, we used a model-based pedagogy that enabled students to integrate their understanding of genetics and evolution within multiple case studies. We used student-generated conceptual models to assess understanding of the origin of variation. By midterm, only a small percentage of students articulated complete and accurate representations of the origin of variation in their models. Targeted feedback was offered through activities requiring students to critically evaluate peers' models. At semester's end, a substantial proportion of students significantly improved their representation of how variation arises (though one-third still did not include mutation in their models). Students' written explanations of the origin of variation were mostly consistent with their models, although less effective than models in conveying mechanistic reasoning. This study contributes evidence that articulating the genetic origin of variation is particularly challenging for learners and may require multiple cycles of instruction, assessment, and feedback. To support meaningful learning of the origin of variation, we advocate instruction that explicitly integrates multiple scales of biological organization, assessment that promotes and reveals mechanistic and causal reasoning, and practice with explanatory models with formative feedback.

  18. FIRST DIGIT DISTRIBUTION IN SOME BIOLOGICAL DATA SETS. POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR DEPARTURES FROM BENFORD'S LAW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luis Hernández Cáceres

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: To explore whether the first digit law (FDL is abided by data sets from biological origin.Materials and Methods: Data were collected from different sources, including gene data length for bacteria, pre-vaccination measles incidence data and absolute values from human MEG recordings. First digit frequencies were computed and compared to predictions from FDL. Simulations included a simple model for two-dimensional epidemics spread and a randomly set upper bound model aimed to explain the behaviour of MEG data.Results: We observed that FDL is obeyed in a case of epidemic data reported at a putative focus of spread (pre-vaccination measles incidence for Preston, England. However, peculiar departures were observed for gene length distribution in microorganisms, magneto-encephalograms (MEG, and epidemic data pooled from large geographical regions.Conclusions: Simulation studies revealed that averaging data on a scenario of propagating waves can explain some of the observed distortions from FDL. This could help to understand the behaviour of epidemics data. A randomly set upper bound model (RUBM can likely explain the observed behaviour of MEG data. Explanation for gene length data behaviour requires further theoretical work.

  19. Providing vertical coherence in explanations and promoting reasoning across levels of biological organization when teaching evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jördens, Janina; Asshoff, Roman; Kullmann, Harald; Hammann, Marcus

    2016-04-01

    Students' explanations of biological phenomena are frequently characterized by disconnects between levels and confusion of levels. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effects of a hands-on lab activity that aims at fostering the ability to reason across levels. A total of 197 students (18 years of age) participated in a randomized, pre-post-test design study. Students in the experimental group engaged in a lab activity focused on artificial selection and designed to demonstrate how selection affects both phenotypes and genotypes. In contrast, the lab activity in the comparison group focused on phenotype alone. Data sources for the study included pre-tests of basic concepts in genetics and evolution and two post-test items requiring the students to reproduce and apply their knowledge about artificial selection. The findings indicated that the lab activity which allowed students to explore the interplay between different levels, provided vertical coherence and enhanced students' ability to explain evolutionary change in both reproduction and transfer items. In contrast, the lab activity in the comparison group failed to do so, and most students did not improve their ability to explain evolutionary change. Implications for instruction and recommendations for further research are discussed in light of these findings.

  20. Transforming Biology Assessment with Machine Learning: Automated Scoring of Written Evolutionary Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Ha, Minsu; Mayfield, Elijah

    2012-01-01

    This study explored the use of machine learning to automatically evaluate the accuracy of students' written explanations of evolutionary change. Performance of the Summarization Integrated Development Environment (SIDE) program was compared to human expert scoring using a corpus of 2,260 evolutionary explanations written by 565 undergraduate…

  1. Transforming Biology Assessment with Machine Learning: Automated Scoring of Written Evolutionary Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Ha, Minsu; Mayfield, Elijah

    2012-01-01

    This study explored the use of machine learning to automatically evaluate the accuracy of students' written explanations of evolutionary change. Performance of the Summarization Integrated Development Environment (SIDE) program was compared to human expert scoring using a corpus of 2,260 evolutionary explanations written by 565 undergraduate…

  2. Trial-by-Trial Modulation of Associative Memory Formation by Reward Prediction Error and Reward Anticipation as Revealed by a Biologically Plausible Computational Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberg, Kristoffer C.; Müller, Julia; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Anticipation and delivery of rewards improves memory formation, but little effort has been made to disentangle their respective contributions to memory enhancement. Moreover, it has been suggested that the effects of reward on memory are mediated by dopaminergic influences on hippocampal plasticity. Yet, evidence linking memory improvements to actual reward computations reflected in the activity of the dopaminergic system, i.e., prediction errors and expected values, is scarce and inconclusive. For example, different previous studies reported that the magnitude of prediction errors during a reinforcement learning task was a positive, negative, or non-significant predictor of successfully encoding simultaneously presented images. Individual sensitivities to reward and punishment have been found to influence the activation of the dopaminergic reward system and could therefore help explain these seemingly discrepant results. Here, we used a novel associative memory task combined with computational modeling and showed independent effects of reward-delivery and reward-anticipation on memory. Strikingly, the computational approach revealed positive influences from both reward delivery, as mediated by prediction error magnitude, and reward anticipation, as mediated by magnitude of expected value, even in the absence of behavioral effects when analyzed using standard methods, i.e., by collapsing memory performance across trials within conditions. We additionally measured trait estimates of reward and punishment sensitivity and found that individuals with increased reward (vs. punishment) sensitivity had better memory for associations encoded during positive (vs. negative) prediction errors when tested after 20 min, but a negative trend when tested after 24 h. In conclusion, modeling trial-by-trial fluctuations in the magnitude of reward, as we did here for prediction errors and expected value computations, provides a comprehensive and biologically plausible description of

  3. Trial-by-Trial Modulation of Associative Memory Formation by Reward Prediction Error and Reward Anticipation as Revealed by a Biologically Plausible Computational Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberg, Kristoffer C; Müller, Julia; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Anticipation and delivery of rewards improves memory formation, but little effort has been made to disentangle their respective contributions to memory enhancement. Moreover, it has been suggested that the effects of reward on memory are mediated by dopaminergic influences on hippocampal plasticity. Yet, evidence linking memory improvements to actual reward computations reflected in the activity of the dopaminergic system, i.e., prediction errors and expected values, is scarce and inconclusive. For example, different previous studies reported that the magnitude of prediction errors during a reinforcement learning task was a positive, negative, or non-significant predictor of successfully encoding simultaneously presented images. Individual sensitivities to reward and punishment have been found to influence the activation of the dopaminergic reward system and could therefore help explain these seemingly discrepant results. Here, we used a novel associative memory task combined with computational modeling and showed independent effects of reward-delivery and reward-anticipation on memory. Strikingly, the computational approach revealed positive influences from both reward delivery, as mediated by prediction error magnitude, and reward anticipation, as mediated by magnitude of expected value, even in the absence of behavioral effects when analyzed using standard methods, i.e., by collapsing memory performance across trials within conditions. We additionally measured trait estimates of reward and punishment sensitivity and found that individuals with increased reward (vs. punishment) sensitivity had better memory for associations encoded during positive (vs. negative) prediction errors when tested after 20 min, but a negative trend when tested after 24 h. In conclusion, modeling trial-by-trial fluctuations in the magnitude of reward, as we did here for prediction errors and expected value computations, provides a comprehensive and biologically plausible description of

  4. Evolutionary Explanations for Antibiotic Resistance in Daily Press, Online Websites and Biology Textbooks in Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohlin, Gustav; Höst, Gunnar E.

    2015-01-01

    The present study explores the extent and precision of evolutionary explanations for antibiotic resistance in communication directed toward the Swedish public. Bacterial resistance develops through evolutionary mechanisms and knowledge of these helps to explain causes underlying the growing prevalence of resistant strains, as well as important…

  5. Source Effects and Plausibility Judgments When Reading about Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Doug; Seyranian, Viviane; Sinatra, Gale M.

    2014-01-01

    Gaps between what scientists and laypeople find plausible may act as a barrier to learning complex and/or controversial socioscientific concepts. For example, individuals may consider scientific explanations that human activities are causing current climate change as implausible. This plausibility judgment may be due-in part-to individuals'…

  6. Introductory Biology Students' Conceptual Models and Explanations of the Origin of Variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray Speth, Elena; Shaw, Neil; Momsen, Jennifer; Reinagel, Adam; Le, Paul; Taqieddin, Ranya; Long, Tammy

    2014-01-01

    Mutation is the key molecular mechanism generating phenotypic variation, which is the basis for evolution. In an introductory biology course, we used a model-based pedagogy that enabled students to integrate their understanding of genetics and evolution within multiple case studies. We used student-generated conceptual models to assess…

  7. The use of theoretical and empirical knowledge in the production of explanations and arguments in an inquiry biology activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maíra Batistoni e Silva

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Agreeing with the scientific literacy as the purpose of science education and with the recent propositions that in order to achieve it we should favor the engagement of students in practices of scientific culture, this study intends to analyze the production of explanations and arguments in an inquiry based teaching activity in order to characterize students' mobilization of theoretical and empirical knowledge by engaging in these practices. Analyzing the scientific reports elaborated by the students (14-15 years old after the inquiry activity on population dynamics, we highlight the importance of empirical knowledge about the experimental context as a repertoire for construction of explanations, especially when students deal with anomalous data. This knowledge was also important for production of valid arguments, since most of the justifications were empirical, regardless of whether or not the data were in accordance with the explanatory model already known. These results reinforce the importance of students' engagement in inquiry activities, as already defended by different authors of this research area, and indicate that the inquiry practice allowed the engagement in epistemic practices, since the knowledge about the experimental conditions and the procedures of data collection provided a repertoire for the production of explanations and arguments. Finally, we discuss the relevance of this research to the field of biology teaching, seeking to defend the promotion of inquiry activities with an experimental approach as an opportunity to integrate conceptual and epistemic objectives and overcome the difficulties generated by the specificities of this area of knowledge in relation to the other disciplines in nature sciences.

  8. Pathways to plausibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlberg, Ayo

    2008-01-01

    Herbal medicine has long been contrasted to modern medicine in terms of a holistic approach to healing, vitalistic theories of health and illness and an emphasis on the body’s innate self-healing capacities. At the same time, since the early 20th century, the cultivation, preparation and mass pro...... as normalised, with herbalists, phytochemists and pharmacologists working to develop standardised production procedures as well as to identify ‘plausible’ explanations for the efficacy of these remedies....

  9. Top-down models in biology: explanation and control of complex living systems above the molecular level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzulo, Giovanni; Levin, Michael

    2016-11-01

    It is widely assumed in developmental biology and bioengineering that optimal understanding and control of complex living systems follows from models of molecular events. The success of reductionism has overshadowed attempts at top-down models and control policies in biological systems. However, other fields, including physics, engineering and neuroscience, have successfully used the explanations and models at higher levels of organization, including least-action principles in physics and control-theoretic models in computational neuroscience. Exploiting the dynamic regulation of pattern formation in embryogenesis and regeneration requires new approaches to understand how cells cooperate towards large-scale anatomical goal states. Here, we argue that top-down models of pattern homeostasis serve as proof of principle for extending the current paradigm beyond emergence and molecule-level rules. We define top-down control in a biological context, discuss the examples of how cognitive neuroscience and physics exploit these strategies, and illustrate areas in which they may offer significant advantages as complements to the mainstream paradigm. By targeting system controls at multiple levels of organization and demystifying goal-directed (cybernetic) processes, top-down strategies represent a roadmap for using the deep insights of other fields for transformative advances in regenerative medicine and systems bioengineering.

  10. Top-down models in biology: explanation and control of complex living systems above the molecular level

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    It is widely assumed in developmental biology and bioengineering that optimal understanding and control of complex living systems follows from models of molecular events. The success of reductionism has overshadowed attempts at top-down models and control policies in biological systems. However, other fields, including physics, engineering and neuroscience, have successfully used the explanations and models at higher levels of organization, including least-action principles in physics and control-theoretic models in computational neuroscience. Exploiting the dynamic regulation of pattern formation in embryogenesis and regeneration requires new approaches to understand how cells cooperate towards large-scale anatomical goal states. Here, we argue that top-down models of pattern homeostasis serve as proof of principle for extending the current paradigm beyond emergence and molecule-level rules. We define top-down control in a biological context, discuss the examples of how cognitive neuroscience and physics exploit these strategies, and illustrate areas in which they may offer significant advantages as complements to the mainstream paradigm. By targeting system controls at multiple levels of organization and demystifying goal-directed (cybernetic) processes, top-down strategies represent a roadmap for using the deep insights of other fields for transformative advances in regenerative medicine and systems bioengineering. PMID:27807271

  11. Genomics, "Discovery Science," Systems Biology, and Causal Explanation: What Really Works?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Eric H

    2015-01-01

    Diverse and non-coherent sets of epistemological principles currently inform research in the general area of functional genomics. Here, from the personal point of view of a scientist with over half a century of immersion in hypothesis driven scientific discovery, I compare and deconstruct the ideological bases of prominent recent alternatives, such as "discovery science," some productions of the ENCODE project, and aspects of large data set systems biology. The outputs of these types of scientific enterprise qualitatively reflect their radical definitions of scientific knowledge, and of its logical requirements. Their properties emerge in high relief when contrasted (as an example) to a recent, system-wide, predictive analysis of a developmental regulatory apparatus that was instead based directly on hypothesis-driven experimental tests of mechanism.

  12. Gut Microbiome and Obesity: A Plausible Explanation for Obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanmiguel, Claudia; Gupta, Arpana; Mayer, Emeran A.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a multifactorial disorder that results in excessive accumulation of adipose tissue. Although obesity is caused by alterations in the energy consumption/expenditure balance, the factors promoting this disequilibrium are incompletely understood. The rapid development of new technologies and analysis strategies to decode the gut microbiota composition and metabolic pathways has opened a door into the complexity of the guest-host interactions between the gut microbiota and its human host in health and in disease. Pivotal studies have demonstrated that manipulation of the gut microbiota and its metabolic pathways can affect host’s adiposity and metabolism. These observations have paved the way for further assessment of the mechanisms underlying these changes. In this review we summarize the current evidence for possible mechanisms underlying gut microbiota induced obesity. The review addresses some well-known effects of the gut microbiota on energy harvesting and changes in metabolic machinery, on metabolic and immune interactions and on possible changes in brain function and behavior. Although there is limited understanding on the symbiotic relationship between us and our gut microbiome, and how disturbances of this relationship affects our health, there is compelling evidence for an important role of the gut microbiota in the development and perpetuation of obesity. PMID:26029487

  13. Life Origination Hydrate Theory (LOH-Theory) and the explanation of the biological diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrovskii, Victor E; Kadyshevich, Elena A

    2014-12-01

    The Life Origination Hydrate Theory (LOH-Theory) considers the life origination process as a sequence of thermodynamically caused regular and inevitable chemical transformations regulated by universal physical and chemical laws. The LOH-Theory bears on a number of experimental, thermodynamic, observation, and simulation researches. N-bases, riboses, nucleosides, and nucleotides and DNAs and RNAs are formed repeatedly within structural cavities of localizations of underground and underseabed honeycomb CH4-hydrate deposits from CH4 and nitrate and phosphate ions that diffused into the hydrate structures; proto-cells and their agglomerates originated from these DNAs and from the same minerals in the semi-liquid soup after liquation of the hydrate structures. Each localization gave rise to a multitude of different DNAs and living organisms. The species diversity is caused by the spatial and temporal repeatability of the processes of living matter origination under similar but not identical conditions, multiplicity of the DNA forms in each living matter origination event, variations in the parameters of the native medium, intraspecific variations, and interspecific variations. The contribution of the last to the species diversity is, likely, significant for prokaryotes and those eukaryotes that are only at low steps of their biological organization; however, in the light of the LOH-Theory, of available long-term paleontological investigations, and of studies of reproduction of proliferous organisms, we conclude that, in toto, the contribution of interspecific variations to the species diversity was earlier overestimated by some researchers. The reason of this overestimation is that origination of scores of «spores» of different organisms in any one event and multiple reproductions of such events in time and Earth's space were not taken into consideration.

  14. Essentially narrative explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Paul A

    2017-04-01

    This essay argues that narrative explanations prove uniquely suited to answering certain explanatory questions, and offers reasons why recognizing a type of statement that requires narrative explanations crucially informs on their assessment. My explication of narrative explanation begins by identifying two interrelated sources of philosophical unhappiness with them. The first I term the problem of logical formlessness and the second the problem of evaluative intractability. With regard to the first, narratives simply do not appear to instantiate any logical form recognized as inference licensing. But absent a means of identifying inferential links, what justifies connecting explanans and explanandum? Evaluative intractability, the second problem, thus seems a direct consequence. This essay shows exactly why these complaints prove unfounded by explicating narrative explanations in the process of answering three interrelated questions. First, what determines that an explanation has in some critical or essential respect a narrative form? Second, how does a narrative in such cases come to constitute a plausible explanation? Third, how do the first two considerations yield a basis for evaluating an explanation offered as a narrative? Answers to each of these questions include illustrations of actual narrative explanations and also function to underline attendant dimensions of evaluation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Biological plausibility as a tool to associate analytical data for micropollutants and effect potentials in wastewater, surface water, and sediments with effects in fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Diana; Blaha, Ludek; Giesy, John P; Henneberg, Anja; Köhler, Heinz-R; Kuch, Bertram; Osterauer, Raphaela; Peschke, Katharina; Richter, Doreen; Scheurer, Marco; Triebskorn, Rita

    2015-04-01

    of micronuclei in erythrocytes of chub from the river. Chemicals potentially responsible for effects on DNA were identified. Embryotoxic effects on zebrafish (Danio rerio), investigated in the laboratory, were associated with embryotoxic effects in trout exposed in streamwater bypass systems at the two rivers. In general, responses at all levels of organization were more pronounced in samples from the Schussen than in those from the Argen. These results are consistent with the magnitudes of chemical pollution in these two streams. Plausibility chains to establish causality between exposures and effects and to predict effects in biota in the river from studies in the laboratory are discussed.

  16. Exploring the MACH Model’s Potential as a Metacognitive Tool to Help Undergraduate Students Monitor Their Explanations of Biological Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    When undergraduate biology students learn to explain biological mechanisms, they face many challenges and may overestimate their understanding of living systems. Previously, we developed the MACH model of four components used by expert biologists to explain mechanisms: Methods, Analogies, Context, and How. This study explores the implementation of the model in an undergraduate biology classroom as an educational tool to address some of the known challenges. To find out how well students’ written explanations represent components of the MACH model before and after they were taught about it and why students think the MACH model was useful, we conducted an exploratory multiple case study with four interview participants. We characterize how two students explained biological mechanisms before and after a teaching intervention that used the MACH components. Inductive analysis of written explanations and interviews showed that MACH acted as an effective metacognitive tool for all four students by helping them to monitor their understanding, communicate explanations, and identify explanatory gaps. Further research, though, is needed to more fully substantiate the general usefulness of MACH for promoting students’ metacognition about their understanding of biological mechanisms. PMID:27252295

  17. Few Women in School Administration: Some Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, Mary

    1987-01-01

    Considers explanations for the small number of women school administrators in Canada based on an "Equity through Understanding" approach and on an "Understanding Discrimination" approach. Finds a more plausible explanation in the linking of three concepts: role discrimination, access discrimination, and treatment…

  18. Families of Plausible Solutions to the Puzzle of Boyajian's Star

    CERN Document Server

    Wright, Jason T

    2016-01-01

    Good explanations for the unusual light curve of Boyajian's Star have been hard to find. Recent results by Montet & Simon lend strength and plausibility to the conclusion of Schaefer that in addition to short-term dimmings, the star also experiences large, secular decreases in brightness on decadal timescales. This, combined with a lack of long-wavelength excess in the star's spectral energy distribution, strongly constrains scenarios involving circumstellar material, including hypotheses invoking a spherical cloud of artifacts. We show that the timings of the deepest dimmings appear consistent with being randomly distributed, and that the star's reddening and narrow sodium absorption is consistent with the total, long-term dimming observed. Following Montet & Simon's encouragement to generate alternative hypotheses, we attempt to circumscribe the space of possible explanations with a range of plausibilities, including: a cloud in the outer solar system, structure in the ISM, natural and artificial ma...

  19. Exploring the MACH Model's Potential as a Metacognitive Tool to Help Undergraduate Students Monitor Their Explanations of Biological Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    When undergraduate biology students learn to explain biological mechanisms, they face many challenges and may overestimate their understanding of living systems. Previously, we developed the MACH model of four components used by expert biologists to explain mechanisms: Methods, Analogies, Context, and How. This study explores the implementation of…

  20. Motivated explanation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Richard; Operskalski, Joachim T.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2015-01-01

    Although motivation is a well-established field of study in its own right, and has been fruitfully studied in connection with attribution theory and belief formation under the heading of “motivated thinking,” its powerful and pervasive influence on specifically explanatory processes is less well explored. Where one has a strong motivation to understand some event correctly, one is thereby motivated to adhere as best one can to normative or “epistemic” criteria for correct or accurate explanation, even if one does not consciously formulate or apply such criteria. By contrast, many of our motivations to explain introduce bias into the processes involved in generating, evaluating, or giving explanations. Non-epistemic explanatory motivations, or following Kunda's usage, “directional” motivations, include self-justification, resolution of cognitive dissonance, deliberate deception, teaching, and many more. Some of these motivations lead to the relaxation or violation of epistemic norms; others enhance epistemic motivation, so that one engages in more careful and thorough generational and evaluative processes. We propose that “real life” explanatory processes are often constrained by multiple goals, epistemic and directional, where these goals may mutually reinforce one another or may conflict, and where our explanations emerge as a matter of weighing and satisfying those goals. We review emerging evidence from psychology and neuroscience to support this framework and to elucidate the central role of motivation in human thought and explanation. PMID:26528166

  1. Motivated Explanation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard ePatterson

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Although motivation is a well-established field of study in its own right, and has been fruitfully studied in connection with attribution theory and belief formation under the heading of motivated thinking, its powerful and pervasive influence on explanatory processes is less well explored. Where one has a strong motivation to understand some event correctly, one is thereby motivated to adhere as best one can to normative or epistemic criteria for correct or accurate explanation, even if one does not consciously formulate or apply such criteria. By contrast, many of our motivations to explain introduce bias into the processes involved in generating, evaluating, or giving of explanations. Non-epistemic explanatory motivations, or (following Kunda’s usage, directional motivations, include self-justification, resolution of cognitive dissonance, deliberate deception, teaching, and many more. Some of these motivations lead to the relaxation or violation of epistemic norms, combined with an effort to preserve the appearance of accuracy; others enhance epistemic motivation, so that one engages in more careful and thorough generational and evaluative processes. In short, real life explanatory processes are often constrained by multiple goals, epistemic and directional, where these goals may mutually reinforce one another or may conflict, and where our explanations emerge as a matter of weighing and satisfying those goals. Our proposals are largely programmatic, although we do review a good deal of relevant behavioral and neurological evidence. Specifically, we recognize five generative processes, some of which cover further sub-processes, and six evaluative processes. All of these are potential points of entry for the influence of motivation. We then suggest in some detail how specific sorts of explanatory motivation interact with specific explanatory processes.

  2. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  3. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  4. Hydrogen sulfide releasing capacity of natural isothiocyanates: is it a reliable explanation for the multiple biological effects of Brassicaceae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citi, Valentina; Martelli, Alma; Testai, Lara; Marino, Alice; Breschi, Maria C; Calderone, Vincenzo

    2014-06-01

    Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous pleiotropic gasotransmitter, which mediates important physiological effects in the human body. Accordingly, an impaired production of endogenous hydrogen sulfide contributes to the pathogenesis of important disorders. To date, exogenous compounds, acting as hydrogen sulfide-releasing agents, are viewed as promising pharmacotherapeutic agents. In a recent report, the hydrogen sulfide-releasing properties of some synthetic aryl isothiocyanate derivatives have been reported, indicating that the isothiocyanate function can be viewed as a suitable slow hydrogen sulfide-releasing moiety, endowed with the pharmacological potential typical of this gasotransmitter. Many isothiocyanate derivatives (deriving from a myrosinase-mediated transformation of glucosinolates) are well-known secondary metabolites of plants belonging to the family Brassicaceae, a large botanical family comprising many edible species. The phytotherapeutic and nutraceutic usefulness of Brassicaceae in the prevention of important human diseases, such as cancer, neurodegenerative processes and cardiovascular diseases has been widely discussed in the scientific literature. Although these effects have been largely attributed to isothiocyanates, the exact mechanism of action is still unknown. In this experimental work, we aimed to investigate the possible hydrogen sulfide-releasing capacity of some important natural isothiocyanates, studying it in vitro by amperometric detection. Some of the tested natural isothiocyanates exhibited significant hydrogen sulfide release, leading us to hypothesize that hydrogen sulfide may be, at least in part, a relevant player accounting for several biological effects of Brassicaceae.

  5. A biological rationale for musical consonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowling, Daniel L; Purves, Dale

    2015-09-01

    The basis of musical consonance has been debated for centuries without resolution. Three interpretations have been considered: (i) that consonance derives from the mathematical simplicity of small integer ratios; (ii) that consonance derives from the physical absence of interference between harmonic spectra; and (iii) that consonance derives from the advantages of recognizing biological vocalization and human vocalization in particular. Whereas the mathematical and physical explanations are at odds with the evidence that has now accumulated, biology provides a plausible explanation for this central issue in music and audition.

  6. Plausibility and evidence: the case of homeopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutten, Lex; Mathie, Robert T; Fisher, Peter; Goossens, Maria; van Wassenhoven, Michel

    2013-08-01

    Homeopathy is controversial and hotly debated. The conclusions of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials of homeopathy vary from 'comparable to conventional medicine' to 'no evidence of effects beyond placebo'. It is claimed that homeopathy conflicts with scientific laws and that homoeopaths reject the naturalistic outlook, but no evidence has been cited. We are homeopathic physicians and researchers who do not reject the scientific outlook; we believe that examination of the prior beliefs underlying this enduring stand-off can advance the debate. We show that interpretations of the same set of evidence--for homeopathy and for conventional medicine--can diverge. Prior disbelief in homeopathy is rooted in the perceived implausibility of any conceivable mechanism of action. Using the 'crossword analogy', we demonstrate that plausibility bias impedes assessment of the clinical evidence. Sweeping statements about the scientific impossibility of homeopathy are themselves unscientific: scientific statements must be precise and testable. There is growing evidence that homeopathic preparations can exert biological effects; due consideration of such research would reduce the influence of prior beliefs on the assessment of systematic review evidence.

  7. What can we learn from Plausible Values?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsman, Maarten; Maris, Gunter; Bechger, Timo; Glas, Cees

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, we show that the marginal distribution of plausible values is a consistent estimator of the true latent variable distribution, and, furthermore, that convergence is monotone in an embedding in which the number of items tends to infinity. We use this result to clarify some of the misconceptions that exist about plausible values, and also show how they can be used in the analyses of educational surveys.

  8. Plausibility functions and exact frequentist inference

    CERN Document Server

    Martin, Ryan

    2012-01-01

    In the frequentist program, inferential methods with exact control on error rates are a primary focus. Methods based on asymptotic distribution theory may not be suitable in a particular problem, in which case, a numerical method is needed. This paper presents a general, Monte Carlo-driven framework for the construction of frequentist procedures based on plausibility functions. It is proved that the suitably defined plausibility function-based tests and confidence regions have desired frequentist properties. Moreover, in an important special case involving likelihood ratios, conditions are given such that the plausibility function behaves asymptotically like a consistent Bayesian posterior distribution. An extension of the proposed method is also given for the case where nuisance parameters are present. A number of examples are given which illustrate the method and demonstrate its strong performance compared to other popular existing methods.

  9. Bisimulation for Single-Agent Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; van Ditmarsch, H.;

    2013-01-01

    Epistemic plausibility models are Kripke models agents use to reason about the knowledge and beliefs of themselves and each other. Restricting ourselves to the single-agent case, we determine when such models are indistinguishable in the logical language containing conditional belief, i.e., we...... define a proper notion of bisimulation, and prove that bisimulation corresponds to logical equivalence on image-finite models. We relate our results to other epistemic notions, such as safe belief and degrees of belief. Our results imply that there are only finitely many non-bisimilar single......-agent epistemic plausibility models on a finite set of propositions. This gives decidability for single-agent epistemic plausibility planning....

  10. Explanations - Styles of explanation in science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornwell, John

    2004-06-01

    Our lives, states of health, relationships, behavior, experiences of the natural world, and the technologies that shape our contemporary existence are subject to a superfluity of competing, multi-faceted and sometimes incompatible explanations. Widespread confusion about the nature of "explanation" and its scope and limits pervades popular exposition of the natural sciences, popular history and philosophy of science. This fascinating book explores the way explanations work, why they vary between disciplines, periods, and cultures, and whether they have any necessary boundaries. In other words, Explanations aims to achieve a better understanding of explanation, both within the sciences and the humanities. It features contributions from expert writers from a wide range of disciplines, including science, philosophy, mathematics, and social anthropology.

  11. Normative Characterization in Empirical Explanation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Bauer

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Normative characterization is a commonplace feature of biological and cognitive explanation. Such language seems to commit the biological and cognitive sciences to the existence of natural norms, but it is also difficult to understand how such normativity fits into a natural world of physical causes and forces. Existing models for how such language can have a legitimate causal-explanatory role in the sciences are, I think, unsatisfactory.  I suggest an alternative model in which normativity is mapped onto systems stabilized by counteractive constraints. Such a mapping, I propose, explains normativity’s causal-explanatory role in biological and cognitive inquiry. 

  12. Analogy, explanation, and proof.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, John E; Licato, John; Bringsjord, Selmer

    2014-01-01

    People are habitual explanation generators. At its most mundane, our propensity to explain allows us to infer that we should not drink milk that smells sour; at the other extreme, it allows us to establish facts (e.g., theorems in mathematical logic) whose truth was not even known prior to the existence of the explanation (proof). What do the cognitive operations underlying the inference that the milk is sour have in common with the proof that, say, the square root of two is irrational? Our ability to generate explanations bears striking similarities to our ability to make analogies. Both reflect a capacity to generate inferences and generalizations that go beyond the featural similarities between a novel problem and familiar problems in terms of which the novel problem may be understood. However, a notable difference between analogy-making and explanation-generation is that the former is a process in which a single source situation is used to reason about a single target, whereas the latter often requires the reasoner to integrate multiple sources of knowledge. This seemingly small difference poses a challenge to the task of marshaling our understanding of analogical reasoning to understanding explanation. We describe a model of explanation, derived from a model of analogy, adapted to permit systematic violations of this one-to-one mapping constraint. Simulation results demonstrate that the resulting model can generate explanations for novel explananda and that, like the explanations generated by human reasoners, these explanations vary in their coherence.

  13. Biologically-Plausible Reactive Control of Mobile Robots

    OpenAIRE

    Rene, Zapata; Pascal, Lepinay

    2006-01-01

    This chapter addressed the problem of controlling the reactive behaviours of a mobile robot evolving in unstructured and dynamic environments. We have carried out successful experiments for determining the distance field of a mobile robot using two

  14. A biologically plausible model of human shape symmetry perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poirier, Frédéric J A M; Wilson, Hugh R

    2010-01-19

    Symmetry is usually computationally expensive to encode reliably, and yet it is relatively effortless to perceive. Here, we extend F. J. A. M. Poirier and H. R. Wilson's (2006) model for shape perception to account for H. R. Wilson and F. Wilkinson's (2002) data on shape symmetry. Because the model already accounts for shape perception, only minimal neural circuitry is required to enable it to encode shape symmetry as well. The model is composed of three main parts: (1) recovery of object position using large-scale non-Fourier V4-like concentric units that respond at the center of concentric contour segments across orientations, (2) around that recovered object center, curvature mechanisms combine multiplicatively the responses of oriented filters to encode object-centric local shape information, with a preference for convexities, and (3) object-centric symmetry mechanisms. Model and human performances are comparable for symmetry perception of shapes. Moreover, with some improvement of edge recovery, the model can encode symmetry axes in natural images such as faces.

  15. Cultural group selection is plausible, but the predictions of its hypotheses should be tested with real-world data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchin, Peter; Currie, Thomas E

    2016-01-01

    The evidence compiled in the target article demonstrates that the assumptions of cultural group selection (CGS) theory are often met, and it is therefore a useful framework for generating plausible hypotheses. However, more can be said about how we can test the predictions of CGS hypotheses against competing explanations using historical, archaeological, and anthropological data.

  16. Prebiotically plausible mechanisms increase compositional diversity of nucleic acid sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derr, Julien; Manapat, Michael L; Rajamani, Sudha; Leu, Kevin; Xulvi-Brunet, Ramon; Joseph, Isaac; Nowak, Martin A; Chen, Irene A

    2012-05-01

    During the origin of life, the biological information of nucleic acid polymers must have increased to encode functional molecules (the RNA world). Ribozymes tend to be compositionally unbiased, as is the vast majority of possible sequence space. However, ribonucleotides vary greatly in synthetic yield, reactivity and degradation rate, and their non-enzymatic polymerization results in compositionally biased sequences. While natural selection could lead to complex sequences, molecules with some activity are required to begin this process. Was the emergence of compositionally diverse sequences a matter of chance, or could prebiotically plausible reactions counter chemical biases to increase the probability of finding a ribozyme? Our in silico simulations using a two-letter alphabet show that template-directed ligation and high concatenation rates counter compositional bias and shift the pool toward longer sequences, permitting greater exploration of sequence space and stable folding. We verified experimentally that unbiased DNA sequences are more efficient templates for ligation, thus increasing the compositional diversity of the pool. Our work suggests that prebiotically plausible chemical mechanisms of nucleic acid polymerization and ligation could predispose toward a diverse pool of longer, potentially structured molecules. Such mechanisms could have set the stage for the appearance of functional activity very early in the emergence of life.

  17. Comparison and Causal Explanation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringer, Fritz

    2006-01-01

    Since the classical authors of the nineteenth century, the explanation of macro-social phenomena has been considered as the essential epistemic achievement, hence the "raison d'etre," of comparative analysis in the social sciences. In practice, however, the claims of comparative social enquiry for providing convincing explanations are…

  18. Anatomically Plausible Surface Alignment and Reconstruction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulsen, Rasmus R.; Larsen, Rasmus

    2010-01-01

    With the increasing clinical use of 3D surface scanners, there is a need for accurate and reliable algorithms that can produce anatomically plausible surfaces. In this paper, a combined method for surface alignment and reconstruction is proposed. It is based on an implicit surface representation...... combined with a Markov Random Field regularisation method. Conceptually, the method maintains an implicit ideal description of the sought surface. This implicit surface is iteratively updated by realigning the input point sets and Markov Random Field regularisation. The regularisation is based on a prior...... energy that has earlier proved to be particularly well suited for human surface scans. The method has been tested on full cranial scans of ten test subjects and on several scans of the outer human ear....

  19. The Role of Plausible Values in Large-Scale Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    In large-scale assessment programs such as NAEP, TIMSS and PISA, students' achievement data sets provided for secondary analysts contain so-called "plausible values." Plausible values are multiple imputations of the unobservable latent achievement for each student. In this article it has been shown how plausible values are used to: (1) address…

  20. Comprehending Conflicting Science-Related Texts: Graphs as Plausibility Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isberner, Maj-Britt; Richter, Tobias; Maier, Johanna; Knuth-Herzig, Katja; Horz, Holger; Schnotz, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    When reading conflicting science-related texts, readers may attend to cues which allow them to assess plausibility. One such plausibility cue is the use of graphs in the texts, which are regarded as typical of "hard science." The goal of our study was to investigate the effects of the presence of graphs on the perceived plausibility and…

  1. Analogy, Explanation, and Proof

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eHummel

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available People are habitual explanation generators. At its most mundane, our propensity to explain allows us to infer that we should not drink milk that smells sour; at the other extreme, it allows us to establish facts (e.g., theorems in mathematical logic whose truth was not even known prior to the existence of the explanation (proof. What do the cognitive operations underlying the (inductive inference that the milk is sour have in common with the (deductive proof that, say, the square root of two is irrational? Our ability to generate explanations bears striking similarities to our ability to make analogies. Both reflect a capacity to generate inferences and generalizations that go beyond the featural similarities between a novel problem and familiar problems in terms of which the novel problem may be understood. However, a notable difference between analogy-making and explanation-generation is that the former is a process in which a single source situation is used to reason about a single target, whereas the latter often requires the reasoner to integrate multiple sources of knowledge. This small-seeming difference poses a challenge to the task of marshaling our understanding of analogical reasoning in the service of understanding explanation. We describe a model of explanation, derived from a model of analogy, adapted to permit systematic violations of this one-to-one mapping constraint. Simulation results demonstrate that the resulting model can generate explanations for novel explananda and that, like the explanations generated by human reasoners, these explanations vary in their coherence.

  2. Families of Plausible Solutions to the Puzzle of Boyajian’s Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Jason T.; Sigurd̵sson, Steinn

    2016-09-01

    Good explanations for the unusual light curve of Boyajian's Star have been hard to find. Recent results by Montet & Simon lend strength and plausibility to the conclusion of Schaefer that in addition to short-term dimmings, the star also experiences large, secular decreases in brightness on decadal timescales. This, combined with a lack of long-wavelength excess in the star's spectral energy distribution, strongly constrains scenarios involving circumstellar material, including hypotheses invoking a spherical cloud of artifacts. We show that the timings of the deepest dimmings appear consistent with being randomly distributed, and that the star's reddening and narrow sodium absorption is consistent with the total, long-term dimming observed. Following Montet & Simon's encouragement to generate alternative hypotheses, we attempt to circumscribe the space of possible explanations with a range of plausibilities, including: a cloud in the outer solar system, structure in the interstellar medium (ISM), natural and artificial material orbiting Boyajian's Star, an intervening object with a large disk, and variations in Boyajian's Star itself. We find the ISM and intervening disk models more plausible than the other natural models.

  3. Autotrophy of green non-sulphur bacteria in hot spring microbial mats: biological explanations for isotopically heavy organic carbon in the geological record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Meer, M T; Schouten, S; de Leeuw, J W; Ward, D M

    2000-08-01

    Inferences about the evidence of life recorded in organic compounds within the Earth's ancient rocks have depended on 13C contents low enough to be characteristic of biological debris produced by the well-known CO2 fixation pathway, the Calvin cycle. 'Atypically' high values have been attributed to isotopic alteration of sedimentary organic carbon by thermal metamorphism. We examined the possibility that organic carbon characterized by a relatively high 13C content could have arisen biologically from recently discovered autotrophic pathways. We focused on the green non-sulphur bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus that uses the 3-hydroxypropionate pathway for inorganic carbon fixation and is geologically significant as it forms modern mat communities analogous to stromatolites. Organic matter in mats constructed by Chloroflexus spp. alone had relatively high 13C contents (-14.9%) and lipids diagnostic of Chloroflexus that were also isotopically heavy (-8.9% to -18.5%). Organic matter in mats constructed by Chloroflexus in conjunction with cyanobacteria had a more typical Calvin cycle signature (-23.5%). However, lipids diagnostic of Chloroflexus were isotopically enriched (-15.1% to -24.1%) relative to lipids typical of cyanobacteria (-33.9% to -36.3%). This suggests that, in mats formed by both cyanobacteria and Chloroflexus, autotrophy must have a greater effect on Chloroflexus carbon metabolism than the photoheterotrophic consumption of cyanobacterial photosynthate. Chloroflexus cell components were also selectively preserved. Hence, Chloroflexus autotrophy and selective preservation of its products constitute one purely biological mechanism by which isotopically heavy organic carbon could have been introduced into important Precambrian geological features.

  4. Explanation and understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keil, Frank C

    2006-01-01

    The study of explanation, while related to intuitive theories, concepts, and mental models, offers important new perspectives on high-level thought. Explanations sort themselves into several distinct types corresponding to patterns of causation, content domains, and explanatory stances, all of which have cognitive consequences. Although explanations are necessarily incomplete--often dramatically so in laypeople--those gaps are difficult to discern. Despite such gaps and the failure to recognize them fully, people do have skeletal explanatory senses, often implicit, of the causal structure of the world. They further leverage those skeletal understandings by knowing how to access additional explanatory knowledge in other minds and by being particularly adept at using situational support to build explanations on the fly in real time. Across development and cultures, there are differences in preferred explanatory schemes, but rarely are any kinds of schemes completely unavailable to a group.

  5. Analytic Models of Plausible Gravitational Lens Potentials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baltz, Edward A.; Marshall, Phil; Oguri, Masamune

    2007-05-04

    Gravitational lenses on galaxy scales are plausibly modeled as having ellipsoidal symmetry and a universal dark matter density profile, with a Sersic profile to describe the distribution of baryonic matter. Predicting all lensing effects requires knowledge of the total lens potential: in this work we give analytic forms for that of the above hybrid model. Emphasizing that complex lens potentials can be constructed from simpler components in linear combination, we provide a recipe for attaining elliptical symmetry in either projected mass or lens potential.We also provide analytic formulae for the lens potentials of Sersic profiles for integer and half-integer index. We then present formulae describing the gravitational lensing effects due to smoothly-truncated universal density profiles in cold dark matter model. For our isolated haloes the density profile falls off as radius to the minus fifth or seventh power beyond the tidal radius, functional forms that allow all orders of lens potential derivatives to be calculated analytically, while ensuring a non-divergent total mass. We show how the observables predicted by this profile differ from that of the original infinite-mass NFW profile. Expressions for the gravitational flexion are highlighted. We show how decreasing the tidal radius allows stripped haloes to be modeled, providing a framework for a fuller investigation of dark matter substructure in galaxies and clusters. Finally we remark on the need for finite mass halo profiles when doing cosmological ray-tracing simulations, and the need for readily-calculable higher order derivatives of the lens potential when studying catastrophes in strong lenses.

  6. Interactions between visual and motor areas during the recognition of plausible actions as revealed by magnetoencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlidou, Anastasia; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2014-02-01

    Several studies have shown activation of the mirror neuron system (MNS), comprising the temporal, posterior parietal, and sensorimotor areas when observing plausible actions, but far less is known on how these cortical areas interact during the recognition of a plausible action. Here, we recorded neural activity with magnetoencephalography while subjects viewed point-light displays of biologically plausible and scrambled versions of actions. We were interested in modulations of oscillatory activity and, specifically, in coupling of oscillatory activity between visual and motor areas. Both plausible and scrambled actions elicited modulations of θ (5-7 Hz), α (7-13 Hz), β (13-35 Hz), and γ (55-100 Hz) power within visual and motor areas. When comparing between the two actions, we observed sequential and spatially distinct increases of γ (∼65 Hz), β (∼25 Hz), and α (∼11 Hz) power between 0.5 and 1.3 s in parieto-occipital, sensorimotor, and left temporal areas. In addition, significant clusters of γ (∼65 Hz) and α/β (∼15 Hz) power decrease were observed in right temporal and parieto-occipital areas between 1.3 and 2.0 s. We found β-power in sensorimotor areas to be positively correlated on a trial-by-trial basis with parieto-occipital γ and left temporal α-power for the plausible but not for the scrambled condition. These results provide new insights in the neuronal oscillatory activity of the areas involved in the recognition of plausible action movements and their interaction. The power correlations between specific areas underscore the importance of interactions between visual and motor areas of the MNS during the recognition of a plausible action.

  7. Encoding the target or the plausible preview word? The nature of the plausibility preview benefit in reading Chinese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jinmian; Li, Nan; Wang, Suiping; Slattery, Timothy J; Rayner, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that a plausible preview word can facilitate the processing of a target word as compared to an implausible preview word (a plausibility preview benefit effect) when reading Chinese (Yang, Wang, Tong, & Rayner, 2012; Yang, 2013). Regarding the nature of this effect, it is possible that readers processed the meaning of the plausible preview word and did not actually encode the target word (given that the parafoveal preview word lies close to the fovea). The current experiment examined this possibility with three conditions wherein readers received a preview of a target word that was either (1) identical to the target word (identical preview), (2) a plausible continuation of the pre-target text, but the post-target text in the sentence was incompatible with it (initially plausible preview), or (3) not a plausible continuation of the pre-target text, nor compatible with the post-target text (implausible preview). Gaze durations on target words were longer in the initially plausible condition than the identical condition. Overall, the results showed a typical preview benefit, but also implied that readers did not encode the initially plausible preview. Also, a plausibility preview benefit was replicated: gaze durations were longer with implausible previews than the initially plausible ones. Furthermore, late eye movement measures did not reveal differences between the initially plausible and the implausible preview conditions, which argues against the possibility of misreading the plausible preview word as the target word. In sum, these results suggest that a plausible preview word provides benefit in processing the target word as compared to an implausible preview word, and this benefit is only present in early but not late eye movement measures.

  8. Plausibility Judgments in Conceptual Change and Epistemic Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Doug; Nussbaum, E. Michael; Sinatra, Gale M.

    2016-01-01

    Plausibility judgments rarely have been addressed empirically in conceptual change research. Recent research, however, suggests that these judgments may be pivotal to conceptual change about certain topics where a gap exists between what scientists and laypersons find plausible. Based on a philosophical and empirical foundation, this article…

  9. Age and the Explanation of Crime, Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeten, Gary; Piquero, Alex R.; Steinberg, Laurence

    2013-01-01

    Age is one of the most robust correlates of criminal behavior. Yet, explanations for this relationship are varied and conflicting. Developmental theories point to a multitude of sociological, psychological, and biological changes that occur during adolescence and adulthood. One prominent criminological perspective outlined by Gottfredson and…

  10. Update on zinc biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomons, Noel W

    2013-01-01

    Zinc has become a prominent nutrient of clinical and public health interest in the new millennium. Functions and actions for zinc emerge as increasingly ubiquitous in mammalian anatomy, physiology and metabolism. There is undoubtedly an underpinning in fundamental biology for all of the aspects of zinc in human health (clinical and epidemiological) in pediatric and public health practice. Unfortunately, basic science research may not have achieved a full understanding as yet. As a complement to the applied themes in the companion articles, a selection of recent advances in the domains homeostatic regulation and transport of zinc is presented; they are integrated, in turn, with findings on genetic expression, intracellular signaling, immunity and host defense, and bone growth. The elements include ionic zinc, zinc transporters, metallothioneins, zinc metalloenzymes and zinc finger proteins. In emerging basic research, we find some plausible mechanistic explanations for delayed linear growth with zinc deficiency and increased infectious disease resistance with zinc supplementation. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Complementarity, causality, and explanation

    CERN Document Server

    Losee, John

    2013-01-01

    Prior to the work of Niels Bohr, discussions on the relationship of cause and effect presupposed that successful causal attribution implies explanation. The success of quantum theory challenged this presupposition. In this succinct review of the history of these discussions, John Losee presents the philosophical background of debates over the cause-effect relation. He reviews the positions of Aristotle, René Descartes, Isaac Newton, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. He shows how nineteenth-century theories in physics and chemistry were informed by a dominant theory of causality

  12. Explanations and expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Järvinen, Margaretha; Ravn, Signe

    2015-01-01

    drug use ‘aetiologies’ drawn upon by the interviewees. These cover childhood experiences, self-medication, the influence of friends and cannabis use as a specific lifestyle. A central argument of the article is that these explanations not only concern the past but also point towards the future......This article analyses how young people enrolled in drug addiction treatment in Copenhagen, Denmark, explain their cannabis careers and how they view their possibilities for quitting drug use again. Inspired by Mead and narrative studies of health and illness, the article identifies four different...

  13. Explanation-Based Auditing

    CERN Document Server

    Fabbri, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    To comply with emerging privacy laws and regulations, it has become common for applications like electronic health records systems (EHRs) to collect access logs, which record each time a user (e.g., a hospital employee) accesses a piece of sensitive data (e.g., a patient record). Using the access log, it is easy to answer simple queries (e.g., Who accessed Alice's medical record?), but this often does not provide enough information. In addition to learning who accessed their medical records, patients will likely want to understand why each access occurred. In this paper, we introduce the problem of generating explanations for individual records in an access log. The problem is motivated by user-centric auditing applications, and it also provides a novel approach to misuse detection. We develop a framework for modeling explanations which is based on a fundamental observation: For certain classes of databases, including EHRs, the reason for most data accesses can be inferred from data stored elsewhere in the da...

  14. Constructing Scientific Explanations: a System of Analysis for Students' Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Andrade, Vanessa; Freire, Sofia; Baptista, Mónica

    2017-08-01

    This article describes a system of analysis aimed at characterizing students' scientific explanations. Science education literature and reform documents have been highlighting the importance of scientific explanations for students' conceptual understanding and for their understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge. Nevertheless, and despite general agreement regarding the potential of having students construct their own explanations, a consensual notion of scientific explanation has still not been reached. As a result, within science education literature, there are several frameworks defining scientific explanations, with different foci as well as different notions of what accounts as a good explanation. Considering this, and based on a more ample project, we developed a system of analysis to characterize students' explanations. It was conceptualized and developed based on theories and models of scientific explanations, science education literature, and from examples of students' explanations collected by an open-ended questionnaire. With this paper, it is our goal to present the system of analysis, illustrating it with specific examples of students' collected explanations. In addition, we expect to point out its adequacy and utility for analyzing and characterizing students' scientific explanations as well as for tracing their progression.

  15. Plausible values: how to deal with their limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monseur, Christian; Adams, Raymond

    2009-01-01

    Rasch modeling and plausible values methodology were used to scale and report the results of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA). This article will describe the scaling approach adopted in PISA. In particular it will focus on the use of plausible values, a multiple imputation approach that is now commonly used in large-scale assessment. As with all imputation models the plausible values must be generated using models that are consistent with those used in subsequent data analysis. In the case of PISA the plausible value generation assumes a flat linear regression with all students' background variables collected through the international student questionnaire included as regressors. Further, like most linear models, homoscedasticity and normality of the conditional variance are assumed. This article will explore some of the implications of this approach. First, we will discuss the conditions under which the secondary analyses on variables not included in the model for generating the plausible values might be biased. Secondly, as plausible values were not drawn from a multi-level model, the article will explore the adequacy of the PISA procedures for estimating variance components when the data have a hierarchical structure.

  16. Consciousness and biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindahl, B I

    1997-08-21

    It has been suggested that if the preservation and development of consciousness in the biological evolution is a result of natural selection, it is plausible that consciousness not only has been influenced by neural processes, but has had a survival value itself; and it could only have had this, if it had also been efficacious. This argument for mind-brain interaction is examined, both as the argument has been developed by William James and Karl Popper and as it has been discussed by C.D. Broad. The problem of identifying mental phenomena with certain neural phenomena is also addressed. The main conclusion of the analysis is that an explanation of the evolution of consciousness in Darwinian terms of natural selection does not rule out that consciousness may have evolved as a mere causally inert effect of the evolution of the nervous system, or that mental phenomena are identical with certain neural phenomena. However, the interactionistic theory still seems, more plausible and more fruitful for other reasons brought up in the discussion.

  17. Vitalistic causality in young children's naive biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagaki, Kayoko; Hatano, Giyoo

    2004-08-01

    One of the key issues in conceptual development research concerns what kinds of causal devices young children use to understand the biological world. We review evidence that children predict and interpret biological phenomena, especially human bodily processes, on the basis of 'vitalistic causality'. That is, they assume that vital power or life force taken from food and water makes humans active, prevents them from being taken ill, and enables them to grow. These relationships are also extended readily to other animals and even to plants. Recent experimental results show that a majority of preschoolers tend to choose vitalistic explanations as most plausible. Vitalism, together with other forms of intermediate causality, constitute unique causal devices for naive biology as a core domain of thought.

  18. Habitat availability is a more plausible explanation than insecticide acute toxicity for U.S. grassland bird species declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jason M; Egan, J Franklin; Stauffer, Glenn E; Diefenbach, Duane R

    2014-01-01

    Grassland bird species have experienced substantial declines in North America. These declines have been largely attributed to habitat loss and degradation, especially from agricultural practices and intensification (the habitat-availability hypothesis). A recent analysis of North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) "grassland breeding" bird trends reported the surprising conclusion that insecticide acute toxicity was a better correlate of grassland bird declines in North America from 1980-2003 (the insecticide-acute-toxicity hypothesis) than was habitat loss through agricultural intensification. In this paper we reached the opposite conclusion. We used an alternative statistical approach with additional habitat covariates to analyze the same grassland bird trends over the same time frame. Grassland bird trends were positively associated with increases in area of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands and cropland used as pasture, whereas the effect of insecticide acute toxicity on bird trends was uncertain. Our models suggested that acute insecticide risk potentially has a detrimental effect on grassland bird trends, but models representing the habitat-availability hypothesis were 1.3-21.0 times better supported than models representing the insecticide-acute-toxicity hypothesis. Based on point estimates of effect sizes, CRP area and agricultural intensification had approximately 3.6 and 1.6 times more effect on grassland bird trends than lethal insecticide risk, respectively. Our findings suggest that preserving remaining grasslands is crucial to conserving grassland bird populations. The amount of grassland that has been lost in North America since 1980 is well documented, continuing, and staggering whereas insecticide use greatly declined prior to the 1990s. Grassland birds will likely benefit from the de-intensification of agricultural practices and the interspersion of pastures, Conservation Reserve Program lands, rangelands and other grassland habitats into existing agricultural landscapes.

  19. Habitat availability is a more plausible explanation than insecticide acute toxicity for U.S. grassland bird species declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassland bird species have experienced substantial declines in North America. These declines have been largely attributed to habitat loss and degradation, especially from agricultural practices and intensification (the habitat-availability hypothesis). A recent analysis of North American Breeding B...

  20. Some Remarks on the Model Theory of Epistemic Plausibility Models

    CERN Document Server

    Demey, Lorenz

    2010-01-01

    Classical logics of knowledge and belief are usually interpreted on Kripke models, for which a mathematically well-developed model theory is available. However, such models are inadequate to capture dynamic phenomena. Therefore, epistemic plausibility models have been introduced. Because these are much richer structures than Kripke models, they do not straightforwardly inherit the model-theoretical results of modal logic. Therefore, while epistemic plausibility structures are well-suited for modeling purposes, an extensive investigation of their model theory has been lacking so far. The aim of the present paper is to fill exactly this gap, by initiating a systematic exploration of the model theory of epistemic plausibility models. Like in 'ordinary' modal logic, the focus will be on the notion of bisimulation. We define various notions of bisimulations (parametrized by a language L) and show that L-bisimilarity implies L-equivalence. We prove a Hennesy-Milner type result, and also two undefinability results. ...

  1. The Plausibility of a String Quartet Performance in Virtual Reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Ilias; Azevedo, Sergio; Papiotis, Panos; Saldanha, Nuno; Slater, Mel

    2017-04-01

    We describe an experiment that explores the contribution of auditory and other features to the illusion of plausibility in a virtual environment that depicts the performance of a string quartet. 'Plausibility' refers to the component of presence that is the illusion that the perceived events in the virtual environment are really happening. The features studied were: Gaze (the musicians ignored the participant, the musicians sometimes looked towards and followed the participant's movements), Sound Spatialization (Mono, Stereo, Spatial), Auralization (no sound reflections, reflections corresponding to a room larger than the one perceived, reflections that exactly matched the virtual room), and Environment (no sound from outside of the room, birdsong and wind corresponding to the outside scene). We adopted the methodology based on color matching theory, where 20 participants were first able to assess their feeling of plausibility in the environment with each of the four features at their highest setting. Then five times participants started from a low setting on all features and were able to make transitions from one system configuration to another until they matched their original feeling of plausibility. From these transitions a Markov transition matrix was constructed, and also probabilities of a match conditional on feature configuration. The results show that Environment and Gaze were individually the most important factors influencing the level of plausibility. The highest probability transitions were to improve Environment and Gaze, and then Auralization and Spatialization. We present this work as both a contribution to the methodology of assessing presence without questionnaires, and showing how various aspects of a musical performance can influence plausibility.

  2. Hierarchy, causation and explanation: ubiquity, locality and pluralism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Alan C

    2012-02-06

    The ubiquity of top-down causal explanations within and across the sciences is prima facie evidence for the existence of top-down causation. Much debate has been focused on whether top-down causation is coherent or in conflict with reductionism. Less attention has been given to the question of whether these representations of hierarchical relations pick out a single, common hierarchy. A negative answer to this question undermines a commonplace view that the world is divided into stratified 'levels' of organization and suggests that attributions of causal responsibility in different hierarchical representations may not have a meaningful basis for comparison. Representations used in top-down and bottom-up explanations are primarily 'local' and tied to distinct domains of science, illustrated here by protein structure and folding. This locality suggests that no single metaphysical account of hierarchy for causal relations to obtain within emerges from the epistemology of scientific explanation. Instead, a pluralist perspective is recommended-many different kinds of top-down causation (explanation) can exist alongside many different kinds of bottom-up causation (explanation). Pluralism makes plausible why different senses of top-down causation can be coherent and not in conflict with reductionism, thereby illustrating a productive interface between philosophical analysis and scientific inquiry.

  3. Sequential and simultaneous multiple explanation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Litchfield

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports two experiments comparing variants of multiple explanation applied in the early stages of a judgment task (a case involving employee theft where participants are not given a menu of response options. Because prior research has focused on situations where response options are provided to judges, we identify relevant dependent variables that an intervention might affect when such options are not given. We use these variables to build a causal model of intervention that illustrates both the intended effects of multiple explanation and some potentially competing processes that it may trigger. Although multiple explanation clearly conveys some benefits (e.g., willingness to delay action to engage in information search, increased detail, quality and confidence in alternative explanations in the present experiments, we also found evidence that it may initiate or enhance processes that attenuate its advantages (e.g., feelings that one does not need more data if one has multiple good explanations.

  4. Representations of physical plausibility revealed by event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roser, Matthew E; Fugelsang, Jonathan A; Handy, Todd C; Dunbar, Kevin N; Gazzaniga, Michael S

    2009-08-05

    Maintaining an accurate mental representation of the current environment is crucial to detecting change in that environment and ensuring behavioral coherence. Past experience with interactions between objects, such as collisions, has been shown to influence the perception of object interactions. To assess whether mental representations of object interactions derived from experience influence the maintenance of a mental model of the current stimulus environment, we presented physically plausible and implausible collision events while recording brain electrical activity. The parietal P300 response to 'oddball' events was found to be modulated by the physical plausibility of the stimuli, suggesting that past experience of object interactions can influence working memory processes involved in monitoring ongoing changes to the environment.

  5. Probabilistic reasoning in intelligent systems networks of plausible inference

    CERN Document Server

    Pearl, Judea

    1988-01-01

    Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems is a complete and accessible account of the theoretical foundations and computational methods that underlie plausible reasoning under uncertainty. The author provides a coherent explication of probability as a language for reasoning with partial belief and offers a unifying perspective on other AI approaches to uncertainty, such as the Dempster-Shafer formalism, truth maintenance systems, and nonmonotonic logic. The author distinguishes syntactic and semantic approaches to uncertainty--and offers techniques, based on belief networks, that provid

  6. Complex Learning in Bio-plausible Memristive Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Deng, Lei; Li, Guoqi; Deng, Ning; Dong WANG; Zhang, Ziyang; He, Wei; Li, Huanglong; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2015-01-01

    The emerging memristor-based neuromorphic engineering promises an efficient computing paradigm. However, the lack of both internal dynamics in the previous feedforward memristive networks and efficient learning algorithms in recurrent networks, fundamentally limits the learning ability of existing systems. In this work, we propose a framework to support complex learning functions by introducing dedicated learning algorithms to a bio-plausible recurrent memristive network with internal dynamic...

  7. What is a (social) structural explanation?

    OpenAIRE

    Haslanger, Sally

    2015-01-01

    A philosophically useful account of social structure must accommodate the fact that social structures play an important role in structural explanation. But what is a structural explanation? How do structural explanations function in the social sciences? This paper offers a way of thinking about structural explanation and sketches an account of social structure that connects social structures with structural explanation.

  8. Probability, plausibility, and adequacy evaluations of the Oriente Study demonstrate that supplementation improved child growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habicht, Jean-Pierre; Martorell, Reynaldo

    2010-02-01

    This article presents evidence that the high-nutrient supplement in the Oriente study (Atole) improved child growth. The evidence is presented at 4 levels. There was a causal effect of the intervention on child length, as assessed by probability analyses of the randomized, controlled trial (P < 0.05). The plausibility analyses, which included an examination of wasting, showed that the nutritional impact was due to the Atole, especially in those who were <3 y old and who suffered from diarrhea. The adequacy analyses revealed excellent biological efficacy of the Atole at the individual level. At the level of the whole population, the efficacy of impact was much less, because many children did not participate fully in the supplementation program. The external validity of the biological impact is likely to be good for populations with similar diets and medical care.

  9. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we explore the boundary between biology and the study of formal systems (logic). In the end, we arrive at a summary formalism, a chapter in "boundary mathematics" where there are not only containers but also extainers ><, entities open to interaction and distinguishing the space that they are not. The boundary algebra of containers and extainers is to biologic what boolean algebra is to classical logic. We show how this formalism encompasses significant parts of the logic of DNA replication, the Dirac formalism for quantum mechanics, formalisms for protein folding and the basic structure of the Temperley Lieb algebra at the foundations of topological invariants of knots and links.

  10. Evolutionary Explanations of Eating Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Kardum

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This article reviews several most important evolutionary mechanisms that underlie eating disorders. The first part clarifies evolutionary foundations of mental disorders and various mechanisms leading to their development. In the second part selective pressures and evolved adaptations causing contemporary epidemic of obesity as well as differences in dietary regimes and life-style between modern humans and their ancestors are described. Concerning eating disorders, a number of current evolutionary explanations of anorexia nervosa are presented together with their main weaknesses. Evolutionary explanations of eating disorders based on the reproductive suppression hypothesis and its variants derived from kin selection theory and the model of parental manipulation were elaborated. The sexual competition hypothesis of eating disorder, adapted to flee famine hypothesis as well as explanation based on the concept of social attention holding power and the need to belonging were also explained. The importance of evolutionary theory in modern conceptualization and research of eating disorders is emphasized.

  11. Is air pollution a plausible candidate for prenatal exposure in autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? : a systematic review / y Dhanashree Vernekar

    OpenAIRE

    Vernekar, Dhanashree

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To present a systematic review of existing literature that investigates biological plausibility of prenatal hazardous air pollutants’ (HAPs) exposure, in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related outcomes. Method: Electronic databases Pubmed, Biomed Central and National Database for Autism Research, and grey literature pertaining to air pollution association with ASD and related outcomes were searched using specific keywords. The search included 190 HAPs as defi...

  12. Economic explanations for concurrent sourcing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mols, Niels Peter

    2010-01-01

    Concurrent sourcing is a phenomenon where firms simultaneously make and buy the same good, i.e. they simultaneously use the governance modes of market and hierarchy. Though concurrent sourcing seems to be widespread, few studies of sourcing have focused on this phenomenon. This paper reviews diff...... different economic explanations for why firms use concurrent sourcing. The distinctive features of the explanations are compared, and it is discussed how they may serve as a springboard for research on concurrent sourcing. Managerial implications are also offered....

  13. Plausible scenarios for the radiography profession in Sweden in 2025.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björkman, B; Fridell, K; Tavakol Olofsson, P

    2017-11-01

    Radiography is a healthcare speciality with many technical challenges. Advances in engineering and information technology applications may continue to drive and be driven by radiographers. The world of diagnostic imaging is changing rapidly and radiographers must be proactive in order to survive. To ensure sustainable development, organisations have to identify future opportunities and threats in a timely manner and incorporate them into their strategic planning. Hence, the aim of this study was to analyse and describe plausible scenarios for the radiography profession in 2025. The study has a qualitative design with an inductive approach based on focus group interviews. The interviews were inspired by the Scenario-Planning method. Of the seven trends identified in a previous study, the radiographers considered two as the most uncertain scenarios that would have the greatest impact on the profession should they occur. These trends, labelled "Access to career advancement" and "A sufficient number of radiographers", were inserted into the scenario cross. The resulting four plausible future scenarios were: The happy radiographer, the specialist radiographer, the dying profession and the assembly line. It is suggested that "The dying profession" scenario could probably be turned in the opposite direction by facilitating career development opportunities for radiographers within the profession. Changing the direction would probably lead to a profession composed of "happy radiographers" who are specialists, proud of their profession and competent to carry out advanced tasks, in contrast to being solely occupied by "the assembly line". Copyright © 2017 The College of Radiographers. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Sublime Views and Beautiful Explanations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barry, Daved; Meisiek, Stefan; Hatch, Mary Jo

    To create a generative theory that provides beautiful explanations and sublime views requires both a crafts and an art approach to scientific theorizing. The search for generativity leads scholars to perform various theorizing moves between the confines of simple, yet eloquent beauty...

  15. Explanation Based Generalisation = Partial Evaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harmelen, van F.A.H.; Bundy, A.

    1988-01-01

    We argue that explanation-based generalisation as recently proposed in the machine learning literature is essentially equivalent to partial evaluation, a well known technique in the functional and logic programming literature. We show this equivalence by analysing the definitions and underlying algo

  16. Supernatural Explanations: Science or Not?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwell, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Contrary to the advice of supposedly authoritative sources, the a priori exclusion of supernatural explanations or claims from scientific scrutiny is not appropriate. This paper shows how supernatural hypotheses or claims should be treated by science and, in the process, differentiates scientific and non-scientific hypotheses or claims.…

  17. A Biomass-based Model to Estimate the Plausibility of Exoplanet Biosignature Gases

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, S; Hu, R

    2013-01-01

    Biosignature gas detection is one of the ultimate future goals for exoplanet atmosphere studies. We have created a framework for linking biosignature gas detectability to biomass estimates, including atmospheric photochemistry and biological thermodynamics. The new framework is intended to liberate predictive atmosphere models from requiring fixed, Earth-like biosignature gas source fluxes. New biosignature gases can be considered with a check that the biomass estimate is physically plausible. We have validated the models on terrestrial production of NO, H2S, CH4, CH3Cl, and DMS. We have applied the models to propose NH3 as a biosignature gas on a "cold Haber World," a planet with a N2-H2 atmosphere, and to demonstrate why gases such as CH3Cl must have too large of a biomass to be a plausible biosignature gas on planets with Earth or early-Earth-like atmospheres orbiting a Sun-like star. To construct the biomass models, we developed a functional classification of biosignature gases, and found that gases (such...

  18. Mothers' causal explanations for their son's schizophrenia: relationship to depression and guilt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natale, A; Barron, C

    1994-08-01

    This study investigated the relationship between mothers' causal explanations for their son's schizophrenia and the depression and guilt mothers experience. Thirty-three mothers who were primary caregivers to a schizophrenic son were interviewed using the Causal Dimension Scale and the Multiscore Depression Inventory. Twenty-nine mothers generated 50 causal explanations for their son's schizophrenia. The most frequently cited causal category was physiological/biological factors. Guilt was associated with causal explanations characterized as internal, whereas depression was unrelated to causal dimensions. The findings support the need to assess mothers' causal explanations for their son's schizophrenia and to research the health consequences of causal explanations.

  19. Neural networks, nativism, and the plausibility of constructivism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quartz, S R

    1993-09-01

    Recent interest in PDP (parallel distributed processing) models is due in part to the widely held belief that they challenge many of the assumptions of classical cognitive science. In the domain of language acquisition, for example, there has been much interest in the claim that PDP models might undermine nativism. Related arguments based on PDP learning have also been given against Fodor's anti-constructivist position--a position that has contributed to the widespread dismissal of constructivism. A limitation of many of the claims regarding PDP learning, however, is that the principles underlying this learning have not been rigorously characterized. In this paper, I examine PDP models from within the framework of Valiant's PAC (probably approximately correct) model of learning, now the dominant model in machine learning, and which applies naturally to neural network learning. From this perspective, I evaluate the implications of PDP models for nativism and Fodor's influential anti-constructivist position. In particular, I demonstrate that, contrary to a number of claims, PDP models are nativist in a robust sense. I also demonstrate that PDP models actually serve as a good illustration of Fodor's anti-constructivist position. While these results may at first suggest that neural network models in general are incapable of the sort of concept acquisition that is required to refute Fodor's anti-constructivist position, I suggest that there is an alternative form of neural network learning that demonstrates the plausibility of constructivism. This alternative form of learning is a natural interpretation of the constructivist position in terms of neural network learning, as it employs learning algorithms that incorporate the addition of structure in addition to weight modification schemes. By demonstrating that there is a natural and plausible interpretation of constructivism in terms of neural network learning, the position that nativism is the only plausible model of

  20. Hamiltonian formulation of time-dependent plausible inference

    CERN Document Server

    Davis, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Maximization of the path information entropy is a clear prescription for performing time-dependent plausible inference. Here it is shown that, following this prescription under the assumption of arbitrary instantaneous constraints on position and velocity, a Lagrangian emerges which determines the most probable trajectory. Deviations from the probability maximum can be consistently described as slices in time by a Hamiltonian, according to a nonlinear Langevin equation and its associated Fokker-Planck equation. The connections unveiled between the maximization of path entropy and the Langevin/Fokker-Planck equations imply that missing information about the phase space coordinate never decreases in time, a purely information-theoretical version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. All of these results are independent of any physical assumptions, and thus valid for any generalized coordinate as a function of time, or any other parameter. This reinforces the view that the Second Law is a fundamental property of ...

  1. Alkaloids from Pandanus amaryllifolius: Isolation and Their Plausible Biosynthetic Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Yu-Chi; Yu, Meng-Lun; El-Shazly, Mohamed; Beerhues, Ludger; Cheng, Yuan-Bin; Chen, Lei-Chin; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Chen, Hui-Fen; Chung, Yu-Ming; Hou, Ming-Feng; Wu, Yang-Chang; Chang, Fang-Rong

    2015-10-23

    Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. (Pandanaceae) is used as a flavor and in folk medicine in Southeast Asia. The ethanolic crude extract of the aerial parts of P. amaryllifolius exhibited antioxidant, antibiofilm, and anti-inflammatory activities in previous studies. In the current investigation, the purification of the ethanolic extract yielded nine new compounds, including N-acetylnorpandamarilactonines A (1) and B (2); pandalizines A (3) and B (4); pandanmenyamine (5); pandamarilactones 2 (6) and 3 (7), and 5(E)-pandamarilactonine-32 (8); and pandalactonine (9). The isolated alkaloids, with either a γ-alkylidene-α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactone or γ-alkylidene-α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactam system, can be classified into five skeletons including norpandamarilactonine, indolizinone, pandanamine, pandamarilactone, and pandamarilactonine. A plausible biosynthetic route toward 1-5, 7, and 9 is proposed.

  2. Complex Learning in Bio-plausible Memristive Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Lei; Li, Guoqi; Deng, Ning; Wang, Dong; Zhang, Ziyang; He, Wei; Li, Huanglong; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2015-06-19

    The emerging memristor-based neuromorphic engineering promises an efficient computing paradigm. However, the lack of both internal dynamics in the previous feedforward memristive networks and efficient learning algorithms in recurrent networks, fundamentally limits the learning ability of existing systems. In this work, we propose a framework to support complex learning functions by introducing dedicated learning algorithms to a bio-plausible recurrent memristive network with internal dynamics. We fabricate iron oxide memristor-based synapses, with well controllable plasticity and a wide dynamic range of excitatory/inhibitory connection weights, to build the network. To adaptively modify the synaptic weights, the comprehensive recursive least-squares (RLS) learning algorithm is introduced. Based on the proposed framework, the learning of various timing patterns and a complex spatiotemporal pattern of human motor is demonstrated. This work paves a new way to explore the brain-inspired complex learning in neuromorphic systems.

  3. Spontaneous formation and base pairing of plausible prebiotic nucleotides in water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cafferty, Brian J; Fialho, David M; Khanam, Jaheda; Krishnamurthy, Ramanarayanan; Hud, Nicholas V

    2016-04-25

    The RNA World hypothesis presupposes that abiotic reactions originally produced nucleotides, the monomers of RNA and universal constituents of metabolism. However, compatible prebiotic reactions for the synthesis of complementary (that is, base pairing) nucleotides and mechanisms for their mutual selection within a complex chemical environment have not been reported. Here we show that two plausible prebiotic heterocycles, melamine and barbituric acid, form glycosidic linkages with ribose and ribose-5-phosphate in water to produce nucleosides and nucleotides in good yields. Even without purification, these nucleotides base pair in aqueous solution to create linear supramolecular assemblies containing thousands of ordered nucleotides. Nucleotide anomerization and supramolecular assemblies favour the biologically relevant β-anomer form of these ribonucleotides, revealing abiotic mechanisms by which nucleotide structure and configuration could have been originally favoured. These findings indicate that nucleotide formation and selection may have been robust processes on the prebiotic Earth, if other nucleobases preceded those of extant life.

  4. Evaluation and integration of cancer gene classifiers: identification and ranking of plausible drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Tian, Feng; Hu, Zhenjun; DeLisi, Charles

    2015-05-11

    The number of mutated genes in cancer cells is far larger than the number of mutations that drive cancer. The difficulty this creates for identifying relevant alterations has stimulated the development of various computational approaches to distinguishing drivers from bystanders. We develop and apply an ensemble classifier (EC) machine learning method, which integrates 10 classifiers that are publically available, and apply it to breast and ovarian cancer. In particular we find the following: (1) Using both standard and non-standard metrics, EC almost always outperforms single method classifiers, often by wide margins. (2) Of the 50 highest ranked genes for breast (ovarian) cancer, 34 (30) are associated with other cancers in either the OMIM, CGC or NCG database (P plausible. Biological implications are briefly discussed. Source codes and detailed results are available at http://www.visantnet.org/misi/driver_integration.zip.

  5. [Intersubjectivity: Between Explanation and Understanding].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cely Ávila, Flor Emilce

    2014-03-01

    The discussion on explanation and understanding has led to a division in the sciences, based on what is considered to be inherent to each of the domains. The task of the natural sciences would be the explanation, while that of the social sciences would be understanding or interpretation.There is a line of work that currently seeks to overcome the methodological dualism and to propose more interdisciplinary studies, such as the studies on emergence of the mental in the framework of intersubjective relationships. In particular, the concept of intersubjectivity defended by the phenomenology as an embodied practice, is being supported by the results of investigations carried out on the basis of the cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychology. Authors from different roots, such as J. Bruner and S. Gallagher propose considering these types of interdisciplinary collaboration as a possible way to integrate the traditions of the explanation and understanding. The purpose of this paper is to analyze to what extent this collaboration between phenomenology and sciences, particularly on the subject of understanding others and their relevance for the understanding of certain psychopathologies, has allowed to close the gap that had opened in the nineteenth century between these traditions.

  6. An empirical explanation of aperture effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Kyongje; Wojtach, William T; Purves, Dale

    2009-01-06

    The perceived direction of a moving line changes, often markedly, when viewed through an aperture. Although several explanations of this remarkable effect have been proposed, these accounts typically focus on the percepts elicited by a particular type of aperture and offer no biological rationale. Here, we test the hypothesis that to contend with the inherently ambiguous nature of motion stimuli the perceived direction of objects moving behind apertures of different shapes is determined by a wholly empirical strategy of visual processing. An analysis of moving line stimuli generated by objects projected through apertures shows that the directions of motion subjects report in psychophysical testing is accounted for by the frequency of occurrence of the 2D directions of stimuli generated by simulated 3D sources. The completeness of these predictions supports the conclusion that the direction of perceived motion is fully determined by accumulated behavioral experience with sources whose physical motions cannot be conveyed by image sequences as such.

  7. Mapping chemical performance on molecular structures using locally interpretable explanations

    CERN Document Server

    Whitmore, Leanne S; Hudson, Corey M

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we present an application of Locally Interpretable Machine-Agnostic Explanations to 2-D chemical structures. Using this framework we are able to provide a structural interpretation for an existing black-box model for classifying biologically produced fuel compounds with regard to Research Octane Number. This method of "painting" locally interpretable explanations onto 2-D chemical structures replicates the chemical intuition of synthetic chemists, allowing researchers in the field to directly accept, reject, inform and evaluate decisions underlying inscrutably complex quantitative structure-activity relationship models.

  8. CONSORT 2010 explanation and elaboration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moher, David; Hopewell, Sally; Schulz, Kenneth F

    2012-01-01

    that inadequate reporting and design are associated with biased estimates of treatment effects. Such systematic error is seriously damaging to RCTs, which are considered the gold standard for evaluating interventions because of their ability to minimise or avoid bias. A group of scientists and editors developed...... to write or appraise trial reports. A CONSORT explanation and elaboration article was published in 2001 alongside the 2001 version of the CONSORT statement. After an expert meeting in January 2007, the CONSORT statement has been further revised and is published as the CONSORT 2010 Statement. This update...

  9. Inside case-based explanation

    CERN Document Server

    Schank, Roger C; Riesbeck, Christopher K

    2014-01-01

    This book is the third volume in a series that provides a hands-on perspective on the evolving theories associated with Roger Schank and his students. The primary focus of this volume is on constructing explanations. All of the chapters relate to the problem of building computer programs that can develop hypotheses about what might have caused an observed event. Because most researchers in natural language processing don't really want to work on inference, memory, and learning issues, most of their sample text fragments are chosen carefully to de-emphasize the need for non text-related reasoni

  10. Liderazgo preventivo para la universidad. Una experiencia plausible

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Rodríguez Rodríguez

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available El desarrollo del liderazgo, en el ámbito educativo superior, busca soluciones de aplicación inmediata a contextos en que todo líder se desenvuelve, pero se diluye el sustento teórico-práctico en la formación del líder que posibilite entender los procesos intelectivos durante la toma de decisiones. El paradigma de convergencia entre el método antropológico lonerganiano, la comunidad de aprendizaje vygotskiana y una relectura del sistema preventivo salesiano se presentan como propuesta plausible de formación al liderazgo preventivo entre los diversos actores de una comunidad universitaria. Un estudio de caso de la Universidad Salesiana en México empleando un método mixto de investigación, facilita una relectura del liderazgo desde una óptica preventiva como posibilidad de convergencia en un diálogo interdisciplinar. Los resultados teórico-práctico propuestos y examinados se muestran como herramienta útil para evaluar, enriquecer y renovar la teoría sobre el líder y el desarrollo de liderazgo en las universidades frente a una sociedad globalizada.

  11. A perspective on SIDS pathogenesis. The hypotheses: plausibility and evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldwater Paul N

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Several theories of the underlying mechanisms of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS have been proposed. These theories have born relatively narrow beach-head research programs attracting generous research funding sustained for many years at expense to the public purse. This perspective endeavors to critically examine the evidence and bases of these theories and determine their plausibility; and questions whether or not a safe and reasoned hypothesis lies at their foundation. The Opinion sets specific criteria by asking the following questions: 1. Does the hypothesis take into account the key pathological findings in SIDS? 2. Is the hypothesis congruent with the key epidemiological risk factors? 3. Does it link 1 and 2? Falling short of any one of these answers, by inference, would imply insufficient grounds for a sustainable hypothesis. Some of the hypotheses overlap, for instance, notional respiratory failure may encompass apnea, prone sleep position, and asphyxia which may be seen to be linked to co-sleeping. For the purposes of this paper, each element will be assessed on the above criteria.

  12. When interpretation masquerades as explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, D P

    1986-01-01

    The principal goal of the clinical interpretation (and of the larger clinical narrative) is to bring about insight and change in the patient, and not to present a reasoned argument that relies on public data and shared rules of evidence and logic. When the clinical account is transposed to the public domain and presented as a form of explanation, it is no longer designed for the benefit of one individual but must now be accessible to all. We are still under the shadow of Freud's five famous cases which are literary landmarks of exposition and persuasion. As a result, we are less sensitive to what happens when interpretations are substituted for explanations. The time has come to develop a new genre and a new mode of clinical reporting that would allow the reader to participate in the argument, allow him to evaluate the proposed links between evidence and conclusion (instead of relying on the authority of the analyst-author), and open up the clinical report to the possibilities of refutation, disconfirmation, and falsification.

  13. Promoting Scientific Thinking and Conceptual Change about Alternative Explanations of Climate Change and Other Controversial Socio-scientific Topics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, D.; Sinatra, G. M.

    2013-12-01

    Critical evaluation and plausibility reappraisal of scientific explanations have been underemphasized in many science classrooms (NRC, 2012). Deep science learning demands that students increase their ability to critically evaluate the quality of scientific knowledge, weigh alternative explanations, and explicitly reappraise their plausibility judgments. Therefore, this lack of instruction about critical evaluation and plausibility reappraisal has, in part, contributed to diminished understanding about complex and controversial topics, such as global climate change. The Model-Evidence Link (MEL) diagram (originally developed by researchers at Rutgers University under an NSF-supported project; Chinn & Buckland, 2012) is an instructional scaffold that promotes students to critically evaluate alternative explanations. We recently developed a climate change MEL and found that the students who used the MEL experienced a significant shift in their plausibility judgments toward the scientifically accepted model of human-induced climate change. Using the MEL for instruction also resulted in conceptual change about the causes of global warming that reflected greater understanding of fundamental scientific principles. Furthermore, students sustained this conceptual change six months after MEL instruction (Lombardi, Sinatra, & Nussbaum, 2013). This presentation will discuss recent educational research that supports use of the MEL to promote critical evaluation, plausibility reappraisal, and conceptual change, and also, how the MEL may be particularly effective for learning about global climate change and other socio-scientific topics. Such instruction to develop these fundamental thinking skills (e.g., critical evaluation and plausibility reappraisal) is demanded by both the Next Generation Science Standards (Achieve, 2013) and the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics (CCSS Initiative-ELA, 2010; CCSS Initiative-Math, 2010), as well as a

  14. Plausible rice yield losses under future climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chuang; Piao, Shilong; Wang, Xuhui; Huang, Yao; Ciais, Philippe; Elliott, Joshua; Huang, Mengtian; Janssens, Ivan A; Li, Tao; Lian, Xu; Liu, Yongwen; Müller, Christoph; Peng, Shushi; Wang, Tao; Zeng, Zhenzhong; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-12-19

    Rice is the staple food for more than 50% of the world's population(1-3). Reliable prediction of changes in rice yield is thus central for maintaining global food security. This is an extraordinary challenge. Here, we compare the sensitivity of rice yield to temperature increase derived from field warming experiments and three modelling approaches: statistical models, local crop models and global gridded crop models. Field warming experiments produce a substantial rice yield loss under warming, with an average temperature sensitivity of -5.2 ± 1.4% K(-1). Local crop models give a similar sensitivity (-6.3 ± 0.4% K(-1)), but statistical and global gridded crop models both suggest less negative impacts of warming on yields (-0.8 ± 0.3% and -2.4 ± 3.7% K(-1), respectively). Using data from field warming experiments, we further propose a conditional probability approach to constrain the large range of global gridded crop model results for the future yield changes in response to warming by the end of the century (from -1.3% to -9.3% K(-1)). The constraint implies a more negative response to warming (-8.3 ± 1.4% K(-1)) and reduces the spread of the model ensemble by 33%. This yield reduction exceeds that estimated by the International Food Policy Research Institute assessment (-4.2 to -6.4% K(-1)) (ref. 4). Our study suggests that without CO2 fertilization, effective adaptation and genetic improvement, severe rice yield losses are plausible under intensive climate warming scenarios.

  15. Plato on Metaphysical Explanation: Does 'Participating' Mean Nothing?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine J. Thomas

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available According to Aristotle, Plato's efforts at metaphysical explanation not only fail, they are nonsensical. In particular, Plato's appeals to Forms as metaphysically explanatory of the sensibles that participate in them is "empty talk" since "'participating' means nothing" (Met. 992a28-9. I defend Plato against Aristotle's charge by identifying a particular, substantive model of metaphysical predication as the favored model of Plato's late ontology. The model posits two basic metaphysical predication relations: self-predication and participation. In order to understand the participation relation, it is important first to understand how Plato's Forms are self-predicative paradigms. According to the favored model, Forms are self-predicative paradigms insofar as they are ideal, abstract encoders of structural essences. Sensibles participate in Forms by exemplifying the structures encoded in the Forms. Given plausible conditions on metaphysical explanation, Plato's appeals to abstract Forms as metaphysically explanatory of sensibles is a reasonable competitor for Aristotle's appeals to natural, substantial forms. At the very least, Plato's appeals to a participation relation are not empty.

  16. Changing beliefs about implausible autobiographical events: a little plausibility goes a long way.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoni, G A; Loftus, E F; Kirsch, I

    2001-03-01

    Three experiments investigated the malleability of perceived plausibility and the subjective likelihood of occurrence of plausible and implausible events among participants who had no recollection of experiencing them. In Experiment 1, a plausibility-enhancing manipulation (reading accounts of the occurrence of events) combined with a personalized suggestion increased the perceived plausibility of the implausible event, as well as participants' ratings of the likelihood that they had experienced it. Plausibility and likelihood ratings were uncorrelated. Subsequent studies showed that the plausibility manipulation alone was sufficient to increase likelihood ratings but only if the accounts that participants read were set in a contemporary context. These data suggest that false autobiographical beliefs can be induced in clinical and forensic contexts even for initially implausible events.

  17. SPIRIT 2013 explanation and elaboration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chan, An-Wen; Tetzlaff, Jennifer M; Gøtzsche, Peter C

    2013-01-01

    (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials). The SPIRIT Statement provides guidance in the form of a checklist of recommended items to include in a clinical trial protocol. This SPIRIT 2013 Explanation and Elaboration paper provides important information to promote full......High quality protocols facilitate proper conduct, reporting, and external review of clinical trials. However, the completeness of trial protocols is often inadequate. To help improve the content and quality of protocols, an international group of stakeholders developed the SPIRIT 2013 Statement...... understanding of the checklist recommendations. For each checklist item, we provide a rationale and detailed description; a model example from an actual protocol; and relevant references supporting its importance. We strongly recommend that this explanatory paper be used in conjunction with the SPIRIT Statement...

  18. An analog implementation of biologically plausible neurons using CCII building blocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharifipoor, Ozra; Ahmadi, Arash

    2012-12-01

    This study presents an analog implementation of the spiking neurons based on a piecewise-linear model. This model is a variation of the Izhikevich model, which is capable of reproducing different dynamic behaviors. The proposed circuit utilizes second generation current conveyors (CCII) building blocks. With the same topology and circuit values, this circuit can produce a wide variety of neuron behaviors just by tuning the reference current and voltage sources. In addition, since CCII can be considered as a building block for programmable analog arrays, based on the proposed circuit different neuron types can be implemented on programmable analog platforms. Simulation results are presented for different neuron behaviors with CMOS 350 nm ±1.5 V technology using HSPICE. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Detection of Low-order Curves in Images using Biologically-plausible Hardware

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-29

    saveacc(struct param *); void clparse(int ,char *[],struct clp *); void zap (IFSIMG); void zapacc(float **,struct param *); void clparse(int,char *[],struct...int HighPassFilter(struct param *p,int iteration) { void zap (IFSIMG); int ifnullimage(IFSIMG,float); switch...iteration) 87 { case 1: zap (p->y); zap (p->xnm1);flcp(p->retina,p->xn); // initialization return 0; break; case 2: flcp(p->xn,p->y); flcp(p->xn,p->xnm1

  20. Decision-theoretic saliency: computational principles, biological plausibility, and implications for neurophysiology and psychophysics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Dashan; Vasconcelos, Nuno

    2009-01-01

    A decision-theoretic formulation of visual saliency, first proposed for top-down processing (object recognition) (Gao & Vasconcelos, 2005a), is extended to the problem of bottom-up saliency. Under this formulation, optimality is defined in the minimum probability of error sense, under a constraint of computational parsimony. The saliency of the visual features at a given location of the visual field is defined as the power of those features to discriminate between the stimulus at the location and a null hypothesis. For bottom-up saliency, this is the set of visual features that surround the location under consideration. Discrimination is defined in an information-theoretic sense and the optimal saliency detector derived for a class of stimuli that complies with known statistical properties of natural images. It is shown that under the assumption that saliency is driven by linear filtering, the optimal detector consists of what is usually referred to as the standard architecture of V1: a cascade of linear filtering, divisive normalization, rectification, and spatial pooling. The optimal detector is also shown to replicate the fundamental properties of the psychophysics of saliency: stimulus pop-out, saliency asymmetries for stimulus presence versus absence, disregard of feature conjunctions, and Weber's law. Finally, it is shown that the optimal saliency architecture can be applied to the solution of generic inference problems. In particular, for the class of stimuli studied, it performs the three fundamental operations of statistical inference: assessment of probabilities, implementation of Bayes decision rule, and feature selection.

  1. Protein Intake and Muscle Health in Old Age: From Biological Plausibility to Clinical Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Landi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The provision of sufficient amounts of dietary proteins is central to muscle health as it ensures the supply of essential amino acids and stimulates protein synthesis. Older persons, in particular, are at high risk of insufficient protein ingestion. Furthermore, the current recommended dietary allowance for protein (0.8 g/kg/day might be inadequate for maintaining muscle health in older adults, probably as a consequence of “anabolic resistance” in aged muscle. Older individuals therefore need to ingest a greater quantity of protein to maintain muscle function. The quality of protein ingested is also essential to promoting muscle health. Given the role of leucine as the master dietary regulator of muscle protein turnover, the ingestion of protein sources enriched with this essential amino acid, or its metabolite β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, is thought to offer the greatest benefit in terms of preservation of muscle mass and function in old age.

  2. Warfarin and acetaminophen interaction: a summary of the evidence and biologic plausibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Renato D; Horowitz, John D; Garcia, David A; Crowther, Mark A; Hylek, Elaine M

    2011-12-08

    Ms TS is a 66-year-old woman who receives warfarin for prevention of systemic embolization in the setting of hypertension, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation. She had a transient ischemic attack about 4 years ago when she was receiving aspirin. Her INR control was excellent; however, over the past few months it has become erratic, and her average dose required to maintain an INR of 2.0 to 3.0 appears to have decreased. She has had back pain over this same period and has been taking acetaminophen at doses at large as 650 mg four times daily, with her dose varying based on her symptoms. You recall a potential interaction and wonder if (1) her acetaminophen use is contributing to her loss of INR control, and (2) does this interaction place her at increased risk of warfarin-related complications?

  3. On the Biological Plausibility of Grandmother Cells: Implications for Neural Network Theories in Psychology and Neuroscience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Jeffrey S.

    2009-01-01

    A fundamental claim associated with parallel distributed processing (PDP) theories of cognition is that knowledge is coded in a distributed manner in mind and brain. This approach rejects the claim that knowledge is coded in a localist fashion, with words, objects, and simple concepts (e.g. "dog"), that is, coded with their own dedicated…

  4. The Processing of Biologically Plausible and Implausible forms in American Sign Language: Evidence for Perceptual Tuning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

    The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language (ASL) signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality.

  5. A biologically plausible mechanism for neuronal coding organized by the phase of alpha oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gips, Bart; van der Eerden, Jan P J M; Jensen, Ole

    2016-08-01

    The visual system receives a wealth of sensory information of which only little is relevant for behaviour. We present a mechanism in which alpha oscillations serve to prioritize different components of visual information. By way of simulated neuronal networks, we show that inhibitory modulation in the alpha range (~ 10 Hz) can serve to temporally segment the visual information to prevent information overload. Coupled excitatory and inhibitory neurons generate a gamma rhythm in which information is segmented and sorted according to excitability in each alpha cycle. Further details are coded by distributed neuronal firing patterns within each gamma cycle. The network model produces coupling between alpha phase and gamma (40-100 Hz) amplitude in the simulated local field potential similar to that observed experimentally in human and animal recordings.

  6. Towards biological plausibility of electronic noses: A spiking neural network based approach for tea odour classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Sankho Turjo; Bhondekar, Amol P; Macaš, Martin; Kumar, Ritesh; Kaur, Rishemjit; Sharma, Anupma; Gulati, Ashu; Kumar, Amod

    2015-11-01

    The paper presents a novel encoding scheme for neuronal code generation for odour recognition using an electronic nose (EN). This scheme is based on channel encoding using multiple Gaussian receptive fields superimposed over the temporal EN responses. The encoded data is further applied to a spiking neural network (SNN) for pattern classification. Two forms of SNN, a back-propagation based SpikeProp and a dynamic evolving SNN are used to learn the encoded responses. The effects of information encoding on the performance of SNNs have been investigated. Statistical tests have been performed to determine the contribution of the SNN and the encoding scheme to overall odour discrimination. The approach has been implemented in odour classification of orthodox black tea (Kangra-Himachal Pradesh Region) thereby demonstrating a biomimetic approach for EN data analysis.

  7. Model-based explanation of plant knowledge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huuskonen, P.J. [VTT Electronics, Oulu (Finland). Embedded Software

    1997-12-31

    This thesis deals with computer explanation of knowledge related to design and operation of industrial plants. The needs for explanation are motivated through case studies and literature reviews. A general framework for analysing plant explanations is presented. Prototypes demonstrate key mechanisms for implementing parts of the framework. Power plants, steel mills, paper factories, and high energy physics control systems are studied to set requirements for explanation. The main problems are seen to be either lack or abundance of information. Design knowledge in particular is found missing at plants. Support systems and automation should be enhanced with ways to explain plant knowledge to the plant staff. A framework is formulated for analysing explanations of plant knowledge. It consists of three parts: 1. a typology of explanation, organised by the class of knowledge (factual, functional, or strategic) and by the target of explanation (processes, automation, or support systems), 2. an identification of explanation tasks generic for the plant domain, and 3. an identification of essential model types for explanation (structural, behavioural, functional, and teleological). The tasks use the models to create the explanations of the given classes. Key mechanisms are discussed to implement the generic explanation tasks. Knowledge representations based on objects and their relations form a vocabulary to model and present plant knowledge. A particular class of models, means-end models, are used to explain plant knowledge. Explanations are generated through searches in the models. Hypertext is adopted to communicate explanations over dialogue based on context. The results are demonstrated in prototypes. The VICE prototype explains the reasoning of an expert system for diagnosis of rotating machines at power plants. The Justifier prototype explains design knowledge obtained from an object-oriented plant design tool. Enhanced access mechanisms into on-line documentation are

  8. Mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Murray, James D

    1993-01-01

    The book is a textbook (with many exercises) giving an in-depth account of the practical use of mathematical modelling in the biomedical sciences. The mathematical level required is generally not high and the emphasis is on what is required to solve the real biological problem. The subject matter is drawn, e.g. from population biology, reaction kinetics, biological oscillators and switches, Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction, reaction-diffusion theory, biological wave phenomena, central pattern generators, neural models, spread of epidemics, mechanochemical theory of biological pattern formation and importance in evolution. Most of the models are based on real biological problems and the predictions and explanations offered as a direct result of mathematical analysis of the models are important aspects of the book. The aim is to provide a thorough training in practical mathematical biology and to show how exciting and novel mathematical challenges arise from a genuine interdisciplinary involvement with the biosci...

  9. Kindergarten students' explanations during science learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Karleah

    The study examines kindergarten students' explanations during science learning. The data on children's explanations are drawn from videotaped and transcribed discourse collected from four public kindergarten science classrooms engaged in a life science inquiry unit on the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. The inquiry unit was implemented as part of a larger intervention conducted as part of the Scientific Literacy Project or SLP (Mantzicopoulos, Patrick & Samarapungavan, 2005). The children's explanation data were coded and analyzed using quantitative content analysis procedures. The coding procedures involved initial "top down" explanation categories derived from the existing theoretical and empirical literature on scientific explanation and the nature of students' explanations, followed by an inductive or "bottom up" analysis, that evaluated and refined the categorization scheme as needed. The analyses provide important descriptive data on the nature and frequency of children's explanations generated in classroom discourse during the inquiry unit. The study also examines how teacher discourse strategies during classroom science discourse are related to children's explanations. Teacher discourse strategies were coded and analyzed following the same procedures as the children's explanations as noted above. The results suggest that, a) kindergarten students have the capability of generating a variety of explanations during inquiry-based science learning; b) teachers use a variety of classroom discourse strategies to support children's explanations during inquiry-based science learning; and c) The conceptual discourse (e.g., asking for or modeling explanations, asking for clarifications) to non-conceptual discourse (e.g., classroom management discourse) is related to the ratio of explanatory to non-explanatory discourse produced by children during inquiry-based science learning.

  10. Diagnosis and causal explanation in psychiatry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maung, Hane Htut

    2016-12-01

    In clinical medicine, a diagnosis can offer an explanation of a patient's symptoms by specifying the pathology that is causing them. Diagnoses in psychiatry are also sometimes presented in clinical texts as if they pick out pathological processes that cause sets of symptoms. However, current evidence suggests the possibility that many diagnostic categories in psychiatry are highly causally heterogeneous. For example, major depressive disorder may not be associated with a single type of underlying pathological process, but with a range of different causal pathways, each involving complex interactions of various biological, psychological, and social factors. This paper explores the implications of causal heterogeneity for whether psychiatric diagnoses can be said to serve causal explanatory roles in clinical practice. I argue that while they may fall short of picking out a specific cause of the patient's symptoms, they can nonetheless supply different sorts of clinically relevant causal information. In particular, I suggest that some psychiatric diagnoses provide negative information that rules out certain causes, some provide approximate or disjunctive information about the range of possible causal processes, and some provide causal information about the relations between the symptoms themselves.

  11. The directionality of distinctively mathematical explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craver, Carl F; Povich, Mark

    2017-06-01

    In "What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?" (2013b), Lange uses several compelling examples to argue that certain explanations for natural phenomena appeal primarily to mathematical, rather than natural, facts. In such explanations, the core explanatory facts are modally stronger than facts about causation, regularity, and other natural relations. We show that Lange's account of distinctively mathematical explanation is flawed in that it fails to account for the implicit directionality in each of his examples. This inadequacy is remediable in each case by appeal to ontic facts that account for why the explanation is acceptable in one direction and unacceptable in the other direction. The mathematics involved in these examples cannot play this crucial normative role. While Lange's examples fail to demonstrate the existence of distinctively mathematical explanations, they help to emphasize that many superficially natural scientific explanations rely for their explanatory force on relations of stronger-than-natural necessity. These are not opposing kinds of scientific explanations; they are different aspects of scientific explanation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A simple biophysically plausible model for long time constants in single neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiganj, Zoran; Hasselmo, Michael E; Howard, Marc W

    2015-01-01

    Recent work in computational neuroscience and cognitive psychology suggests that a set of cells that decay exponentially could be used to support memory for the time at which events took place. Analytically and through simulations on a biophysical model of an individual neuron, we demonstrate that exponentially decaying firing with a range of time constants up to minutes could be implemented using a simple combination of well-known neural mechanisms. In particular, we consider firing supported by calcium-controlled cation current. When the amount of calcium leaving the cell during an interspike interval is larger than the calcium influx during a spike, the overall decay in calcium concentration can be exponential, resulting in exponential decay of the firing rate. The time constant of the decay can be several orders of magnitude larger than the time constant of calcium clearance, and it could be controlled externally via a variety of biologically plausible ways. The ability to flexibly and rapidly control time constants could enable working memory of temporal history to be generalized to other variables in computing spatial and ordinal representations.

  13. Experimental Philosophy of Explanation Rising: The Case for a Plurality of Concepts of Explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Matteo

    2017-03-01

    This paper brings together results from the philosophy and the psychology of explanation to argue that there are multiple concepts of explanation in human psychology. Specifically, it is shown that pluralism about explanation coheres with the multiplicity of models of explanation available in the philosophy of science, and it is supported by evidence from the psychology of explanatory judgment. Focusing on the case of a norm of explanatory power, the paper concludes by responding to the worry that if there is a plurality of concepts of explanation, one will not be able to normatively evaluate what counts as good explanation. Copyright © 2016 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  14. Extending explanation-based learning by generalizing the structure of explanations

    CERN Document Server

    Shavlik, Jude W

    1990-01-01

    Extending Explanation-Based Learning by Generalizing the Structure of Explanations presents several fully-implemented computer systems that reflect theories of how to extend an interesting subfield of machine learning called explanation-based learning.This book discusses the need for generalizing explanation structures, relevance to research areas outside machine learning, and schema-based problem solving. The result of standard explanation-based learning, BAGGER generalization algorithm, and empirical analysis of explanation-based learning are also elaborated. This text likewise covers the ef

  15. Kinds and problems of geomorphological explanation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Nicholas J.

    2007-07-01

    What characterises satisfactory explanations in geomorphology is a key methodological question deserving continued analysis. In turn it raises the issue of the role played by methodology within the science. At its best, methodology can provide helpful distinctions, identify key issues and yield guidance for researchers. The substantive context for debates on explanation is the apparent complexity and difficulty of geomorphology as a science, which is arguably no greater than that of other Earth or environmental sciences. The logical view of explanation dominant in the 1950s and 1960s still has value, but a broader view is needed of explanations, related to the questions geomorphologists (and others) ask and to the answers that they find interesting. Answers may be sought in terms of purpose, history, mechanisms and statistics. Arguments over what is supposed to be reductionism can be clarified by underlining that both micro- and macro-explanations may be helpful. Although many geomorphologists aspire to mechanistic explanations, they often stop short at statistical explanations, making use of convenient functional forms such as power laws. Explanations have both social and psychological dimensions, the former much stressed in history of science and recent science studies, the latter deserving greater emphasis at present. Complicated models raise the question of how far it can be said that geomorphologists understand them in totality. A bestiary of poor explanations is needed, so that geomorphologists are not seduced by weak arguments and because they often serve as steps towards better explanations. Circular arguments, ad hoc explanations, and mistaking the name of the problem for the solution are cases in point.

  16. No convincing evidence for a biological preparedness explanation of phobias

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Peter; Merckelbach, H

    1997-01-01

    The nonrandom distribution of fears is not as clearly related to phylogenetically survival relevance as preparedness theory seems to imply. Although delayed extinction reflects some of the best human evidence for preparedness, even this phenomenon is not as robust as it once seemed to be. Apart from

  17. On Durkheim's Explanation of Division of Labor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueschemeyer, Dietrich

    1982-01-01

    In De la Division du Travail Social, Durkheim's causal explanation for secular increases in the division of labor and the differentiation of social structure is flawed. His metatheoretical concerns expressed in the critique of utilitarian social theory flawed his contributions to a causal explanation of social differentiation. (Author/AM)

  18. Explanation for the Mystical Practice II.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Květoslav Minařík

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the issue of concentration in spirituality, discusses its significance and methodology. A special emphasis is put on explanation of concentration on feet and legs in terms of its sense and effects. The current article is a continuation of the article Explanation for the Mystical Practice I published in the 2015 Fall edition of The Spirituality Studies Journal.

  19. The Contextualist Basis of Scientific Explanation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Guichun

    2014-03-01

    From perspectives of contextual structure, elements and features, this paper analyses the contextualist basis of scientific explanation. It is articulated that contextual analysis specifies the boundary conditions of syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics, clarifies the essence and value-orientation, constructs a conversational platform, and unveils the progress condition and historical continuity of scientific explanation.

  20. Age and the explanation of crime, revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeten, Gary; Piquero, Alex R; Steinberg, Laurence

    2013-06-01

    Age is one of the most robust correlates of criminal behavior. Yet, explanations for this relationship are varied and conflicting. Developmental theories point to a multitude of sociological, psychological, and biological changes that occur during adolescence and adulthood. One prominent criminological perspective outlined by Gottfredson and Hirschi claims that age has a direct effect on crime, inexplicable from sociological and psychological variables. Despite the attention this claim has received, few direct empirical tests of it have been conducted. We use data from Pathways to Desistance, a longitudinal study of over 1,300 serious youthful offenders (85.8% male, 40.1% African-American, 34.3% Hispanic, 21.0% White), to test this claim. On average, youths were 16.5 years old at the initial interview and were followed for 7 years. We use multilevel longitudinal models to assess the extent to which the direct effects of age are reduced to statistical and substantive non-significance when constructs from a wide range of developmental and criminological theories are controlled. Unlike previous studies, we are able to control for changes across numerous realms emphasized within differing theoretical perspectives including social control (e.g., employment and marriage), procedural justice (e.g., perceptions of the legitimacy and fairness of the legal system), learning (e.g., gang membership and exposure to antisocial peers), strain (e.g., victimization and relationship breakup), psychosocial maturity (e.g., impulse control, self-regulation and moral disengagement), and rational choice (e.g., costs and rewards of crime). Assessed separately, these perspectives explain anywhere from 3% (procedural justice) to 49% (social learning) of the age-crime relationship. Together, changes in these constructs explain 69% of the drop in crime from ages 15 to 25. We conclude that the relationship between age and crime in adolescence and early adulthood is largely explainable, though

  1. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence From Word Segmentation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's cognitive plausibility...

  2. Choosing diverse sets of plausible scenarios in multidimensional exploratory futures techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, Steven; Helfgott, Ariella; Vervoort, Joost M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Morphological analysis allows any number of dimensions to be retained when framing future conditions, and techniques within morphological analysis determine which combinations of those dimensions represent plausible futures. However, even a relatively low number of dimensions in future cond

  3. Synchrotron Radiation Provides a Plausible Explanation for the Generation of a Free Radical Adduct of Thioxolone in Mutant Carbonic Anhydrase II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sippel, Katherine H; Genis, Caroli; Govindasamy, Lakshmanan; Agbandje-McKenna, Mavis; Kiddle, James J; Tripp, Brian C; McKenna, Robert

    2010-10-07

    Thioxolone acts as a prodrug in the presence of carbonic anhydrase II (CA II), whereby the molecule is cleaved by thioester hydrolysis to the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, 4-mercaptobenzene-1,3-diol (TH0). Thioxolone was soaked into the proton transfer mutant H64A of CA II in an effort to capture a reaction intermediate via X-ray crystallography. Structure determination of the 1.2 Å resolution data revealed the TH0 had been modified to a 4,4'-disulfanediyldibenzene-1,3-diol, a product of crystallization conditions, and a zinc ligated 2,4-dihydroxybenzenesulfenic acid, most likely induced by radiation damage. Neither ligand was likely a result of an enzymatic mechanism.

  4. Acceptance of evolutionary explanations as they are applied to plants, animals, and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thanukos, Anastasia

    In four investigations using Likert-scale questionnaires and think-aloud protocols with 173 university students in total, the willingness to accept evolutionary explanations regarding plant, animal, and human characteristics was examined. Participants were presented with evolutionary explanations for features and behaviors and were asked to rate how much they agreed with evolution as an explanation for each scenario. Some were also asked to explain their reasoning in think-aloud protocols or to discuss item ratings with one another. Overall, participants thought evolutionary explanations appropriate, with median ratings in the upper quarter of the rating scale. They were slightly more willing to ascribe evolutionary explanations to plant than to human phenomena; however, this general effect was mediated by more specific aspects of the evolutionary scenarios in question. Participants who were generally negative regarding evolution were particularly negative towards human evolution. Those who were positive or neutral towards evolution in general were more willing to accept human evolution, but were more likely to use evolution to explain similarities between humans and other species than to explain particular human adaptations. For example, they were more likely to agree that evolution is responsible for the DNA similarities between humans and chimpanzees than that evolution is responsible for human behavioral characteristics, such as the fight or flight response. Think-aloud protocols suggest that, while people are more familiar with human evolutionary relationships than plant evolutionary relationships, they may be less likely to see human characteristics as adaptively valuable. One plausible explanation for these patterns is that an evolutionary explanation is judged jointly by its availability in an individual's memory and its plausibility (i.e., its congruence with the individual's worldview). Popular media coverage, with its focus on controversy and litigation

  5. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence From Word Segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-11-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's cognitive plausibility. We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition model can aim to be cognitively plausible in multiple ways. We discuss these cognitive plausibility checkpoints generally and then apply them to a case study in word segmentation, investigating a promising Bayesian segmentation strategy. We incorporate cognitive plausibility by using an age-appropriate unit of perceptual representation, evaluating the model output in terms of its utility, and incorporating cognitive constraints into the inference process. Our more cognitively plausible model shows a beneficial effect of cognitive constraints on segmentation performance. One interpretation of this effect is as a synergy between the naive theories of language structure that infants may have and the cognitive constraints that limit the fidelity of their inference processes, where less accurate inference approximations are better when the underlying assumptions about how words are generated are less accurate. More generally, these results highlight the utility of incorporating cognitive plausibility more fully into computational models of language acquisition.

  6. Learning the Language of Evolution: Lexical Ambiguity and Word Meaning in Student Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rector, Meghan A.; Nehm, Ross H.; Pearl, Dennis

    2013-06-01

    Our study investigates the challenges introduced by students' use of lexically ambiguous language in evolutionary explanations. Specifically, we examined students' meaning of five key terms incorporated into their written evolutionary explanations: pressure, select, adapt, need, and must. We utilized a new technological tool known as the Assessment Cascade System (ACS) to investigate the frequency with which biology majors spontaneously used lexically ambiguous language in evolutionary explanations, as well as their definitions and explanations of what they meant when they used such terms. Three categories of language were identified and examined in this study: terms with Dual Ambiguity, Incompatible Ambiguity, and Unintended Ambiguity. In the sample of 1282 initial evolutionary explanations, 81 % of students spontaneously incorporated lexically ambiguous language at least once. Furthermore, the majority of these initial responses were judged to be inaccurate from a scientific point of view. While not significantly related to gender, age, or reading/writing ability, students' use of contextually appropriate evolutionary language ( pressure and adapt) was significantly associated with academic performance in biology. Comparisons of initial responses to follow-up responses demonstrated that the majority of student explanations were not reinterpreted after consideration of the follow-up response; nevertheless, a sizeable minority was interpreted differently. Most cases of interpretation change were a consequence of resolving initially ambiguous responses, rather than a change of accuracy, resulting in an increased understanding of students' evolutionary explanations. We discuss a series of implications of lexical ambiguity for evolution education.

  7. Bio-physically plausible visualization of highly scattering fluorescent neocortical models for in silico experimentation

    KAUST Repository

    Abdellah, Marwan

    2017-02-15

    Background We present a visualization pipeline capable of accurate rendering of highly scattering fluorescent neocortical neuronal models. The pipeline is mainly developed to serve the computational neurobiology community. It allows the scientists to visualize the results of their virtual experiments that are performed in computer simulations, or in silico. The impact of the presented pipeline opens novel avenues for assisting the neuroscientists to build biologically accurate models of the brain. These models result from computer simulations of physical experiments that use fluorescence imaging to understand the structural and functional aspects of the brain. Due to the limited capabilities of the current visualization workflows to handle fluorescent volumetric datasets, we propose a physically-based optical model that can accurately simulate light interaction with fluorescent-tagged scattering media based on the basic principles of geometric optics and Monte Carlo path tracing. We also develop an automated and efficient framework for generating dense fluorescent tissue blocks from a neocortical column model that is composed of approximately 31000 neurons. Results Our pipeline is used to visualize a virtual fluorescent tissue block of 50 μm3 that is reconstructed from the somatosensory cortex of juvenile rat. The fluorescence optical model is qualitatively analyzed and validated against experimental emission spectra of different fluorescent dyes from the Alexa Fluor family. Conclusion We discussed a scientific visualization pipeline for creating images of synthetic neocortical neuronal models that are tagged virtually with fluorescent labels on a physically-plausible basis. The pipeline is applied to analyze and validate simulation data generated from neuroscientific in silico experiments.

  8. Using critical evaluation to reappraise plausibility judgments: A critical cognitive component of conceptual change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, D.

    2011-12-01

    Plausibility judgments-although well represented in conceptual change theories (see, for example, Chi, 2005; diSessa, 1993; Dole & Sinatra, 1998; Posner et al., 1982)-have received little empirical attention until our recent work investigating teachers' and students' understanding of and perceptions about human-induced climate change (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010, 2011). In our first study with undergraduate students, we found that greater plausibility perceptions of human-induced climate accounted for significantly greater understanding of weather and climate distinctions after instruction, even after accounting for students' prior knowledge (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010). In a follow-up study with inservice science and preservice elementary teachers, we showed that anger about the topic of climate change and teaching about climate change was significantly related to implausible perceptions about human-induced climate change (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2011). Results from our recent studies helped to inform our development of a model of the role of plausibility judgments in conceptual change situations. The model applies to situations involving cognitive dissonance, where background knowledge conflicts with an incoming message. In such situations, we define plausibility as a judgment on the relative potential truthfulness of incoming information compared to one's existing mental representations (Rescher, 1976). Students may not consciously think when making plausibility judgments, expending only minimal mental effort in what is referred to as an automatic cognitive process (Stanovich, 2009). However, well-designed instruction could facilitate students' reappraisal of plausibility judgments in more effortful and conscious cognitive processing. Critical evaluation specifically may be one effective method to promote plausibility reappraisal in a classroom setting (Lombardi & Sinatra, in progress). In science education, critical evaluation involves the analysis of how evidentiary

  9. Axis: Generating Explanations at Scale with Learnersourcing and Machine Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joseph Jay; Kim, Juho; Rafferty, Anna; Heffernan, Neil; Maldonado, Samuel; Gajos, Krzysztof Z.; Lasecki, Walter S.; Heffernan, Neil

    2016-01-01

    While explanations may help people learn by providing information about why an answer is correct, many problems on online platforms lack high-quality explanations. This paper presents AXIS (Adaptive eXplanation Improvement System), a system for obtaining explanations. AXIS asks learners to generate, revise, and evaluate explanations as they solve…

  10. Exploring apposite therapeutic target for apoptosis in filarial parasite: a plausible hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hande, Sneha; Goswami, Kalyan; Jena, Lingaraj; Reddy, Maryada Venkata Rami

    2014-03-01

    Human lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease with profound socioeconomic encumbrance owing to its associated disability, affecting predominantly but not limited to the developing nations of tropics and subtropics. There are several technical issues like poor therapeutic and preventive repertoire as well as administrative and infrastructural limitations which jeopardize the salvage measures and further complicate the plight. Therefore, considering the gravity of the problem, WHO has mandated (under tropical disease research scheme) for placing emphasis on validation of novel therapeutic targets against this disease with the unfortunate tag of 'neglected tropical disease'. However, dearth of knowledge of parasite biology viciously coupled with difficulty of access to parasitic material from suitable animal model along with growing cost burden of high end research poses formidable challenge. Based on the recent research evidences, here we propose a premise with targeted apoptotic impact as a novel rationale to be exploited towards anti-parasitic drug development. The new era of bioinformatics ushers in new optimism with a wide range of genomic and proteomic database in public domain. Such platform might offer wonders for drug research, but needs highly selective criterion specificity. In order to test our hypothesis presumptively, we deployed a scheme for identification of target proteins from filarial parasitic origin through wide database search with precise criteria of non-homology against the host along with functional essentiality for the parasite. Further screening for proteins with growth potential from such list of essential non-homologous proteins was undertaken to mine out suitable representative target for ensuing apoptotic impact though effective inhibitors. A unique protein enzyme, RNA dependent RNA polymerase, which besides its vital role in RNA virus is believed to have regulatory role in gene expression, emerged as a plausible target. This protein

  11. What was historical about natural history? Contingency and explanation in the science of living things.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Peter

    2016-08-01

    There is a long-standing distinction in Western thought between scientific and historical modes of explanation. According to Aristotle's influential account of scientific knowledge there cannot be an explanatory science of what is contingent and accidental, such things being the purview of a descriptive history. This distinction between scientia and historia continued to inform assumptions about scientific explanation into the nineteenth century and is particularly significant when considering the emergence of biology and its displacement of the more traditional discipline of natural history. One of the consequences of this nineteenth-century transition was that while modern evolutionary theory retained significant, if often implicit, historical components, these were often overlooked as evolutionary biology sought to accommodate itself to a model of scientific explanation that involved appeals to laws of nature. These scientific aspirations of evolutionary biology sometimes sit uncomfortably with its historical dimension. This tension lies beneath recent philosophical critiques of evolutionary theory and its modes of explanation. Such critiques, however, overlook the fact that there are legitimate modes of historical explanation that do not require recourse to laws of nature. But responding to these criticisms calls for a more explicit recognition of the affinities between evolutionary biology and history.

  12. Stereotyping to infer group membership creates plausible deniability for prejudice-based aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, William T L; Devine, Patricia G

    2014-02-01

    In the present study, participants administered painful electric shocks to an unseen male opponent who was either explicitly labeled as gay or stereotypically implied to be gay. Identifying the opponent with a gay-stereotypic attribute produced a situation in which the target's group status was privately inferred but plausibly deniable to others. To test the plausible deniability hypothesis, we examined aggression levels as a function of internal (personal) and external (social) motivation to respond without prejudice. Whether plausible deniability was present or absent, participants high in internal motivation aggressed at low levels, and participants low in both internal and external motivation aggressed at high levels. The behavior of participants low in internal and high in external motivation, however, depended on experimental condition. They aggressed at low levels when observers could plausibly attribute their behavior to prejudice and aggressed at high levels when the situation granted plausible deniability. This work has implications for both obstacles to and potential avenues for prejudice-reduction efforts.

  13. Why can pulmonary vein stenoses created by radiofrequency catheter ablation worsen during and after follow-up ? A potential explanation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorsaz Pierre-André

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Radiofrequency catheter ablation of excitation foci inside pulmonary veins (PV generates stenoses that can become quite severe during or after the follow-up period. Since severe PV stenoses have most often disastrous consequences, it would be important to know the underlying mechanism of this temporal evolution. The present study proposes a potential explanation based on mechanical considerations. Methods we have used a mathematical-physical model to examine the cyclic increase in axial wall stress induced in the proximal (= upstream, non-stenosed segment of a stenosed pulmonary vein during the forward flow phases. In a representative example, the value of this increase at peak flow was calculated for diameter stenoses (DS ranging from 1 to 99%. Results The increase becomes appreciable at a DS of roughly 30% and rise then strongly with further increasing DS value. At high DS values (e.g. > 90% the increase is approximately twice the value of the axial stress present in the PV during the zero-flow phase. Conclusion Since abnormal wall stresses are known to induce damages and abnormal biological processes (e.g., endothelium tears, elastic membrane fragmentations, matrix secretion, myofibroblast generation, etc in the vessel wall, it seems plausible that the supplementary axial stress experienced cyclically by the stenotic and the proximal segments of the PV is responsible for the often observed progressive reduction of the vessel lumen after healing of the ablation injury. In the light of this model, the only potentially effective therapy in these cases would be to reduce the DS as strongly as possible. This implies most probably stenting or surgery.

  14. Examining elementary teachers' knowledge and instruction of scientific explanations for fostering children's explanations in science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebke, Heidi Lynn

    This study employed an embedded mixed methods multi-case study design (Creswell, 2014) with six early childhood (grades K-2) teachers to examine a) what changes occurred to their subject matter knowledge (SMK) and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching scientific explanations while participating in a professional development program, b) how they planned for and implemented scientific explanation instruction within a teacher developed unit on properties of matter, and c) what affordances their instruction of scientific explanations had on fostering their students' abilities to generate explanations in science. Several quantitative and qualitative measures were collected and analyzed in accordance to this studies conceptual framework, which consisted of ten instructional practices teachers should consider assimilating or accommodating into their knowledge base (i.e., SMK & PCK) for teaching scientific explanations. Results of this study indicate there was little to no positive change in the teachers' substantive and syntactic SMK. However, all six teachers did make significant changes to all five components of their PCK for teaching explanations in science. While planning for scientific explanation instruction, all six teachers' contributed some ideas for how to incorporate seven of the ten instructional practices for scientific explanations within the properties of matter unit they co-developed. When enacting the unit, the six teachers' employed seven to nine of the instructional practices to varying levels of effectiveness, as measured by researcher developed rubrics. Given the six teachers' scientific explanation instruction, many students did show improvement in their ability to formulate a scientific explanation, particularly their ability to provide multiple pieces of evidence. Implications for professional developers, teacher educators, researchers, policy makers, and elementary teachers regarding how to prepare teachers for and support students

  15. Biology Library Workbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Constance; And Others

    A library skills workbook provides college biology students with an introduction to biological library resources. Divided into two sections, the first contains explanations of the various steps in the library research process. The second consists of exercises keyed to the explanatory chapters of the first section. (RAA)

  16. Don't Plan for the Unexpected: Planning Based on Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; Jensen, Martin Holm

    2015-01-01

    We present a framework for automated planning based on plausibility models, as well as algorithms for computing plans in this framework. Our plausibility models include postconditions, as ontic effects are essential for most planning purposes. The framework presented extends a previously developed...... framework based on dynamic epistemic logic (DEL), without plausibilities/beliefs. In the pure epistemic framework, one can distinguish between strong and weak epistemic plans for achieving some, possibly epistemic, goal. By taking all possible outcomes of actions into account, a strong plan guarantees...... that the agent achieves this goal. Conversely, a weak plan promises only the possibility of leading to the goal. In real-life planning scenarios where the planning agent is faced with a high degree of uncertainty and an almost endless number of possible exogenous events, strong epistemic planning...

  17. Inference and Plausible Reasoning in a Natural Language Understanding System Based on Object-Oriented Semantics

    CERN Document Server

    Ostapov, Yuriy

    2012-01-01

    Algorithms of inference in a computer system oriented to input and semantic processing of text information are presented. Such inference is necessary for logical questions when the direct comparison of objects from a question and database can not give a result. The following classes of problems are considered: a check of hypotheses for persons and non-typical actions, the determination of persons and circumstances for non-typical actions, planning actions, the determination of event cause and state of persons. To form an answer both deduction and plausible reasoning are used. As a knowledge domain under consideration is social behavior of persons, plausible reasoning is based on laws of social psychology. Proposed algorithms of inference and plausible reasoning can be realized in computer systems closely connected with text processing (criminology, operation of business, medicine, document systems).

  18. The semiosis of prayer and the creation of plausible fictional worlds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Peter Södergård

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Prayer and incantation can perhaps be said to be 'mechanisms' that promise that lack will be liquidated and that there is an unlimited signator, a father, or some other metaphysical creature, standing behind and legitimizing the discourse. A way of communicating with the Unlimited that is privileged by an interpretive community that read the prayers aloud and enacted the magical stage-scripts. These highly overlapping categories function as one of the most common subforms of religious discourse for the creation, actualization and maintenance of plausible fictional worlds. They are liminal and transitional mechanisms that manipulate an empirical reader to phase-shift from an actual world to a plausible, by being inscribed in a possible and fictional world, thus creating a model reader, that perceives and acts according to the plausible world outlined by a given interpretive community, and that hears god talking in voces magicae and in god-speaking silence.

  19. Don't Plan for the Unexpected: Planning Based on Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; Jensen, Martin Holm

    2015-01-01

    that the agent achieves this goal. Conversely, a weak plan promises only the possibility of leading to the goal. In real-life planning scenarios where the planning agent is faced with a high degree of uncertainty and an almost endless number of possible exogenous events, strong epistemic planning......We present a framework for automated planning based on plausibility models, as well as algorithms for computing plans in this framework. Our plausibility models include postconditions, as ontic effects are essential for most planning purposes. The framework presented extends a previously developed...... framework based on dynamic epistemic logic (DEL), without plausibilities/beliefs. In the pure epistemic framework, one can distinguish between strong and weak epistemic plans for achieving some, possibly epistemic, goal. By taking all possible outcomes of actions into account, a strong plan guarantees...

  20. The Expertise Reversal Effect Concerning Instructional Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Gunter Daniel; Fischer, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    The expertise reversal effect occurs when learner's expertise moderates design principles derived from cognitive load theory. Although this effect is supported by numerous empirical studies, indicating an overall large effect size, the effect was never tested by inducing expertise experimentally and using instructional explanations in a…

  1. Most frugal explanations in Bayesian networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwisthout, J.H.P.

    2015-01-01

    Inferring the most probable explanation to a set of variables, given a partial observation of the remaining variables, is one of the canonical computational problems in Bayesian networks, with widespread applications in AI and beyond. This problem, known as MAP, is computationally intractable (NP-ha

  2. A hadronic explanation of the lepton anomaly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mertsch, Philipp; Sarkar, Subir

    2014-01-01

    . This mechanism is guaranteed if hadronic CRs are present and would also lead to observable signatures in other secondary channels like the boron-to-carbon or antiproton-to-proton ratios. If such features were borne out by upcoming AMS-02 data, this would rule out other explanations....

  3. Non-Mathematical Explanation of Precession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordell, John

    2011-01-01

    The phenomenon of precession is necessary to explain the motion of footballs, gyroscopes, tops, the Earth, and many other interesting physical systems, but it was very hard for me to understand as a student and is very difficult to teach to students now. Many explanations of precession in physics textbooks are highly mathematical and hard to…

  4. Seeing the Problem: An Explanation from Polya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leinhardt, Gaea; Schwarz, Baruch B.

    1997-01-01

    Examines guessing as a heuristic for problem-solving presented in a taped lesson by George Polya. Analogical models transformed a complex problem to a simpler one and maintained problem identification. Instructional explanations fulfilled two goals simultaneously: (1) teach students how to use guessing as a problem-solving strategy to solve the…

  5. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  6. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  7. “合情推理”辨析%Analysis of Plausible Reasoning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    连四清; 方运加

    2012-01-01

    波利亚的“合情推理”模式引进我国数学课程标准后,就成了我国数学教育研究的关键词。然而,“合情推理”的科学性尚需考证:(1)它的中文意义不明确;(2)它不满足推理模式的客观性要求,存在明显的缺陷;(3)过分强调“合情推理模式”则是过分强调归纳推理和演绎推理的区别,容易割裂它们之间的关系。%After the model of "plausible inference" being introduced into the mathematics curriculum standards, it became a key word of the research on mathematics education in China. However, there are doubts on whether it is scientific. (1) Chinese meaning of plausible inference is ambiguous. (2) The plausible inference can not meet the objective requirement of the reasoning, which has obvious defects. (3) Overemphasizing the model of plausible inference would overemphasize the difference between deductive inference and inductive inference, and would dispart them.

  8. From bone to plausible bipedal locomotion. Part II: Complete motion synthesis for bipedal primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolas, Guillaume; Multon, Franck; Berillon, Gilles

    2009-05-29

    This paper addresses the problem of synthesizing plausible bipedal locomotion according to 3D anatomical reconstruction and general hypotheses on human motion control strategies. In a previous paper [Nicolas, G., Multon, F., Berillon, G., Marchal, F., 2007. From bone to plausible bipedal locomotion using inverse kinematics. Journal of Biomechanics 40 (5) 1048-1057], we have validated a method based on using inverse kinematics to obtain plausible lower-limb motions knowing the trajectory of the ankle. In this paper, we propose a more general approach that also involves computing a plausible trajectory of the ankles for a given skeleton. The inputs are the anatomical descriptions of the bipedal species, imposed footprints and a rest posture. This process is based on optimizing a reference ankle trajectory until a set of criteria is minimized. This optimization loop is based on the assumption that a plausible motion is supposed to have little internal mechanical work and should be as less jerky as possible. For each tested ankle trajectory, inverse kinematics is used to compute a lower-body motion that enables us to compute the resulting mechanical work and jerk. This method was tested on a set of modern humans (male and female, with various anthropometric properties). We show that the results obtained with this method are close to experimental data for most of the subjects. We also demonstrate that the method is not sensitive to the choice of the reference ankle trajectory; any ankle trajectory leads to very similar result. We finally apply the method to a skeleton of Pan paniscus (Bonobo), and compare the resulting motion to those described by zoologists.

  9. Biological markets explain human ultrasociality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheskin, Mark; Lambert, Stéphane; Baumard, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    The evidence Gowdy & Krall (G&K) provide is more consistent with a biological markets explanation of human ultrasociality than a group selection explanation. Specifically, large-scale societies provide a better biological market for cooperation than do small-scale societies, allowing individuals to increase their fitness. Importantly, many of the quality-of-life costs G&K discuss (e.g., patriarchy) are not fitness costs.

  10. Explanation for the Mystical Practice III.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Květoslav Minařík

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Concentration on feet and legs as a whole, with a special focus on their flesh, has an effect on the development of the intellect and deepening of the sensory discernment, because right here, in the legs, in the flesh of the body, the basis of the inner life is situated. The same concentration with a special focus on their bones – and in particular to the bones of knees – eliminates the instability of the usual attention; it is used to stabilize the entire inner life. The current article is a continuation of Explanation for the Mystical Practice I. and Explanation for the Mystical Practice II., published in the previous editions of Spirituality Studies.

  11. Maxwell's equations of electrodynamics an explanation

    CERN Document Server

    Ball, David W

    2012-01-01

    Maxwell's Equations of Electrodynamics: An Explanation is a concise discussion of Maxwell's four equations of electrodynamics - the fundamental theory of electricity, magnetism, and light. It guides readers step-by-step through the vector calculus and development of each equation. Pictures and diagrams illustrate what the equations mean in basic terms. The book not only provides a fundamental description of our universe but also explains how these equations predict the fact that light is better described as "electromagnetic radiation."

  12. Automaticity: Componential, Causal, and Mechanistic Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moors, Agnes

    2016-01-01

    The review first discusses componential explanations of automaticity, which specify non/automaticity features (e.g., un/controlled, un/conscious, non/efficient, fast/slow) and their interrelations. Reframing these features as factors that influence processes (e.g., goals, attention, and time) broadens the range of factors that can be considered (e.g., adding stimulus intensity and representational quality). The evidence reviewed challenges the view of a perfect coherence among goals, attention, and consciousness, and supports the alternative view that (a) these and other factors influence the quality of representations in an additive way (e.g., little time can be compensated by extra attention or extra stimulus intensity) and that (b) a first threshold of this quality is required for unconscious processing and a second threshold for conscious processing. The review closes with a discussion of causal explanations of automaticity, which specify factors involved in automatization such as repetition and complexity, and a discussion of mechanistic explanations, which specify the low-level processes underlying automatization.

  13. Explanation-based learning in infancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baillargeon, Renée; DeJong, Gerald F

    2017-07-11

    In explanation-based learning (EBL), domain knowledge is leveraged in order to learn general rules from few examples. An explanation is constructed for initial exemplars and is then generalized into a candidate rule that uses only the relevant features specified in the explanation; if the rule proves accurate for a few additional exemplars, it is adopted. EBL is thus highly efficient because it combines both analytic and empirical evidence. EBL has been proposed as one of the mechanisms that help infants acquire and revise their physical rules. To evaluate this proposal, 11- and 12-month-olds (n = 260) were taught to replace their current support rule (that an object is stable when half or more of its bottom surface is supported) with a more sophisticated rule (that an object is stable when half or more of the entire object is supported). Infants saw teaching events in which asymmetrical objects were placed on a base, followed by static test displays involving a novel asymmetrical object and a novel base. When the teaching events were designed to facilitate EBL, infants learned the new rule with as few as two (12-month-olds) or three (11-month-olds) exemplars. When the teaching events were designed to impede EBL, however, infants failed to learn the rule. Together, these results demonstrate that even infants, with their limited knowledge about the world, benefit from the knowledge-based approach of EBL.

  14. [Biological evolution and specialization].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Weizhen; Wang, Deli

    2003-12-01

    There were some disputes about the concept and mechanism of biological evolution. This paper tried to give more explanations on the key concepts. The biological adaptability was distinguished into two different concepts: biological evolution and specialization. The former was defined as the process of biologically gradual evolvement, and the latter was considered as the process of species formation at horizontal development. Moreover, a new conceptual framework was applied to the popular biological theories known by people, and the previous research results or discoveries were explained over again.

  15. The coexistence of natural and supernatural explanations within and across domains and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Justin T A; Watson-Jones, Rachel E; Legare, Cristine H

    2017-03-01

    People across highly diverse cultural contexts use both natural and supernatural explanations to explain questions of fundamental concern such as death, illness, and human origins. The present study examines the development of explanatory coexistence within and across domains of existential concern in individuals in Tanna, Vanuatu. We examined three age groups: 7- to 12-year-old children, 13- to 18-year-old adolescents, and 19- to 70-year-old adults (N = 72). Within the domain of death, biological and spontaneous explanations were most common across all ages. For illness, children showed the highest rates of explanatory coexistence, while adolescents and adults favoured biological explanations. Within the human origins domain, theistic explanations were most common across the age groups. Overall, these data show that coexistence reasoning in these domains is pervasive across cultures, yet at the same time it is deeply contextually specific, reflecting the nuanced differences in local ecologies and cultural beliefs. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Individuals across highly diverse cultural contexts use both natural and supernatural explanations to understand the events that occur in their lives. Context and cultural input play a large role in determining when and how individuals incorporate natural and supernatural explanations. The development of explanatory coexistence has primarily studied explanations for isolated domains. What does this study add? We examined explanatory coexistence in a culture with recent conversion to Christianity and formal education. The current research examines how individuals reason within and across the domains of human origins, illness, and death. Developmental differences associated with explanatory coexistence are examined. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  16. Evolutionary explanations in medical and health profession courses: are you answering your students' "why" questions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malyango Avelin A

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Medical and pre-professional health students ask questions about human health that can be answered in two ways, by giving proximate and evolutionary explanations. Proximate explanations, most common in textbooks and classes, describe the immediate scientifically known biological mechanisms of anatomical characteristics or physiological processes. These explanations are necessary but insufficient. They can be complemented with evolutionary explanations that describe the evolutionary processes and principles that have resulted in human biology we study today. The main goal of the science of Darwinian Medicine is to investigate human disease, disorders, and medical complications from an evolutionary perspective. Discussion This paper contrasts the differences between these two types of explanations by describing principles of natural selection that underlie medical questions. Thus, why is human birth complicated? Why does sickle cell anemia exist? Why do we show symptoms like fever, diarrhea, and coughing when we have infection? Why do we suffer from ubiquitous age-related diseases like arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer's and others? Why are chronic diseases like type II diabetes and obesity so prevalent in modern society? Why hasn't natural selection eliminated the genes that cause common genetic diseases like hemochromatosis, cystic fibrosis, Tay sachs, PKU and others? Summary In giving students evolutionary explanations professors should underscore principles of natural selection, since these can be generalized for the analysis of many medical questions. From a research perspective, natural selection seems central to leading hypotheses of obesity and type II diabetes and might very well explain the occurrence of certain common genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis, Tay sachs, Fragile X syndrome, G6PD and others because of their compensating advantages. Furthermore, armed with evolutionary explanations, health care

  17. 'Clusters' as Explanations for the Exceptional Export Success of the Danish Furniture Industry?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Howells, John; Hedemann, Lars

      The Danish furniture industry is exceptional by its export intensity and degree of internationalisation (post-2000 over 80% of income is from exports). We test the 'localised learning' theory in which it is proposed that knowledge transfer within clusters of firms explains the achievement...... firms account for more than 50% of industry turnover. Manufacture is not the major activity of most of these firms, they are not 'clustered' in the manner of the craft manufacturers and they deny having economically beneficial relations to other firms in the craft manufacturing region....... of the exceptional export intensity of this industry. We propose a more plausible path dependent explanation in which an early and exceptional international marketing effort created demand-induced growth and internationalisation of this manufacturing industry. Thereafter the industry proved able to substitute new...

  18. Identifying plausible genetic models based on association and linkage results: application to type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Weihua; Boehnke, Michael; Pluzhnikov, Anna; Cox, Nancy J; Scott, Laura J

    2012-12-01

    When planning resequencing studies for complex diseases, previous association and linkage studies can constrain the range of plausible genetic models for a given locus. Here, we explore the combinations of causal risk allele frequency (RAFC ) and genotype relative risk (GRRC ) consistent with no or limited evidence for affected sibling pair (ASP) linkage and strong evidence for case-control association. We find that significant evidence for case-control association combined with no or moderate evidence for ASP linkage can define a lower bound for the plausible RAFC . Using data from large type 2 diabetes (T2D) linkage and genome-wide association study meta-analyses, we find that under reasonable model assumptions, 23 of 36 autosomal T2D risk loci are unlikely to be due to causal variants with combined RAFC < 0.005, and four of the 23 are unlikely to be due to causal variants with combined RAFC < 0.05.

  19. Acquiring Plausible Predications from MEDLINE by Clustering MeSH Annotations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miñarro-Giménez, Jose Antonio; Kreuzthaler, Markus; Bernhardt-Melischnig, Johannes; Martínez-Costa, Catalina; Schulz, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The massive accumulation of biomedical knowledge is reflected by the growth of the literature database MEDLINE with over 23 million bibliographic records. All records are manually indexed by MeSH descriptors, many of them refined by MeSH subheadings. We use subheading information to cluster types of MeSH descriptor co-occurrences in MEDLINE by processing co-occurrence information provided by the UMLS. The goal is to infer plausible predicates to each resulting cluster. In an initial experiment this was done by grouping disease-pharmacologic substance co-occurrences into six clusters. Then, a domain expert manually performed the assignment of meaningful predicates to the clusters. The mean accuracy of the best ten generated biomedical facts of each cluster was 85%. This result supports the evidence of the potential of MeSH subheadings for extracting plausible medical predications from MEDLINE.

  20. Spelling in oral deaf and hearing dyslexic children: A comparison of phonologically plausible errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, P; Shergold, Z; Kyle, F E; Herman, R

    2014-11-01

    A written single word spelling to dictation test and a single word reading test were given to 68 severe-profoundly oral deaf 10-11-year-old children and 20 hearing children with a diagnosis of dyslexia. The literacy scores of the deaf children and the hearing children with dyslexia were lower than expected for children of their age and did not differ from each other. Three quarters of the spelling errors of hearing children with dyslexia compared with just over half the errors of the oral deaf group were phonologically plausible. Expressive vocabulary and speech intelligibility predicted the percentage of phonologically plausible errors in the deaf group only. Implications of findings for the phonological decoding self-teaching model and for supporting literacy development are discussed.

  1. Of paradox and plausibility: the dynamic of change in medical law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, John

    2014-01-01

    This article develops a model of change in medical law. Drawing on systems theory, it argues that medical law participates in a dynamic of 'deparadoxification' and 'reparadoxification' whereby the underlying contingency of the law is variously concealed through plausible argumentation, or revealed by critical challenge. Medical law is, thus, thoroughly rhetorical. An examination of the development of the law on abortion and on the sterilization of incompetent adults shows that plausibility is achieved through the deployment of substantive common sense and formal stylistic devices. It is undermined where these elements are shown to be arbitrary and constructed. In conclusion, it is argued that the politics of medical law are constituted by this antagonistic process of establishing and challenging provisionally stable normative regimes.

  2. On the plausible association between environmental conditions and human eye damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feretis, Elias; Theodorakopoulos, Panagiotis; Varotsos, Costas; Efstathiou, Maria; Tzanis, Christos; Xirou, Tzina; Alexandridou, Nancy; Aggelou, Michael

    2002-01-01

    The increase in solar ultraviolet radiation can have various direct and indirect effects on human health, like the incidence of ocular damage. Data of eye damage in residents of three suburban regions in Greece and in two groups of monks/nuns and fishermen are examined here. The statistics performed on these data provides new information about the plausible association between increased levels of solar ultraviolet radiation, air-pollution at ground level, and the development of ocular defects.

  3. What happened (and what didn't): Discourse constraints on encoding of plausible alternatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraundorf, Scott H; Benjamin, Aaron S; Watson, Duane G

    2013-10-01

    Three experiments investigated how font emphasis influences reading and remembering discourse. Although past work suggests that contrastive pitch contours benefit memory by promoting encoding of salient alternatives, it is unclear both whether this effect generalizes to other forms of linguistic prominence and how the set of alternatives is constrained. Participants read discourses in which some true propositions had salient alternatives (e.g., British scientists found the endangered monkey when the discourse also mentioned French scientists) and completed a recognition memory test. In Experiments 1 and 2, font emphasis in the initial presentation increased participants' ability to later reject false statements about salient alternatives but not about unmentioned items (e.g., Portuguese scientists). In Experiment 3, font emphasis helped reject false statements about plausible alternatives, but not about less plausible alternatives that were nevertheless established in the discourse. These results suggest readers encode a narrow set of only those alternatives plausible in the particular discourse. They also indicate that multiple manipulations of linguistic prominence, not just prosody, can lead to consideration of alternatives.

  4. Dual Causality and the Autonomy of Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Walter J

    2017-03-01

    Ernst Mayr's concept of dual causality in biology with the two forms of causes (proximate and ultimate) continues to provide an essential foundation for the philosophy of biology. They are equivalent to functional (=proximate) and evolutionary (=ultimate) causes with both required for full biological explanations. The natural sciences can be classified into nomological, historical nomological and historical dual causality, the last including only biology. Because evolutionary causality is unique to biology and must be included for all complete biological explanations, biology is autonomous from the physical sciences.

  5. Comorbidity between post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder: alternative explanations and treatment considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flory, Janine D; Yehuda, Rachel

    2015-06-01

    Approximately half of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffer from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The current paper examines evidence for two explanations of this comorbidity. First, that the comorbidity reflects overlapping symptoms in the two disorders. Second, that the co-occurrence of PTSD and MDD is not an artifact, but represents a trauma-related phenotype, possibly a subtype of PTSD. Support for the latter explanation is inferred from literature that examines risk and biological correlates of PTSD and MDD, including molecular processes. Treatment implications of the comorbidity are considered.

  6. Racial ideology and explanations for health inequalities among middle-class whites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muntaner, C; Nagoshi, C; Diala, C

    2001-01-01

    Middle-class whites' explanations for racial inequalities in health can have a profound impact on the type of questions addressed in epidemiology and public health research. These explanations also constitute a subset of white racial ideology (i.e., racism) that in itself powerfully affects the health of non-whites. This study begins to examine the nature of attributions for racial inequalities in health among university students who by definition are likely to be involved in the research, policy, and service professions (the upper middle class). Investigation of the degree to which middle-class whites attribute racial inequalities in cardiovascular health (between themselves and African Americans, American Indians, or Asian Americans) to biological, social, or lifestyle factors reveals that whites tend to attribute their own health to lifestyle choice and to biology rather than to social factors. These results suggest that contemporary middle-class whites' "self-serving" explanations for racial inequalities in health are comprised of two beliefs: implicit biologism (race is an attribute of organisms rather than a social relation) and liberal belief in self-determination, choice, and individual responsibility--some of the core lay beliefs of the worldview that sustains neoliberal capitalism. Contemporary white middle-class explanations for racial inequalities in health appear to include assumptions that justify class inequality. Liberal approaches to racism in public health are bound to miss a key component of racial ideology that is currently used to justify racial and class inequalities.

  7. Analysis of multi-domain hypothetical proteins containing iron-sulphur clusters and fad ligands reveal rieske dioxygenase activity suggesting their plausible roles in bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathyanarayanan, Nitish; Nagendra, Holenarasipur Gundurao

    2012-01-01

    'Conserved hypothetical' proteins pose a challenge not just for functional genomics, but also to biology in general. As long as there are hundreds of conserved proteins with unknown function in model organisms such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, any discussion towards a 'complete' understanding of these biological systems will remain a wishful thinking. Insilico approaches exhibit great promise towards attempts that enable appreciating the plausible roles of these hypothetical proteins. Among the majority of genomic proteins, two-thirds in unicellular organisms and more than 80% in metazoa, are multi-domain proteins, created as a result of gene duplication events. Aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases, also called Rieske dioxygenases (RDOs), are class of multi-domain proteins that catalyze the initial step in microbial aerobic degradation of many aromatic compounds. Investigations here address the computational characterization of hypothetical proteins containing Ferredoxin and Flavodoxin signatures. Consensus sequence of each class of oxidoreductase was obtained by a phylogenetic analysis, involving clustering methods based on evolutionary relationship. A synthetic sequence was developed by combining the consensus, which was used as the basis to search for their homologs via BLAST. The exercise yielded 129 multidomain hypothetical proteins containing both 2Fe-2S (Ferredoxin) and FNR (Flavodoxin) domains. In the current study, 40 proteins with N-terminus 2Fe-2S domain and C-terminus FNR domain are characterized, through homology modelling and docking exercises which suggest dioxygenase activity indicating their plausible roles in degradation of aromatic moieties.

  8. Plausibility of stromal initiation of epithelial cancers without a mutation in the epithelium: a computer simulation of morphostats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cappuccio Antonio

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is experimental evidence from animal models favoring the notion that the disruption of interactions between stroma and epithelium plays an important role in the initiation of carcinogenesis. These disrupted interactions are hypothesized to be mediated by molecules, termed morphostats, which diffuse through the tissue to determine cell phenotype and maintain tissue architecture. Methods We developed a computer simulation based on simple properties of cell renewal and morphostats. Results Under the computer simulation, the disruption of the morphostat gradient in the stroma generated epithelial precursors of cancer without any mutation in the epithelium. Conclusion The model is consistent with the possibility that the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic changes found in tumors could arise after the formation of a founder population of aberrant cells, defined as cells that are created by low or insufficient morphostat levels and that no longer respond to morphostat concentrations. Because the model is biologically plausible, we hope that these results will stimulate further experiments.

  9. Prison Inmates' Explanations for Interpersonal Violence: Accounts and Attributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Monika; Hewstone, Miles

    1984-01-01

    Coded the explanations given by violent offenders (N=44) for locus of attribution and excuse versus justification; and examined the explanations for their relationship to situational variables. Results supported the value, interest and replicability of research on common sense explanations in prison settings. (LLL)

  10. `Why Does Not a Spinning Top Fall Down?' Intuitive Explanations

    CERN Document Server

    Hwang, W Y

    2006-01-01

    We give intuitive explanations about why a spinning top does not fall down. Our explanations consider actual trajectories of some parts of a top. They clearly show which forces supports the top. Our explanations can be easily applied to other motions of the top due to other initial conditions.

  11. Using Online Measures to Determine How Learners Process Instructional Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Emilio; Garcia-Rodicio, Hector

    2013-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine the mechanisms underlying a strategy that we developed to make instructional explanations effective. In two experiments participants learned about plate tectonics from a multimedia material, including adjunct explanations that revised common misunderstandings. These explanations were either marked…

  12. Promoting Vicarious Learning of Physics Using Deep Questions with Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, Scotty D.; Gholson, Barry; Brittingham, Joshua K.; Williams, Joah L.; Shubeck, Keith T.

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments explored the role of vicarious "self" explanations in facilitating student learning gains during computer-presented instruction. In Exp. 1, college students with low or high knowledge on Newton's laws were tested in four conditions: (a) monologue (M), (b) questions (Q), (c) explanation (E), and (d) question + explanation (Q + E).…

  13. Evolution, Entropy, & Biological Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    A logical question to be expected from students: "How could life develop, that is, change, evolve from simple, primitive organisms into the complex forms existing today, while at the same time there is a generally observed decline and disorganization--the second law of thermodynamics?" The explanations in biology textbooks relied upon by…

  14. Evolution, Entropy, & Biological Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    A logical question to be expected from students: "How could life develop, that is, change, evolve from simple, primitive organisms into the complex forms existing today, while at the same time there is a generally observed decline and disorganization--the second law of thermodynamics?" The explanations in biology textbooks relied upon by…

  15. Understanding Karma Police: The Perceived Plausibility of Noun Compounds as Predicted by Distributional Models of Semantic Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, Fritz; Marelli, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Noun compounds, consisting of two nouns (the head and the modifier) that are combined into a single concept, differ in terms of their plausibility: school bus is a more plausible compound than saddle olive. The present study investigates which factors influence the plausibility of attested and novel noun compounds. Distributional Semantic Models (DSMs) are used to obtain formal (vector) representations of word meanings, and compositional methods in DSMs are employed to obtain such representations for noun compounds. From these representations, different plausibility measures are computed. Three of those measures contribute in predicting the plausibility of noun compounds: The relatedness between the meaning of the head noun and the compound (Head Proximity), the relatedness between the meaning of modifier noun and the compound (Modifier Proximity), and the similarity between the head noun and the modifier noun (Constituent Similarity). We find non-linear interactions between Head Proximity and Modifier Proximity, as well as between Modifier Proximity and Constituent Similarity. Furthermore, Constituent Similarity interacts non-linearly with the familiarity with the compound. These results suggest that a compound is perceived as more plausible if it can be categorized as an instance of the category denoted by the head noun, if the contribution of the modifier to the compound meaning is clear but not redundant, and if the constituents are sufficiently similar in cases where this contribution is not clear. Furthermore, compounds are perceived to be more plausible if they are more familiar, but mostly for cases where the relation between the constituents is less clear. PMID:27732599

  16. Philosophy of mind in the clinic: the relation between causal and meaningful explanation in psychiatry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brendel, D H

    2000-10-01

    Conceptual dichotomies between mind and brain, psychology and neuroscience, meaning and causation, and fact and value confound thinking in philosophy of mind, clinical psychiatry, and psychiatric ethics. Paul Churchland's theory of eliminative materialism highlights these dichotomies, stating that advances in neuroscience have restricted, and eventually will eliminate, any need for psychology. The core principles of this theory are questionable, because psychiatrists still need psychology and perhaps always will. The main argument in this essay is that even in cases of well-defined brain pathology (where eliminative materialism seems most plausible), psychological concepts remain critical. Thus, philosophers and psychiatrists should generate conceptual models that lead not to eliminativism but to explanatory pluralism, which is the pragmatic integration of diverse concepts toward the end of better handling clinical challenges. The contributions of Karl Jaspers in opposition to eliminative materialism and in support of pluralism are discussed. Jaspers delineated the role of meaningful psychological explanation in a psychiatry rooted in neuroscientific explanation. However, his notion that meaningful states do not have causal power is disputable and has come under fire in recent philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience, which highlight the possibility that meaningful psychological states can be causally significant. This idea has implications for psychiatric ethics and the fact/value debate.

  17. A Novel Discovery of Growth Process for Ag Nanowires and Plausible Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiejun Zhu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel growth process of silver nanowires was revealed by tracing the morphology evolution of Ag nanostructures fabricated by an improved polyol process. A mixture of Ag nanowires and nanoparticles was obtained with the usage of PVP-K25 (MW = 38,000. The products sampled at different reaction time were studied in detail using UV-visible absorption spectra and transmission electron microscopy (TEM. An interesting phenomenon unknown in the past was observed where Ag nanoparticles undergo an important dissolution-recrystallization process and Ag nanowires are formed at the expense of the preformed Ag nanoparticles. A plausible novel growth mechanism for the silver nanowires was proposed.

  18. ‘One of the Challenges that Can Plausibly Be Raised Against Them’?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtermann, Jakob v. H.

    2017-01-01

    International criminal tribunals (ICTs) are epistemic engines in the sense that they find (or claim to find) factual truths about such past events that qualify as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The value of this kind of knowledge would seem to be beyond dispute. Yet, in general...... in law is intimately connected to ordinary truth. Truth-finding capacity therefore does belong in legitimacy debates as a challenge that can plausibly be raised against them. This, in turn makes it relevant, in future research, to map, analyse and interrelate the various critiques that have been launched...

  19. Higher Data Quality by Online Data-Entry and Automated Plausibility Checks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietragalla, Barbara; Sigg, Christian; Güsewell, Sabine; Clot, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    Long-term phenological observations are now recognized as important indicators for climate change impact studies. With the increased need for phenological data, there is also an increased need for higher data quality. Since 1951 MeteoSwiss has been operating a national phenological observation network. Currently the network consists of about 150 active stations observing up to 69 different phenophases. An important aim of a running three years project at MeteoSwiss is a further increase of the quality of the collected data. The higher data quality will be achieved by an automated procedure performing plausibility checks on the data and by online data-entry. Further measures such as intensified observer instructions and collection of more detailed metadata also contribute to a high data quality standard. The plausibility checks include the natural order of the phenophases within a species and also between different species (with regard to possible natural deviation). Additionally it will be checked if the observed date differs by less than two standard deviations from the average for this phenophase at the altitude of the station. A value outside of these limits is not necessarily a false value, since occurrences of extreme values will be beyond these limits. Therefore, within this check of the limits, the timing of the season of the respective year will also be taken into account. In case of an implausible value a comparison with other stations of the same region and sea level is proposed. A further possibility of data quality control could be to model the different phenophases statistically and to use this model for estimating the likelihood of observed values. An overall exploratory data analysis is currently performed providing a solid basis to implement the best possible methods for the plausibility checks. Important advantages of online data-entry are the near real-time availability of the data as well as the avoidance of various kinds of typical mistakes

  20. Exploring discrepancies between quantitative validation results and the geomorphic plausibility of statistical landslide susceptibility maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steger, Stefan; Brenning, Alexander; Bell, Rainer; Petschko, Helene; Glade, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Empirical models are frequently applied to produce landslide susceptibility maps for large areas. Subsequent quantitative validation results are routinely used as the primary criteria to infer the validity and applicability of the final maps or to select one of several models. This study hypothesizes that such direct deductions can be misleading. The main objective was to explore discrepancies between the predictive performance of a landslide susceptibility model and the geomorphic plausibility of subsequent landslide susceptibility maps while a particular emphasis was placed on the influence of incomplete landslide inventories on modelling and validation results. The study was conducted within the Flysch Zone of Lower Austria (1,354 km2) which is known to be highly susceptible to landslides of the slide-type movement. Sixteen susceptibility models were generated by applying two statistical classifiers (logistic regression and generalized additive model) and two machine learning techniques (random forest and support vector machine) separately for two landslide inventories of differing completeness and two predictor sets. The results were validated quantitatively by estimating the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) with single holdout and spatial cross-validation technique. The heuristic evaluation of the geomorphic plausibility of the final results was supported by findings of an exploratory data analysis, an estimation of odds ratios and an evaluation of the spatial structure of the final maps. The results showed that maps generated by different inventories, classifiers and predictors appeared differently while holdout validation revealed similar high predictive performances. Spatial cross-validation proved useful to expose spatially varying inconsistencies of the modelling results while additionally providing evidence for slightly overfitted machine learning-based models. However, the highest predictive performances were obtained for

  1. Comprehensive analysis of schizophrenia-associated loci highlights ion channel pathways and biologically plausible candidate causal genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pers, Tune H; Timshel, Pascal; Ripke, Stephan; Lent, Samantha; Sullivan, Patrick F; O'Donovan, Michael C; Franke, Lude; Hirschhorn, Joel N

    2016-03-15

    Over 100 associated genetic loci have been robustly associated with schizophrenia. Gene prioritization and pathway analysis have focused on a priori hypotheses and thus may have been unduly influenced by prior assumptions and missed important causal genes and pathways. Using a data-driven approach, we show that genes in associated loci: (1) are highly expressed in cortical brain areas; (2) are enriched for ion channel pathways (false discovery rates genes that are functionally related to each other and hence represent promising candidates for experimental follow up. We validate the relevance of the prioritized genes by showing that they are enriched for rare disruptive variants and de novo variants from schizophrenia sequencing studies (odds ratio 1.67, P = 0.039), and are enriched for genes encoding members of mouse and human postsynaptic density proteomes (odds ratio 4.56, P = 5.00 × 10(-4); odds ratio 2.60, P = 0.049).The authors wish it to be known that, in their opinion, the first 2 authors should be regarded as joint First Author.

  2. Comprehensive analysis of schizophrenia-associated loci highlights ion channel pathways and biologically plausible candidate causal genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pers, Tune H; Timshel, Pascal; Ripke, Stephan;

    2016-01-01

    Over 100 associated genetic loci have been robustly associated with schizophrenia. Gene prioritization and pathway analysis have focused on a priori hypotheses and thus may have been unduly influenced by prior assumptions and missed important causal genes and pathways. Using a data-driven approach...... validate the relevance of the prioritized genes by showing that they are enriched for rare disruptive variants and de novo variants from schizophrenia sequencing studies (odds ratio 1.67, P=0.039), and are enriched for genes encoding members of mouse and human postsynaptic density proteomes (odds ratio 4......, we show that genes in associated loci: (1) are highly expressed in cortical brain areas; (2) are enriched for ion channel pathways (false discovery ratesgenes that are functionally related to each other and hence represent promising candidates for experimental follow up. We...

  3. Emergent structured transition from variation to repetition in a biologically-plausible model of learning in basal ganglia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashvin eShah

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Often, when animals encounter an unexpected sensory event, they transition from executing a variety of movements to repeating the movement(s that may have caused the event. According to a recent theory of action discovery (Redgrave and Gurney 2006, repetition allows the animal to represent those movements, and the outcome, as an action for later recruitment. The transition from variation to repetition often follows a non-random, structured, pattern. While the structure of the pattern can be explained by sophisticated cognitive mechanisms, simpler mechanisms based on dopaminergic modulation of basal ganglia (BG activity are thought to underlie action discovery (Redgrave and Gurney 2006. In this paper we ask the question: can simple BG-mediated mechanisms account for a structured transition from variation to repetition, or are more sophisticated cognitive mechanisms always necessary?To address this question, we present a computational model of BG-mediated biasing of behavior. In our model, unlike most other models of BG function, the BG biases behaviour through modulation of cortical response to excitation; many possible movements are represented by the cortical area; and excitation to the cortical area is topographically-organized. We subject the model to simple reaching tasks, inspired by behavioral studies, in which a location to which to reach must be selected. Locations within a target area elicit a reinforcement signal. A structured transition from variation to repetition emerges from simple BG-mediated biasing of cortical response to excitation. We show how the structured pattern influences behavior in simple and complicated tasks. We also present analyses that describe the structured transition from variation to repetition due to BG-mediated biasing and from biasing that would be expected from a type of cognitive biasing, allowing us to compare behaviour resulting from these types of biasing and make connections with future behavioural experiments.

  4. Complexity and demographic explanations of cumulative culture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrien Querbes

    Full Text Available Formal models have linked prehistoric and historical instances of technological change (e.g., the Upper Paleolithic transition, cultural loss in Holocene Tasmania, scientific progress since the late nineteenth century to demographic change. According to these models, cumulation of technological complexity is inhibited by decreasing--while favoured by increasing--population levels. Here we show that these findings are contingent on how complexity is defined: demography plays a much more limited role in sustaining cumulative culture in case formal models deploy Herbert Simon's definition of complexity rather than the particular definitions of complexity hitherto assumed. Given that currently available empirical evidence doesn't afford discriminating proper from improper definitions of complexity, our robustness analyses put into question the force of recent demographic explanations of particular episodes of cultural change.

  5. Heuristic explanation of quantum interference experiments

    CERN Document Server

    Guowen, W

    2005-01-01

    A particle is described as a non-spreading wave packet satisfying a linear equation within the framework of special relativity. Young's and other interference experiments are explained with a hypothesis that there is a coupling interaction between the peaked and non-peaked pieces of the wave packet. This explanation of the interference experiments provides a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics. The interpretation implies that there is physical reality of particles and no wave function collapse. It also implies that neither classical mechanics nor current quantum mechanics is a complete theory for describing physical reality and the Bell inequalities are not the proper touchstones for reality and locality. The problems of the boundary between the macro-world and micro-world and the de-coherence in the transition region (meso-world) between the two are discussed. The present interpretation of quantum mechanics is consistent with the physical aspects of the Copenhagen interpretation, such as, the super...

  6. Bayesianism and inference to the best explanation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeriano IRANZO

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Bayesianism and Inference to the best explanation (IBE are two different models of inference. Recently there has been some debate about the possibility of “bayesianizing” IBE. Firstly I explore several alternatives to include explanatory considerations in Bayes’s Theorem. Then I distinguish two different interpretations of prior probabilities: “IBE-Bayesianism” (IBE-Bay and “frequentist-Bayesianism” (Freq-Bay. After detailing the content of the latter, I propose a rule for assessing the priors. I also argue that Freq-Bay: (i endorses a role for explanatory value in the assessment of scientific hypotheses; (ii avoids a purely subjectivist reading of prior probabilities; and (iii fits better than IBE-Bayesianism with two basic facts about science, i.e., the prominent role played by empirical testing and the existence of many scientific theories in the past that failed to fulfil their promises and were subsequently abandoned.

  7. Health Professionals' Explanations of Suicidal Behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothes, Inês Areal; Henriques, Margarida Rangel

    2017-01-01

    In a help relation with a suicidal person, the theoretical models of suicidality can be essential to guide the health professional's comprehension of the client/patient. The objectives of this study were to identify health professionals' explanations of suicidal behaviors and to study the effects of professional group, theoretical intervention models, and patient suicide experience in professionals' representations. Two hundred and forty-two health professionals filled out a self-report questionnaire. Exploratory principal components analysis was used. Five explanatory models were identified: psychological suffering, affective cognitive, sociocommunicational, adverse life events, and psychopathological. Results indicated that the psychological suffering and psychopathological models were the most valued by the professionals, while the sociocommunicational was seen as the least likely to explain suicidal behavior. Differences between professional groups were found. We concluded that training and reflection on theoretical models in general and in communicative issues in particular are needed in the education of health professionals.

  8. Vitalism in Naive Biological Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Suzanne C.; Taplin, John E.; Gelman, Susan A.

    2000-01-01

    Three experiments investigated use of vitalistic explanations for biological phenomena by 5- and 10-year-olds and by adults. Results replicated the original Japanese finding of vitalistic thinking among English-speaking 5-year-olds, identified the more active component of vitalism as a belief in the transfer of energy during biological processes,…

  9. Self-assembly of phosphate amphiphiles in mixtures of prebiotically plausible surfactants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albertsen, A N; Duffy, C D; Sutherland, J D; Monnard, P-A

    2014-06-01

    The spontaneous formation of closed bilayer structures from prebiotically plausible amphiphiles is an essential requirement for the emergence of early cells on prebiotic Earth. The sources of amphiphiles could have been both endo- and exogenous (accretion of meteorite carbonaceous material or interstellar dust particles). Among all prebiotic possible amphiphile candidates, those containing phosphate are the least investigated species because their self-assembly occurs in a seemingly too narrow range of conditions. The self-assembly of simple phosphate amphiphiles should, however, be of great interest, as contemporary membranes predominantly contain phospholipids. In contrast to common expectations, we show that these amphiphiles can be easily synthesized under prebiotically plausible environmental conditions and can efficiently form bilayer structures in the presence of various co-surfactants across a large range of pH values. Vesiculation was even observed in crude reaction mixtures that contained 1-decanol as the amphiphile precursor. The two best co-surfactants promoted vesicle formation over the entire pH range in aqueous solutions. Expanding the pH range where bilayer membranes self-assemble and remain intact is a prerequisite for the emergence of early cell-like compartments and their preservation under fluctuating environmental conditions. These mixed bilayers also retained small charged solutes, such as dyes. These results demonstrate that alkyl phosphate amphiphiles might have played a significant role as early compartment building blocks.

  10. The Sarrazin effect: the presence of absurd statements in conspiracy theories makes canonical information less plausible.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, Marius Hans; Auer, Nikolas; Ortlieb, Stefan A; Carbon, Claus-Christian

    2013-01-01

    Reptile prime ministers and flying Nazi saucers-extreme and sometimes off-wall conclusion are typical ingredients of conspiracy theories. While individual differences are a common research topic concerning conspiracy theories, the role of extreme statements in the process of acquiring and passing on conspiratorial stories has not been regarded in an experimental design so far. We identified six morphological components of conspiracy theories empirically. On the basis of these content categories a set of narrative elements for a 9/11 story was compiled. These elements varied systematically in terms of conspiratorial allegation, i.e., they contained official statements concerning the events of 9/11, statements alleging to a conspiracy limited in time and space as well as extreme statements indicating an all-encompassing cover-up. Using the method of narrative construction, 30 people were given a set of cards with these statements and asked to construct the course of events of 9/11 they deem most plausible. When extreme statements were present in the set, the resulting stories were more conspiratorial; the number of official statements included in the narrative dropped significantly, whereas the self-assessment of the story's plausibility did not differ between conditions. This indicates that blatant statements in a pool of information foster the synthesis of conspiracy theories on an individual level. By relating these findings to one of Germany's most successful (and controversial) non-fiction books, we refer to the real-world dangers of this effect.

  11. A neurophysiologically plausible population code model for feature integration explains visual crowding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald van den Berg

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available An object in the peripheral visual field is more difficult to recognize when surrounded by other objects. This phenomenon is called "crowding". Crowding places a fundamental constraint on human vision that limits performance on numerous tasks. It has been suggested that crowding results from spatial feature integration necessary for object recognition. However, in the absence of convincing models, this theory has remained controversial. Here, we present a quantitative and physiologically plausible model for spatial integration of orientation signals, based on the principles of population coding. Using simulations, we demonstrate that this model coherently accounts for fundamental properties of crowding, including critical spacing, "compulsory averaging", and a foveal-peripheral anisotropy. Moreover, we show that the model predicts increased responses to correlated visual stimuli. Altogether, these results suggest that crowding has little immediate bearing on object recognition but is a by-product of a general, elementary integration mechanism in early vision aimed at improving signal quality.

  12. A neurophysiologically plausible population code model for feature integration explains visual crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Berg, Ronald; Roerdink, Jos B T M; Cornelissen, Frans W

    2010-01-22

    An object in the peripheral visual field is more difficult to recognize when surrounded by other objects. This phenomenon is called "crowding". Crowding places a fundamental constraint on human vision that limits performance on numerous tasks. It has been suggested that crowding results from spatial feature integration necessary for object recognition. However, in the absence of convincing models, this theory has remained controversial. Here, we present a quantitative and physiologically plausible model for spatial integration of orientation signals, based on the principles of population coding. Using simulations, we demonstrate that this model coherently accounts for fundamental properties of crowding, including critical spacing, "compulsory averaging", and a foveal-peripheral anisotropy. Moreover, we show that the model predicts increased responses to correlated visual stimuli. Altogether, these results suggest that crowding has little immediate bearing on object recognition but is a by-product of a general, elementary integration mechanism in early vision aimed at improving signal quality.

  13. Quantum theory as plausible reasoning applied to data obtained by robust experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Raedt, H; Katsnelson, M I; Michielsen, K

    2016-05-28

    We review recent work that employs the framework of logical inference to establish a bridge between data gathered through experiments and their objective description in terms of human-made concepts. It is shown that logical inference applied to experiments for which the observed events are independent and for which the frequency distribution of these events is robust with respect to small changes of the conditions under which the experiments are carried out yields, without introducing any concept of quantum theory, the quantum theoretical description in terms of the Schrödinger or the Pauli equation, the Stern-Gerlach or Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Bohm experiments. The extraordinary descriptive power of quantum theory then follows from the fact that it is plausible reasoning, that is common sense, applied to reproducible and robust experimental data.

  14. Plausible families of compact objects with a Non Local Equation of State

    CERN Document Server

    Hernández, H

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the plausibility of some models emerging from an algorithm devised to generate a one-parameter family of interior solutions for the Einstein equations. It is explored how their physical variables change as the family-parameter varies. The models studied correspond to anisotropic spherical matter configurations having a non local equation of state. This particular type of equation of state with no causality problems provides, at a given point, the radial pressure not only as a function of the density but as a functional of the enclosed matter distribution. We have found that there are several model-independent tendencies as the parameter increases: the equation of state tends to be stiffer and the total mass becomes half of its external radius. Profiting from the concept of cracking of materials in General Relativity, we obtain that those models become more stable as the family parameter increases.

  15. Signature of Plausible Accreting Supermassive Black Holes in Mrk 261/262 and Mrk 266

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gagik Ter-Kazarian

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We address the neutrino radiation of plausible accreting supermassive black holes closely linking to the 5 nuclear components of galaxy samples of Mrk 261/262 and Mrk 266. We predict a time delay before neutrino emission of the same scale as the age of the Universe. The ultrahigh energy neutrinos are produced in superdense protomatter medium via simple (quark or pionic reactions or modified URCA processes (G. Gamow was inspired to name the process URCA after the name of a casino in Rio de Janeiro. The resulting neutrino fluxes for quark reactions are ranging from to , where is the opening parameter. For pionic and modified URCA reactions, the fluxes are and , respectively. These fluxes are highly beamed along the plane of accretion disk, peaked at ultrahigh energies, and collimated in smaller opening angle .

  16. Plausible role of nanoparticle contamination in the synthesis and properties of organic electronic materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ananikov, Valentine P.

    2016-12-01

    Traceless transition metal catalysis (Pd, Ni, Cu, etc.) is very difficult to achieve. Metal contamination in the synthesized products is unavoidable and the most important questions are: How to control metal impurities? What amount of metal impurities can be tolerated? What is the influence of metal impurities? In this brief review, the plausible origins of nanoparticle contamination are discussed in the framework of catalytic synthesis of organic electronic materials. Key factors responsible for increasing the probability of contamination are considered from the point of view of catalytic reaction mechanisms. The purity of the catalyst may greatly affect the molecular weight of a polymer, reaction yield, selectivity and several other parameters. Metal contamination in the final polymeric products may induce some changes in the electric conductivity, charge transport properties, photovoltaic performance and other important parameters.

  17. Complex adaptive HIV/AIDS risk reduction: Plausible implications from findings in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burman, Chris J; Aphane, Marota A

    2016-05-16

    This article emphasises that when working with complex adaptive systems it is possible to stimulate new social practices and/or cognitive perspectives that contribute to risk reduction, associated with reducing aggregate community viral loads. The process of achieving this is highly participatory and is methodologically possible because evidence of 'attractors' that influence the social practices can be identified using qualitative research techniques. Using findings from Limpopo Province, South Africa, we argue that working with 'wellness attractors' and increasing their presence within the HIV/AIDS landscape could influence aggregate community viral loads. While the analysis that is presented is unconventional, it is plausible that this perspective may hold potential to develop a biosocial response - which the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has called for - that reinforces the biomedical opportunities that are now available to achieve the ambition of ending AIDS by 2030.

  18. Reciprocity-based reasons for benefiting research participants: most fail, the most plausible is problematic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofaer, Neema

    2014-11-01

    A common reason for giving research participants post-trial access (PTA) to the trial intervention appeals to reciprocity, the principle, stated most generally, that if one person benefits a second, the second should reciprocate: benefit the first in return. Many authors consider it obvious that reciprocity supports PTA. Yet their reciprocity principles differ, with many authors apparently unaware of alternative versions. This article is the first to gather the range of reciprocity principles. It finds that: (1) most are false. (2) The most plausible principle, which is also problematic, applies only when participants experience significant net risks or burdens. (3) Seldom does reciprocity support PTA for participants or give researchers stronger reason to benefit participants than equally needy non-participants. (4) Reciprocity fails to explain the common view that it is bad when participants in a successful trial have benefited from the trial intervention but lack PTA to it.

  19. Oxidation of cefazolin by potassium permanganate: Transformation products and plausible pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Liping; Wei, Dongbin; Wei, Guohua; Du, Yuguo

    2016-04-01

    Cefazolin was demonstrated to exert high reactivity toward permanganate (Mn(VII)), a common oxidant in water pre-oxidation treatment. In this study, five transformation products were found to be classified into three categories according to the contained characteristic functional groups: three (di-)sulfoxide products, one sulfone product and one di-ketone product. Products analyses showed that two kinds of reactions including oxidation of thioether and the cleavage of unsaturated CC double bond occurred during transformation of cefazolin by Mn(VII). Subsequently, the plausible transformation pathways under different pH conditions were proposed based on the identified products and chemical reaction principles. More importantly, the simulation with real surface water matrix indicated that the proposed transformation pathways of cefazolin could be replayed in real water treatment practices.

  20. Plausible authentication of manuka honey and related products by measuring leptosperin with methyl syringate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Yoji; Fujinaka, Rie; Ishisaka, Akari; Nitta, Yoko; Kitamoto, Noritoshi; Takimoto, Yosuke

    2014-07-01

    Manuka honey, obtained from Leptospermum scoparium flowers in New Zealand, has strong antibacterial properties. In this study, plausible authentication of the manuka honey was inspected by measuring leptosperin, methyl syringate 4-O-β-D-gentiobiose, along with methyl syringate. Despite a gradual decrease in methyl syringate content over 30 days at 50 °C, even at moderate 37 °C, leptosperin remained stable. A considerable correlation between nonperoxide antibacterial activity and leptosperin content was observed in 20 certified manuka honey samples. Leptosperin and methyl syringate in manuka honey and related products were analyzed using HPLC connected with mass spectrometry. One noncertified brand displayed significant variations in the leptosperin and methyl syringate contents between two samples obtained from different regions. Therefore, certification is clearly required to protect consumers from disguised and/or low-quality honey. Because leptosperin is stable during storage and specific to manuka honey, its measurement may be applicable for manuka honey authentication.

  1. A plausible simultaneous synthesis of amino acids and simple peptides on the primordial Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Eric T; Zhou, Manshui; Burton, Aaron S; Glavin, Daniel P; Dworkin, Jason P; Krishnamurthy, Ramanarayanan; Fernández, Facundo M; Bada, Jeffrey L

    2014-07-28

    Following his seminal work in 1953, Stanley Miller conducted an experiment in 1958 to study the polymerization of amino acids under simulated early Earth conditions. In the experiment, Miller sparked a gas mixture of CH4, NH3, and H2O, while intermittently adding the plausible prebiotic condensing reagent cyanamide. For unknown reasons, an analysis of the samples was not reported. We analyzed the archived samples for amino acids, dipeptides, and diketopiperazines by liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry, and mass spectrometry. A dozen amino acids, 10 glycine-containing dipeptides, and 3 glycine-containing diketopiperazines were detected. Miller's experiment was repeated and similar polymerization products were observed. Aqueous heating experiments indicate that Strecker synthesis intermediates play a key role in facilitating polymerization. These results highlight the potential importance of condensing reagents in generating diversity within the prebiotic chemical inventory.

  2. The Sarrazin effect: the presence of absurd statements in conspiracy theories makes canonical information less plausible

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Hans Raab

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Reptile prime ministers and flying Nazi saucers—extreme and sometimes off-wall conclusion are common ingredients of conspiracy theories. While individual differences are a common research topic concerning conspiracy theories, the role of extreme statements in the process of acquiring and passing on conspiratorial stories has not been regarded in an experimental design so far. We identified six morphological components of conspiracy theories empirically. On the basis of these content categories a set of narrative elements for a 9/11 story was compiled. These elements varied systematically in terms of conspiratorial allegation, i.e., they contained official statements concerning the events of 9/11, statements alleging to a conspiracy limited in time and space as well as extreme statements indicating an all-encompassing cover-up. Using the method of narrative construction, 30 people were given a set of cards with these statements and asked to construct the course of events of 9/11 they deem most plausible. When extreme statements were present in the set, the resulting stories were more conspiratorial; the number of official statements included in the narrative dropped significantly, whereas the self-assessment of the story’s plausibility did not differ between conditions. This indicates that blatant statements in a pool of information foster the synthesis of conspiracy theories on an individual level. By relating these findings to one of Germany’s most successful (and controversial non-fiction books, we refer to the real-world dangers of this effect.

  3. What can polysemy tell us about theories of explanation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serban, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Philosophical accounts of scientific explanation are broadly divided into ontic and epistemic views. This paper explores the idea that the lexical ambiguity of the verb to explain and its nominalisation supports an ontic conception of explanation (Salmon 1989; Craver 2007). I analyse one argument...... a better account of the lexical alternations that figure in the systematic polysemy of explanatory talk, and evaluate the implications of this proposal for the debate between ontic and epistemic conceptions of scientific explanation....

  4. 32 CFR 507.3 - Explanation of abbreviations and terms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... AUTHORITIES AND PUBLIC RELATIONS MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF DECORATIONS, MEDALS, BADGES, INSIGNIA, COMMERCIAL USE OF HERALDIC DESIGNS AND HERALDIC QUALITY CONTROL PROGRAM Introduction § 507.3 Explanation...

  5. Verbal explanations given by science teachers: Their nature and implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagher, Zoubeida; Cossman, George

    The purpose of this study was to explore the nature of explanations used by science teachers in junior high school classrooms. Studies on explanation in education, philosophy of science, and everyday discourse were consulted. Twenty public school teachers participated in the study. The analysis was based on observations of 40 class periods during which the classroom discourse was audiotaped and later transcribed. Using the constant comparative method in analyzing the transcripts, 10 types of explanations were generated. These explanations were labeled analogical, anthropomorphic, functional, genetic, mechanical, metaphysical, practical, rational, tautological, and teleological. These 10 types were conceptually related to one another by subsuming them under more encompassing literature-based categories.

  6. A study of the development of collaborative explanations in molecular genetics by secondary science students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gribbin, Mary Elizabeth

    Current science education standards documents include recommendations that learning activities employ authentic scientific inquiry. The product of scientific inquiry is a scientific explanation, and student inquiry should therefore be directed toward development of explanations. Science is a collaborative enterprise, and inquiry learning should include activities requiring collaboration. The ability of secondary students in an academic enrichment program in molecular genetics to collaborate to develop explanations in response to assigned questions for discussion was investigated in this study. The following research questions were addressed: (1) What kinds of explanations do students produce? (2) What kinds of cognitive and social processes do students engage in? (3) Which cognitive and social processes promote the development of better explanations? The participants of this study were thirty-four students from nineteen New Jersey high schools who took part in a four-week summer enrichment program in genetics and molecular biology at the Waksman Institute, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The students were of high or very high academic ability. Students met once each week in small groups to discuss a challenging science question presented by the instructor. These discussions were audio taped, and data used in the study were obtained primarily from transcripts of the tapes. The procedure used to evaluate the students' arguments was based upon methods for analyzing the structure of arguments described by Chinn & Anderson (1999) and Halpern (1996), and employed taxonomies developed by the investigator. The taxonomies were shown to be an effective tool for evaluating and characterizing student discussions in terms of logical reasoning, content knowledge, and collaboration. Analyses of the transcripts indicated that groups in which the students had prior knowledge of the content related to the discussion questions produced complete and valid arguments, but

  7. Vocabulary Explanations in CLIL Classrooms: A Conversation Analysis Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Tom

    2015-01-01

    This article uses a conversation analysis methodology to examine how lexical Focus on Form is interactionally accomplished in teachers' vocabulary explanations in secondary Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) classrooms. Recent conversation-analytic work has focused on the interactional organisation of vocabulary explanations in…

  8. Explanation, Argumentation and Dialogic Interactions in Science Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguiar, Orlando G., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    As a responsive article to Miranda Rocksén's paper "The many roles of "explanation" in science education: a case study," this paper aims to emphasize the importance of the two central themes of her paper: dialogic approaches in science education and the role of explanations in science classrooms. I start discussing the concepts…

  9. Strategic Explanations for a Diagnostic Consultation System. Technical Report #8.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasling, Diane Warner; And Others

    This paper examines the problem of automatic explanation of reasoning, or the ability of a program to discuss what it is doing in some understandable way, particularly as part of an expert system. An introduction presents a general framework in which to view explanation and reviews some of the research in this area. This is followed by a…

  10. Non-local common cause explanations for EPR

    CERN Document Server

    Egg, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    The paper argues that a causal explanation of the correlated outcomes of EPR-type experiments is desirable and possible. It shows how Bohmian mechanics and the GRW mass density theory offer such an explanation in terms of a non-local common cause.

  11. Structural Equations and Causal Explanations: Some Challenges for Causal SEM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markus, Keith A.

    2010-01-01

    One common application of structural equation modeling (SEM) involves expressing and empirically investigating causal explanations. Nonetheless, several aspects of causal explanation that have an impact on behavioral science methodology remain poorly understood. It remains unclear whether applications of SEM should attempt to provide complete…

  12. 32 CFR 516.3 - Explanation of abbreviations and terms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... AUTHORITIES AND PUBLIC RELATIONS LITIGATION General § 516.3 Explanation of abbreviations and terms. (a) The Glossary contains explanations of abbreviations and terms. (b) The masculine gender has been used throughout this regulation for simplicity and consistency. Any reference to the masculine gender is...

  13. Teacher Explanation of Physics Concepts: A Video Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geelan, David

    2013-01-01

    Video recordings of Year 11 physics lessons were analyzed to identify key features of teacher explanations. Important features of the explanations used included teachers' ability to move between qualitative and quantitative modes of discussion, attention to what students require to succeed in high stakes examinations, thoughtful use of…

  14. The PRO Instructional Strategy in the Construction of Scientific Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Kok-Sing

    2015-01-01

    This article presents an instructional strategy called Premise-Reasoning-Outcome (PRO) designed to support students in the construction of scientific explanations. Informed by the philosophy of science and linguistic studies of science, the PRO strategy involves identifying three components of a scientific explanation: (i) premise--an accepted…

  15. Teacher Explanation of Physics Concepts: A Video Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geelan, David

    2013-01-01

    Video recordings of Year 11 physics lessons were analyzed to identify key features of teacher explanations. Important features of the explanations used included teachers' ability to move between qualitative and quantitative modes of discussion, attention to what students require to succeed in high stakes examinations, thoughtful use of…

  16. 5 CFR 1201.72 - Explanation and scope of discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... location of persons with knowledge of relevant facts. Discovery requests that are directed to nonparties... 5 Administrative Personnel 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Explanation and scope of discovery. 1201... PROCEDURES PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES Procedures for Appellate Cases Discovery § 1201.72 Explanation and...

  17. Self-explanation fosters clinical reasoning among medical students

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Chamberland (Martine)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ This thesis explores the use of self-explanation by medical students as a tool supporting the learning of clinical reasoning in the clerkship. Self-explanation (SE) is a learning technique in which students explain to themselves pieces of a learning material for the pur

  18. Continuous Explanation Generation in a Multi-Agent Domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi - Agent Systems (pp. 989-996). Valencia, Spain: IFAAMAS. Molineaux, M., Klenk, M., & Aha, D.W. (2010...Continuous Explanation Generation in a Multi - Agent Domain Matthew Molineaux MATTHEW.MOLINEAUX@KNEXUSRESEARCH.COM Knexus Research Corporation, 9120...Abstract An agent operating in a dynamic, multi - agent environment with partial observability should continuously generate and maintain an explanation

  19. Explanation, Argumentation and Dialogic Interactions in Science Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguiar, Orlando G., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    As a responsive article to Miranda Rocksén's paper "The many roles of "explanation" in science education: a case study," this paper aims to emphasize the importance of the two central themes of her paper: dialogic approaches in science education and the role of explanations in science classrooms. I start discussing the concepts…

  20. Vocabulary Explanations in CLIL Classrooms: A Conversation Analysis Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Tom

    2015-01-01

    This article uses a conversation analysis methodology to examine how lexical Focus on Form is interactionally accomplished in teachers' vocabulary explanations in secondary Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) classrooms. Recent conversation-analytic work has focused on the interactional organisation of vocabulary explanations in…

  1. The PRO Instructional Strategy in the Construction of Scientific Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Kok-Sing

    2015-01-01

    This article presents an instructional strategy called Premise-Reasoning-Outcome (PRO) designed to support students in the construction of scientific explanations. Informed by the philosophy of science and linguistic studies of science, the PRO strategy involves identifying three components of a scientific explanation: (i) premise--an accepted…

  2. IS Outsourcing "Behind the Curtain" - Beyond Rational to Institutional Explanations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svejvig, Per; Pries-Heje, Jan

    explanation; but then with a more careful analysis focusing on institutional factors, other explanations "behind the curtain" were re-vealed, such as management consultants with a "best practice" agenda, people promoting out-sourcing thereby being promoted themselves, and a believe in outsourcing as a "silver...

  3. A Possible Explanation to Paradox in Horse Spleen Ferritins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    寇谡鹏; 梁九卿

    2003-01-01

    There are contradicting opinions about the tunnelling experiments in horse-spleen ferritin particles. By distinguish the coherent and incoherent tunnelling processes, we give a unified explanation to different experiments. As a result, a possible explanation to the paradox is proposed

  4. An prediction and explanation of 'climatic swing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Yury

    2010-05-01

    core-mantle system and their changes in the time have an important role and value for style and intensity of warming and cooling. References [1] Barkin Yu.V. (2002) An explanation of endogenous activity of planets and satellites and its cyclisity. Isvestia sekcii nauk o Zemle Rossiiskoi akademii ectestvennykh nauk. Vyp. 9, М., VINITI, pp. 45-97. In Russian. [2] Barkin Yu.V. (2004) Dynamics of the Earth shells and variations of paleoclimate. Proceedings of Milutin Milankovitch Anniversary Symposium "Paleoclimate and the Earth climate system" (Belgrade, Serbia, 30 August - 2 September, 2004). Belgrade, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art, pp. 161-164. [3] Barkin Yu.V. (2007) Inversion of periodic and trend variations of climate in opposite hemispheres of the Earth and their mechanism. Proceedings of IUGG XXIV General Assembly, Perugia, Italy 2007: Earth: Our Changing Planet (Perugia, Italy, July 2-13, 2007) (P) - IAPSO, JPS001 "Interannual and Interdecadal Climate Variability", p. 1674. www. iugg2007perugia.it. [4] Barkin Yu.V. (2008) Secular polar drift of the core in present epoch: geodynamical and geophysical consequences and confirmations. General and regional problems of tectonics and geodynamics. Materials of XLI Tectonic Conference. V. 1. -M.:GEOS. p. 55-59. In Russian. [5] Barkin Yu.V. (2009) An explanation of secular variations of a gravity at stations Ny-Alesund, Medicine, Churchill and Syowa. Materials of the International Conference: «Yu.P. Bulashevich's fifth scientific readings. A deep structure. Geodynamics. A thermal field of the Earth. Interpretation of geophysical fields» (Ekaterinburg, 6 - 10 July, 2009). pp. 27-31. In Russian. [6] Barkin Yu.V. (2005) Oscillations of the Earth core, new oceanic tides and dynamical consequences. Materials of XI International Scientific Conference "Structure, geodynamics and mineral genetic processes in lithosphere" (September, 20-22 2005, Syktyvkar, Russia), Publisher of Geology Institute of Komi SC of Ural Section

  5. Semantics-based plausible reasoning to extend the knowledge coverage of medical knowledge bases for improved clinical decision support.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadhassanzadeh, Hossein; Van Woensel, William; Abidi, Samina Raza; Abidi, Syed Sibte Raza

    2017-01-01

    Capturing complete medical knowledge is challenging-often due to incomplete patient Electronic Health Records (EHR), but also because of valuable, tacit medical knowledge hidden away in physicians' experiences. To extend the coverage of incomplete medical knowledge-based systems beyond their deductive closure, and thus enhance their decision-support capabilities, we argue that innovative, multi-strategy reasoning approaches should be applied. In particular, plausible reasoning mechanisms apply patterns from human thought processes, such as generalization, similarity and interpolation, based on attributional, hierarchical, and relational knowledge. Plausible reasoning mechanisms include inductive reasoning, which generalizes the commonalities among the data to induce new rules, and analogical reasoning, which is guided by data similarities to infer new facts. By further leveraging rich, biomedical Semantic Web ontologies to represent medical knowledge, both known and tentative, we increase the accuracy and expressivity of plausible reasoning, and cope with issues such as data heterogeneity, inconsistency and interoperability. In this paper, we present a Semantic Web-based, multi-strategy reasoning approach, which integrates deductive and plausible reasoning and exploits Semantic Web technology to solve complex clinical decision support queries. We evaluated our system using a real-world medical dataset of patients with hepatitis, from which we randomly removed different percentages of data (5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%) to reflect scenarios with increasing amounts of incomplete medical knowledge. To increase the reliability of the results, we generated 5 independent datasets for each percentage of missing values, which resulted in 20 experimental datasets (in addition to the original dataset). The results show that plausibly inferred knowledge extends the coverage of the knowledge base by, on average, 2%, 7%, 12%, and 16% for datasets with, respectively, 5%, 10%, 15%, and

  6. Mindfulness and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: State of the Evidence, Plausible Mechanisms, and Theoretical Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loucks, Eric B; Schuman-Olivier, Zev; Britton, Willoughby B; Fresco, David M; Desbordes, Gaelle; Brewer, Judson A; Fulwiler, Carl

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this review is to provide (1) a synopsis on relations of mindfulness with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and major CVD risk factors, and (2) an initial consensus-based overview of mechanisms and theoretical framework by which mindfulness might influence CVD. Initial evidence, often of limited methodological quality, suggests possible impacts of mindfulness on CVD risk factors including physical activity, smoking, diet, obesity, blood pressure, and diabetes regulation. Plausible mechanisms include (1) improved attention control (e.g., ability to hold attention on experiences related to CVD risk, such as smoking, diet, physical activity, and medication adherence), (2) emotion regulation (e.g., improved stress response, self-efficacy, and skills to manage craving for cigarettes, palatable foods, and sedentary activities), and (3) self-awareness (e.g., self-referential processing and awareness of physical sensations due to CVD risk factors). Understanding mechanisms and theoretical framework should improve etiologic knowledge, providing customized mindfulness intervention targets that could enable greater mindfulness intervention efficacy.

  7. A plausible (overlooked) super-luminous supernova in the SDSS Stripe 82 data

    CERN Document Server

    Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Zuzanna; Wyrzykowski, Lukasz; Djorgovski, S George; Glikman, Eilat; Mahabal, Ashish A

    2013-01-01

    We present the discovery of a plausible super-luminous supernova (SLSN), found in the archival data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82, called PSN 000123+000504. The supernova peaked at M_g<-21.3 mag in the second half of September 2005, but was missed by the real-time supernova hunt. The observed part of the light curve (17 epochs) showed that the rise to the maximum took over 30 days, while the decline time lasted at least 70 days (observed frame), closely resembling other SLSNe of SN2007bi type. Spectrum of the host galaxy reveals a redshift of z=0.281 and the distance modulus of \\mu=40.77 mag. Combining this information with the SDSS photometry, we found the host galaxy to be an LMC-like irregular dwarf galaxy with the absolute magnitude of M_B=-18.2+/-0.2 mag and the oxygen abundance of 12+log[O/H]=8.3+/-0.2. Our SLSN follows the relation for the most energetic/super-luminous SNe exploding in low-metallicity environments, but we found no clear evidence for SLSNe to explode in low-luminosity ...

  8. Event-based plausibility immediately influences on-line language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuki, Kazunaga; Chow, Tracy; Hare, Mary; Elman, Jeffrey L; Scheepers, Christoph; McRae, Ken

    2011-07-01

    In some theories of sentence comprehension, linguistically relevant lexical knowledge, such as selectional restrictions, is privileged in terms of the time-course of its access and influence. We examined whether event knowledge computed by combining multiple concepts can rapidly influence language understanding even in the absence of selectional restriction violations. Specifically, we investigated whether instruments can combine with actions to influence comprehension of ensuing patients of (as in Rayner, Warren, Juhuasz, & Liversedge, 2004; Warren & McConnell, 2007). Instrument-verb-patient triplets were created in a norming study designed to tap directly into event knowledge. In self-paced reading (Experiment 1), participants were faster to read patient nouns, such as hair, when they were typical of the instrument-action pair (Donna used the shampoo to wash vs. the hose to wash). Experiment 2 showed that these results were not due to direct instrument-patient relations. Experiment 3 replicated Experiment 1 using eyetracking, with effects of event typicality observed in first fixation and gaze durations on the patient noun. This research demonstrates that conceptual event-based expectations are computed and used rapidly and dynamically during on-line language comprehension. We discuss relationships among plausibility and predictability, as well as their implications. We conclude that selectional restrictions may be best considered as event-based conceptual knowledge rather than lexical-grammatical knowledge.

  9. From ether to acid: A plausible degradation pathway of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiao-Lei; Birgel, Daniel; Elling, Felix J.; Sutton, Paul A.; Lipp, Julius S.; Zhu, Rong; Zhang, Chuanlun; Könneke, Martin; Peckmann, Jörn; Rowland, Steven J.; Summons, Roger E.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2016-06-01

    Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) are ubiquitous microbial lipids with extensive demonstrated and potential roles as paleoenvironmental proxies. Despite the great attention they receive, comparatively little is known regarding their diagenetic fate. Putative degradation products of GDGTs, identified as hydroxyl and carboxyl derivatives, were detected in lipid extracts of marine sediment, seep carbonate, hot spring sediment and cells of the marine thaumarchaeon Nitrosopumilus maritimus. The distribution of GDGT degradation products in environmental samples suggests that both biotic and abiotic processes act as sinks for GDGTs. More than a hundred newly recognized degradation products afford a view of the stepwise degradation of GDGT via (1) ether bond hydrolysis yielding hydroxyl isoprenoids, namely, GDGTol (glycerol dialkyl glycerol triether alcohol), GMGD (glycerol monobiphytanyl glycerol diether), GDD (glycerol dibiphytanol diether), GMM (glycerol monobiphytanol monoether) and bpdiol (biphytanic diol); (2) oxidation of isoprenoidal alcohols into corresponding carboxyl derivatives and (3) chain shortening to yield C39 and smaller isoprenoids. This plausible GDGT degradation pathway from glycerol ethers to isoprenoidal fatty acids provides the link to commonly detected head-to-head linked long chain isoprenoidal hydrocarbons in petroleum and sediment samples. The problematic C80 to C82 tetraacids that cause naphthenate deposits in some oil production facilities can be generated from H-shaped glycerol monoalkyl glycerol tetraethers (GMGTs) following the same process, as indicated by the distribution of related derivatives in hydrothermally influenced sediments.

  10. Plausible molecular and crystal structures of chitosan/HI type II salt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lertworasirikul, Amornrat; Noguchi, Keiichi; Ogawa, Kozo; Okuyama, Kenji

    2004-03-15

    Chitosan/HI type II salt prepared from crab tendon was investigated by X-ray fiber diffraction. Two polymer chains and 16 iodide ions (I(-)) crystallized in a tetragonal unit cell with lattice parameters of a = b = 10.68(3), c (fiber axis) = 40.77(13) A, and a space group P4(1). Chitosan forms a fourfold helix with a 40.77 A fiber period having a disaccharide as the helical asymmetric unit. One of the O-3... O-5 intramolecular hydrogen bonds at the glycosidic linkage is weakened by interacting with iodide ions, which seems to cause the polymer to take the 4/1-helical symmetry rather than the extended 2/1-helix. The plausible orientations of two O-6 atoms in the helical asymmetric unit were found to be gt and gg. Two chains are running through at the corner and the center of the unit cell along the c-axis. They are linked by hydrogen bonds between N-21 and O-61 atoms. Two out of four independent iodide ions are packed between the corner chains while the other two are packed between the corner and center chains when viewing through the ab-plane. The crystal structure of the salt is stabilized by hydrogen bonds between these iodide ions and N-21, N-22, O-32, O-61, O-62 of the polymer chains.

  11. Solvent effects on the photochemistry of 4-aminoimidazole-5-carbonitrile, a prebiotically plausible precursor of purines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabla, Rafał; Sponer, Judit E; Sponer, Jiří; Sobolewski, Andrzej L; Góra, Robert W

    2014-09-01

    4-Aminoimidazole-5-carbonitrile (AICN) was suggested as a prebiotically plausible precursor of purine nucleobases and nucleotides. Although it can be formed in a sequence of photoreactions, AICN is immune to further irradiation with UV-light. We present state-of-the-art multi-reference quantum-chemical calculations of potential energy surface cuts and conical intersection optimizations to explain the molecular mechanisms underlying the photostability of this compound. We have identified the N-H bond stretching and ring-puckering mechanisms that should be responsible for the photochemistry of AICN in the gas phase. We have further considered the photochemistry of AICN-water clusters, while including up to six explicit water molecules. The calculations reveal charge transfer to solvent followed by formation of an H3O(+) cation, both of which occur on the (1)πσ* hypersurface. Interestingly, a second proton transfer to an adjacent water molecule leads to a (1)πσ*/S0 conical intersection. We suggest that this electron-driven proton relay might be characteristic of low-lying (1)πσ* states in chromophore-water clusters. Owing to its nature, this mechanism might also be responsible for the photostability of analogous organic molecules in bulk water.

  12. Plausible ergogenic effects of vitamin D on athletic performance and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlquist, Dylan T; Dieter, Brad P; Koehle, Michael S

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to examine vitamin D in the context of sport nutrition and its potential role in optimizing athletic performance. Vitamin D receptors (VDR) and vitamin D response elements (VDREs) are located in almost every tissue within the human body including skeletal muscle. The hormonally-active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, has been shown to play critical roles in the human body and regulates over 900 gene variants. Based on the literature presented, it is plausible that vitamin D levels above the normal reference range (up to 100 nmol/L) might increase skeletal muscle function, decrease recovery time from training, increase both force and power production, and increase testosterone production, each of which could potentiate athletic performance. Therefore, maintaining higher levels of vitamin D could prove beneficial for athletic performance. Despite this situation, large portions of athletic populations are vitamin D deficient. Currently, the research is inconclusive with regards to the optimal intake of vitamin D, the specific forms of vitamin D one should ingest, and the distinct nutrient-nutrient interactions of vitamin D with vitamin K that affect arterial calcification and hypervitaminosis. Furthermore, it is possible that dosages exceeding the recommendations for vitamin D (i.e. dosages up to 4000-5000 IU/day), in combination with 50 to 1000 mcg/day of vitamin K1 and K2 could aid athletic performance. This review will investigate these topics, and specifically their relevance to athletic performance.

  13. A plausible mechanism of biosorption in dual symbioses by vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmat, Rafia; Hamid, Neelofer

    2015-03-01

    Dual symbioses of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi with growth of Momordica charantia were elucidated in terms of plausible mechanism of biosorption in this article. The experiment was conducted in green house and mixed inoculum of the VAM fungi was used in the three replicates. Results demonstrated that the starch contents were the main source of C for the VAM to builds their hyphae. The increased plant height and leaves surface area were explained in relation with an increase in the photosynthetic rates to produce rapid sugar contents for the survival of plants. A decreased in protein, and amino acid contents and increased proline and protease activity in VAM plants suggested that these contents were the main bio-indicators of the plants under biotic stress. The decline in protein may be due to the degradation of these contents, which later on converted into dextrose where it can easily be absorbed by for the period of symbioses. A mechanism of C chemisorption in relation with physiology and morphology of plant was discussed.

  14. Vitamin D in primary biliary cirrhosis, a plausible marker of advanced disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agmon-Levin, Nancy; Kopilov, Ron; Selmi, Carlo; Nussinovitch, Udi; Sánchez-Castañón, María; López-Hoyos, Marcos; Amital, Howie; Kivity, Shaye; Gershwin, Eric M; Shoenfeld, Yehuda

    2015-02-01

    Vitamin D immune-modulating effects were extensively studied, and low levels have been linked with autoimmune diseases. The associations of vitamin D with autoimmune diseases of the liver, and particularly primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), are yet to be defined. Hence, in this study, serum levels of vitamin D were determined in 79 patients with PBC and 70 age- and sex-matched controls by the LIAISON chemiluminescent immunoassays (DiaSorin-Italy). Clinical and serological parameters of patients were analyzed with respect to vitamin D status. Mean levels of vitamin D were significantly lower among patients with PBC compared with controls (16.8 ± 9 vs. 22.1 ± 9 ng/ml; p = 0.029), and vitamin D deficiency (≤10 ng/ml) was documented in 33% of patients with PBC versus 7% of controls (p plausible roles of vitamin D as a prognostic marker of PBC severity, and as a potential player in this disease pathogenesis. While further studies are awaited, monitoring vitamin D in patients with PBC and use of supplements may be advisable.

  15. Is the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics really plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Kurt

    2013-06-01

    Bohmian mechanics also known as de Broglie-Bohm theory is the most popular alternative approach to quantum mechanics. Whereas the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics is based on the complementarity principle Bohmian mechanics assumes that both particle and wave are concrete physical objects. In 1993 Peter Holland has written an ardent account on the plausibility of the de Broglie-Bohm theory. He proved that it fully reproduces quantum mechanics if the initial particle distribution is consistent with a solution of the Schrödinger equation. Which may be the reasons that Bohmian mechanics has not yet found global acceptance? In this article it will be shown that predicted properties of atoms and molecules are in conflict with experimental findings. Moreover it will be demonstrated that repeatedly published ensembles of trajectories illustrating double slit diffraction processes do not agree with quantum mechanics. The credibility of a theory is undermined when recognizably wrong data presented frequently over years are finally not declared obsolete.

  16. Plausible futures of a social-ecological system: Yahara watershed, Wisconsin, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R. Carpenter

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural watersheds are affected by changes in climate, land use, agricultural practices, and human demand for energy, food, and water resources. In this context, we analyzed the agricultural, urbanizing Yahara watershed (size: 1345 km², population: 372,000 to assess its responses to multiple changing drivers. We measured recent trends in land use/cover and water quality of the watershed, spatial patterns of 10 ecosystem services, and spatial patterns and nestedness of governance. We developed scenarios for the future of the Yahara watershed by integrating trends and events from the global scenarios literature, perspectives of stakeholders, and models of biophysical drivers and ecosystem services. Four qualitative scenarios were created to explore plausible trajectories to the year 2070 in the watershed's social-ecological system under different regimes: no action on environmental trends, accelerated technological development, strong intervention by government, and shifting values toward sustainability. Quantitative time-series for 2010-2070 were developed for weather and land use/cover during each scenario as inputs to model changes in ecosystem services. Ultimately, our goal is to understand how changes in the social-ecological system of the Yahara watershed, including management of land and water resources, can build or impair resilience to shifting drivers, including climate.

  17. Plausible impact of global climate change on water resources in the Tarim River Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Yaning; XU; Zongxue

    2005-01-01

    Combining the temperature and precipitation data from 77 climatological stations and the climatic and hydrological change data from three headstreams of the Tarim River: Hotan, Yarkant, and Aksu in the study area, the plausible association between climate change and the variability of water resources in the Tarim River Basin in recent years was investigated, the long-term trend of the hydrological time series including temperature, precipitation, and streamflow was detected, and the possible association between the El Ni(n)o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and these three kinds of time series was tested. The results obtained in this study show that during the past years, the temperature experienced a significant monotonic increase at the speed of 5%, nearly 1℃ rise; the precipitation showed a significant decrease in the 1970s, and a significant increase in the1980s and 1990s, the average annual precipitation was increased with the magnitude of 6.8 mm per decade. A step change occurred in both temperature and precipitation time series around 1986, which may be influenced by the global climate change. Climate change resulted in the increase of the streamflow at the headwater of the Tarim River, but the anthropogenic activities such as over-depletion of the surface water resulted in the decrease of the streamflow at the lower reaches of the Tarim River. The study result also showed that there is no significant association between the ENSO and the temperature, precipitation and streamflow.

  18. Flux-based transport enhancement as a plausible unifying mechanism for auxin transport in meristem development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymon Stoma

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants continuously generate new organs through the activity of populations of stem cells called meristems. The shoot apical meristem initiates leaves, flowers, and lateral meristems in highly ordered, spiralled, or whorled patterns via a process called phyllotaxis. It is commonly accepted that the active transport of the plant hormone auxin plays a major role in this process. Current hypotheses propose that cellular hormone transporters of the PIN family would create local auxin maxima at precise positions, which in turn would lead to organ initiation. To explain how auxin transporters could create hormone fluxes to distinct regions within the plant, different concepts have been proposed. A major hypothesis, canalization, proposes that the auxin transporters act by amplifying and stabilizing existing fluxes, which could be initiated, for example, by local diffusion. This convincingly explains the organised auxin fluxes during vein formation, but for the shoot apical meristem a second hypothesis was proposed, where the hormone would be systematically transported towards the areas with the highest concentrations. This implies the coexistence of two radically different mechanisms for PIN allocation in the membrane, one based on flux sensing and the other on local concentration sensing. Because these patterning processes require the interaction of hundreds of cells, it is impossible to estimate on a purely intuitive basis if a particular scenario is plausible or not. Therefore, computational modelling provides a powerful means to test this type of complex hypothesis. Here, using a dedicated computer simulation tool, we show that a flux-based polarization hypothesis is able to explain auxin transport at the shoot meristem as well, thus providing a unifying concept for the control of auxin distribution in the plant. Further experiments are now required to distinguish between flux-based polarization and other hypotheses.

  19. Identifying and reducing potentially wrong immunoassay results even when plausible and "not-unreasonable".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Adel A A

    2014-01-01

    The primary role of the clinical laboratory is to report accurate results for diagnosis of disease and management of illnesses. This goal has, to a large extent been achieved for routine biochemical tests, but not for immunoassays which remained susceptible to interference from endogenous immunoglobulin antibodies, causing false, and clinically misleading results. Clinicians regard all abnormal results including false ones as "pathological" necessitating further investigations, or concluding iniquitous diagnosis. Even more seriously, "false-negative" results may wrongly exclude pathology, thus denying patients' necessary treatment. Analytical error rate in immunoassays is relatively high, ranging from 0.4% to 4.0%. Because analytical interference from endogenous antibodies is confined to individuals' sera, it can be inconspicuous, pernicious, sporadic, and insidious because it cannot be detected by internal or external quality assessment procedures. An approach based on Bayesian reasoning can enhance the robustness of clinical validation in highlighting potentially erroneous immunoassay results. When this rational clinical/statistical approach is followed by analytical affirmative follow-up tests, it can help identifying inaccurate and clinically misleading immunoassay data even when they appear plausible and "not-unreasonable." This chapter is largely based on peer reviewed articles associated with and related to this approach. The first section underlines (without mathematical equations) the dominance and misuse of conventional statistics and the underuse of Bayesian paradigm and shows that laboratorians are intuitively (albeit unwittingly) practicing Bayesians. Secondly, because interference from endogenous antibodies is method's dependent (with numerous formats and different reagents), it is almost impossible to accurately assess its incidence in all differently formulated immunoassays and for each analytes/biomarkers. However, reiterating the basic concepts

  20. A plausible (overlooked) super-luminous supernova in the Sloan digital sky survey stripe 82 data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Zuzanna; Kozłowski, Szymon; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Djorgovski, S. George; Mahabal, Ashish A. [California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Glikman, Eilat [Department of Physics and Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, P.O. Box 208121, New Haven, CT 06520-8121 (United States); Koposov, Sergey, E-mail: zkostrzewa@astrouw.edu.pl, E-mail: simkoz@astrouw.edu.pl, E-mail: wyrzykow@astrouw.edu.pl [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    2013-12-01

    We present the discovery of a plausible super-luminous supernova (SLSN), found in the archival data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82, called PSN 000123+000504. The supernova (SN) peaked at m {sub g} < 19.4 mag in the second half of 2005 September, but was missed by the real-time SN hunt. The observed part of the light curve (17 epochs) showed that the rise to the maximum took over 30 days, while the decline time lasted at least 70 days (observed frame), closely resembling other SLSNe of SN 2007bi type. The spectrum of the host galaxy reveals a redshift of z = 0.281 and the distance modulus of μ = 40.77 mag. Combining this information with the SDSS photometry, we found the host galaxy to be an LMC-like irregular dwarf galaxy with an absolute magnitude of M{sub B} = –18.2 ± 0.2 mag and an oxygen abundance of 12+log [O/H]=8.3±0.2; hence, the SN peaked at M {sub g} < –21.3 mag. Our SLSN follows the relation for the most energetic/super-luminous SNe exploding in low-metallicity environments, but we found no clear evidence for SLSNe to explode in low-luminosity (dwarf) galaxies only. The available information on the PSN 000123+000504 light curve suggests the magnetar-powered model as a likely scenario of this event. This SLSN is a new addition to a quickly growing family of super-luminous SNe.

  1. Constructing scientific explanations through premise-reasoning-outcome (PRO): an exploratory study to scaffold students in structuring written explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Kok-Sing

    2016-06-01

    This paper reports on the design and enactment of an instructional strategy aimed to support students in constructing scientific explanations. Informed by the philosophy of science and linguistic studies of science, a new instructional framework called premise-reasoning-outcome (PRO) was conceptualized, developed, and tested over two years in four upper secondary (9th-10th grade) physics and chemistry classrooms. This strategy was conceptualized based on the understanding of the structure of a scientific explanation, which comprises three primary components: (a) premise - accepted knowledge that provides the basis of the explanation, (b) reasoning - logical sequences that follow from the premise, and (c) outcome - the phenomenon to be explained. A study was carried out to examine how the PRO strategy influenced students' written explanations using multiple data sources (e.g. students' writing, lesson observations, focus group discussions). Analysis of students' writing indicates that explanations with a PRO structure were graded better by the teachers. In addition, students reported that the PRO strategy provided a useful organizational structure for writing scientific explanations, although they had some difficulties in identifying and using the structure. With the PRO as a new instructional tool, comparison with other explanation frameworks as well as implications for educational research and practice are discussed.

  2. Investigating Assessment Bias for Constructed Response Explanation Tasks: Implications for Evaluating Performance Expectations for Scientific Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federer, Meghan Rector

    Assessment is a key element in the process of science education teaching and research. Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment is a major challenge for science education reforms. Prior research has documented several limitations of instrument types on the measurement of students' scientific knowledge (Liu et al., 2011; Messick, 1995; Popham, 2010). Furthermore, a large body of work has been devoted to reducing assessment biases that distort inferences about students' science understanding, particularly in multiple-choice [MC] instruments. Despite the above documented biases, much has yet to be determined for constructed response [CR] assessments in biology and their use for evaluating students' conceptual understanding of scientific practices (such as explanation). Understanding differences in science achievement provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Using the integrative framework put forth by the National Research Council (2012), this dissertation aimed to explore whether assessment biases occur for assessment practices intended to measure students' conceptual understanding and proficiency in scientific practices. Using a large corpus of undergraduate biology students' explanations, three studies were conducted to examine whether known biases of MC instruments were also apparent in a CR instrument designed to assess students' explanatory practice and understanding of evolutionary change (ACORNS: Assessment of COntextual Reasoning about Natural Selection). The first study investigated the challenge of interpreting and scoring lexically ambiguous language in CR answers. The incorporation of 'multivalent' terms into scientific discourse practices often results in statements or explanations that are difficult to interpret and can produce faulty inferences about student knowledge. The results of this study indicate that many undergraduate biology majors

  3. Linguistic Explanation and Domain Specialization: a case study in bound variable anaphora

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eAdger

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The core question behind this Frontiers research topic is whether explaining linguistic phenomena requires appeal to properties of human cognition that are specialised to language. We argue here that investigating this issue requires taking linguistic research results seriously, and evaluating these for domain-specificity. We present a particular empirical phenomenon, bound variable interpretations of pronouns dependent on a quantifier phrase, and argue for a particular theory of this empirical domain that is couched at a level of theoretical depth which allows its principles to be evaluated for domain-specialisation. We argue that the relevant principles are specialised when they apply in the domain of language, even if analogues of them are plausibly at work elsewhere in cognition or the natural world more generally. So certain principles may be specialised to language, though not, ultimately, unique to it. Such specialisation is underpinned by ultimately biological factors, hence part of UG.

  4. A Calculus for Generating Ground Explanations (Technical Report)

    CERN Document Server

    Echenim, Mnacho

    2012-01-01

    We present a modification of the superposition calculus that is meant to generate explanations why a set of clauses is satisfiable. This process is related to abductive reasoning, and the explanations generated are clauses constructed over so-called abductive constants. We prove the correctness and completeness of the calculus in the presence of redundancy elimination rules, and develop a sufficient condition guaranteeing its termination; this sufficient condition is then used to prove that all possible explanations can be generated infinite time for several classes of clause sets, including many of interest to the SMT community. We propose a procedure that generates a set of explanations that should be useful to a human user and conclude by suggesting several extensions to this novel approach.

  5. Tautological Explanations and Definitions--An Avoidable Phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungwirth, E.

    1986-01-01

    Reviews findings from three diagnostic studies which focused on the problem of tautological explanations. Includes a report on a teaching intervention strategy which resulted in the improvement of pupil performance. Suggests that avoidance of tautology can be taught. (ML)

  6. The mystery of regional unemployment differentials : Theoretical and empirical explanations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elhorst, JP

    2003-01-01

    This paper provides an integrated overview of theoretical and empirical explanations used in the applied literature on regional unemployment differentials. On the basis of 41 empirical studies, four different model types covering nine theoretical constructs of regional unemployment determination and

  7. Cultural Explanations Of The Status Of Nigerian Women | Ajayi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cultural Explanations Of The Status Of Nigerian Women. ... and socio- cultural environment which acts against the principles of social justice and equality ... There is need for us to bridged the gap that currently exists between women and men, ...

  8. Causation at Different Levels: Tracking the Commitments of Mechanistic Explanations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fazekas, Peter; Kertész, Gergely

    2011-01-01

    This paper tracks the commitments of mechanistic explanations focusing on the relation between activities at different levels. It is pointed out that the mechanistic approach is inherently committed to identifying causal connections at higher levels with causal connections at lower levels. For th...... their autonomy at the same time than standard reductive accounts are, and that what mechanistic explanations are able to do at best is showing that downward causation does not exist....

  9. Towards an Explanation Generation System for Robots: Analysis and Recommendations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Meadows

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available A fundamental challenge in robotics is to reason with incomplete domain knowledge to explain unexpected observations and partial descriptions extracted from sensor observations. Existing explanation generation systems draw on ideas that can be mapped to a multidimensional space of system characteristics, defined by distinctions, such as how they represent knowledge and if and how they reason with heuristic guidance. Instances in this multidimensional space corresponding to existing systems do not support all of the desired explanation generation capabilities for robots. We seek to address this limitation by thoroughly understanding the range of explanation generation capabilities and the interplay between the distinctions that characterize them. Towards this objective, this paper first specifies three fundamental distinctions that can be used to characterize many existing explanation generation systems. We explore and understand the effects of these distinctions by comparing the capabilities of two systems that differ substantially along these axes, using execution scenarios involving a robot waiter assisting in seating people and delivering orders in a restaurant. The second part of the paper uses this study to argue that the desired explanation generation capabilities corresponding to these three distinctions can mostly be achieved by exploiting the complementary strengths of the two systems that were explored. This is followed by a discussion of the capabilities related to other major distinctions to provide detailed recommendations for developing an explanation generation system for robots.

  10. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  11. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  12. Independent Study Strategies for Learning about the Cardiovascular System from Text: A Comparison of Self-explanation and Drawing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Diane Phuong Nghinh

    Representations, such as figures and drawings, are aspects of biology that are key to learning, teaching, and communicating scientific ideas. While many studies have investigated undergraduate students' abilities to interpret representations generated by science experts, much remains to be understood about how student-generated representations (i.e., drawings) can support learning. Prior research suggests that theoretical mechanisms to explain how drawing aids learning may parallel those that explain how self-explanation aids learning, an area of educational research that has been extensively studied. As such, this research draws from the self-explanation literature to explore the similarities and differences between the use of drawing and self-explaining as independent study strategies for learning about the cardiovascular system (CVS) from text. We found that students who were asked to draw as they studied the CVS text performed better than students asked to self-explain on multiple learning measures. Their mental models, as interpreted from their drawings of the system, were significantly more accurate, and their responses to questions about structures and pathways within the system were more accurate. Further analyses of self-explanations and drawings revealed that the number of goal-oriented self-explanations a student generated was a significant predictor of their assessment scores, especially on questions about functions. Meanwhile, the number of passage-specific images a learner generated in their drawing was predictive of assessment scores, especially on questions about structures. Finally, findings from case studies identified attributes of self-explanations and drawings that may make them more meaningful for learning, such as self-explaining for the purposes of understanding how parts of the system connect together, and drawing to highlight the main ideas of the text. Findings from this study suggest that drawing is generally more effective than self-explanation

  13. Plausible antioxidant biomechanics and anticonvulsant pharmacological activity of brain-targeted β-carotene nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Mohammad; Khan, Riaz A; Khan, Maria; Ahmed, Bahar

    2012-01-01

    increased in P-80-BCNP to 231.0 ± 16.30 seconds, as compared to PTZ (120.10 ± 4.50 seconds) and placebo control (120.30 ± 7.4 seconds). The results of this study demonstrate a plausible novel anticonvulsant activity of β-carotene at a low dose of 2 mg/kg, with brain-targeted nanodelivery, thus increasing its bioavailability and stability.

  14. Plausibility check of a redesigned rain-on-snow simulator (RASA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rössler, Ole; Probst, Sabine; Weingartner, Rolf

    2016-04-01

    Rain-on-snow events are fascinating but still not completely understood processes. Although, several studies and equations have been published since decades that describe past events and theoretical descriptions, empirical data of what is happening in the snow cover is far less available. A way to fill this gap of empirical data, rain-on-snow-simulators might be of help. In 2013, Juras et al. published their inspiring idea of a portable rain-on-snow simulator. The huge advantage of this devise - in contrast to other purely field-based experiments - are their fixed, and mostly standardized conditions and the possibility to measure all required data to monitor the water fluxes and melting processes at a time. Mounted in a convenient location, a large number of experiments are relatively easy conductible. We applied and further developed the original device and plausified the results of this redesigned version, called RASA. The principal design was borrowed from the original version being a frame with a sprinkler on top and a snow sample in a box at the bottom, from which the outflow is measured with a tipping gauge. We added a moving sprinkling plate to ensure a uniform distribution of raindrops on the snow, and - most importantly - we suspended the watered snow sampled on weighting cells. The latter enables to continuous measurement of the snow sample throughout the experiment and thus the indirect quantification of liquid water saturation, water holding capacity, and snowmelt amount via balance equations. As it is remains unclear if this device is capable to reproduce known processes, a hypothesis based plausibility check was accomplished. Thus, eight hypothesizes were derived from literature and tested in 28 experiments with the RASA mounted at 2000 m elevation. In general, we were able to reproduce most of the hypotheses. The RASA proved to be a very valuable device that can generate suitable results and has the potential to extend the empirical-experimental data

  15. Lead-induced SCC of alloy 600 in plausible steam generator crevice environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, M.D. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontario (Canada); Manolescu, A. [Ontario Hydro Technologies, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Mirzai, M. [Ontario Hydro, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    1998-07-01

    Laboratory stress corrosion cracking (SCC) test environments developed to simulate representative BNGS-A steam generator (SG) crevice chemistries have been used to determine the susceptibility of Alloy 600 to lead-induced SCC under plausible SG conditions. Test environments were based on plant SG hideout return data and analysis of removed tubes and deposits. Deviations from the normal near neutral crevice pH environment were considered to simulate possible faulted excursion crevice chemistry and to bound the postulated crevice pH range of 3-9 (at temperature). The effect of lead contamination up to 1000 ppm, but with an emphasis on the 100 to 500 ppm range, was determined. SCC susceptibility was investigated using constant extension rate tensile (CERT) tests and encapsulated C-ring tests. CERT tests were performed at 305 degrees C on tubing representative of BNGS-A SG U-bends. The C-ring test method allowed a wider test matrix covering three temperatures (280, 304 and 315 degrees C), three strain levels (0.2%, 2% and 4%) and tubing representative of U-bends plus tubing given a simulated stress relief to represent material at the tubesheet. The results of this test program confirmed that in the absence of lead contamination, cracking does not occur in these concentrated, 3.3 to 8.9 pH range, crevice environments. Also, it appears that the concentrated crevice environments suppress lead-induced cracking relative to that seen in all-volatile-treatment (AVT) water. For the (static) C-ring tests, lead-induced SCC was only produced in the near-neutral crevice environment and was more severe at 500 ppm than 100 ppm PbO. This trend was also observed in CERT tests but some cracking/grain boundary attack occurred in acidic (pH 3.3) and alkaline (pH 8.9) environments. The C-ring tests indicated that a certain amount of resistance to cracking was imparted by simulated stress relief of the tubing. This heat treatment, confirmed to have resulted in sensitization, promoted

  16. Lead-induced stress-corrosion cracking of alloy 600 in plausible steam generator crevice environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, M.D. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontario (Canada); Manolescu, A. [Ontario Hydro Technologies, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Mirzai, M. [Ontario Hydro, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    1999-03-01

    Laboratory stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) test environments were developed to simulate crevice chemistries representative of Bruce Nuclear Generating Station A (BNPD A) steam generators (SGs); these test environments were used to determine the susceptibility of Alloy 600 to lead-induced SCC under plausible SG conditions. Test environments were based on plant SG hideout return data and analysis of removed tubes and deposits. Deviations from the normal near-neutral crevice pH environment were considered to simulate possible faulted excursion crevice chemistry and to bound the postulated crevice pH range of 3 to 9 (at temperature). The effect of lead contamination up to 1000 ppm, but with an emphasis on the 100- to 500-ppm range, was determined. SCC susceptibility was investigated using constant extension rate tensile (CERT) tests and encapsulated C-ring tests. CERT tests were performed at 305 degrees C on tubing representative of BNPD A SG U-bends. The C-ring test method allowed a wider test matrix, covering 3 temperatures (280 degrees C, 304 degrees C and 315 degrees C), 3 strain levels (0.2%, 2% and 4%), and tubing representative of U-bends plus tubing given a simulated stress relief to represent material at the tube sheet. The results of this test program confirmed that in the absence of lead contamination, cracking does not occur in these concentrated, 3.3 to 8.9 pH range, crevice environments. Also, it appears that the concentrated crevice environments suppress lead-induced cracking relative to that seen in all-volatile-treatment (AVT) water. For the (static) C-ring tests, lead-induced SCC was only produced in the near-neutral crevice environment and was more severe at 500 ppm than at 100 ppm PbO. This trend was also observed in CERT tests, but some cracking-grain boundary attack occurred in acidic (pH 3.3) and alkaline (pH 8.9) environments. The C-ring tests indicated that a certain amount of resistance to cracking was imparted by simulated stress relief of

  17. The Reasonable Explanation of Annihilation (fanā in Mysticism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abulfazel Kiashemshaki

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstrak : Para mistikus melampaui tahap-tahap (derajat kesempurnaan mistik dan maqam spiritual dalam perjalanan mereka menuju Allah yang sulit dimengerti oleh non-mistikus. Karena itu, sebagian besar kalangan reflektif berusaha mengandalkan prinsip-prinsip intelektual dan teoritis mereka untuk memperoleh penjelasan atas pengalaman mistis dan ekstasi. Namun, keberhasilan penjelasannya sepenuhnya berada di bawah kuasa dan kekuatan dari prinsip-prinsip tersebut. (Fanā atau kesirnaan adalah salah satu tahap mistis atau keadaan yang sulit dimengerti oleh non-mistikus sehingga memunculkan berbagai teori yang berbeda untuk menjelaskannya. Pencapaian prestasi ilmiah dan filosofis merupakan penjelasan yang tepat atas fanā. Bagaimanapun upaya yang dilakukan dalam artikel ini membuktikan bahwa satu-satunya penjelasan yang sukses adalah penjelasan yang didasarkan pada prinsip-prinsip teosofi transendental dan mistisisme teoritis.Kata kunci : Fanā, Mistisisme, Penjelasan rasional, Mistisisme teoretis, Filsafat transendentalAbstract : Mystics are passing through stages (degrees of mystic perfection and esoteric abodes (spiritual stations in their spiritual journey to Allah which is difficult for unmystics to understand. Because of this, most of the reflective people are trying to rely on their intellectual and theoretical principles to obtain an understandable explanation of mystical experiences and ecstasy. However the success of such explanation completely lies in the power and strength of the above mentioned principles. (Fanā or annihilation is one of the mystical stages or states which unmystics find very difficult to reasonably understand, hence various and different theories have been provided for its explanation. Various scientific and philosophical achievements are appropriate explanations of annihilation (fanā which is valuable in its place; however effort had been made in this article to prove that the only successful explanation is an

  18. Pangea B: a plausible impossibility is always preferable to an uncommitting possibility (Aristotle, Poetics 7)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muttoni, G.; Kent, D. V.; Garzanti, E.; Brack, P.; Abrahamsen, N.; Gaetani, M.

    2003-04-01

    The Wegenerian configuration of Pangea at Jurassic times is not questioned among Earth scientists. Debate exists on its pre-Jurassic configuration since Ted Irving in 1977 introduced Pangea 'B' by placing Gondwana to the East by ≈3000km with respect to Laurasia on the basis of paleomagnetic data. Pangea 'B' and its tectonic implications have not been however broadly accepted by the scientific community. We review data from Gondwana and Laurasia strictly from igneous rocks, and conclude that Pangea 'B' is indeed paleomagnetically acceptable in the Early Permian. Importantly, the exclusive use of paleomagnetic data from igneous rocks virtually excludes possible effects of sedimentary inclination error as an explanation for Pangea 'B' as envisaged by Rochette and Vandamme (1998). The ultimate option to reject Pangea 'B' is to abandon the geocentral axial dipole (GAD) hypothesis by introducing a specific octupole component of a specific amount with a specific sign in the Late Paleozoic time-averaged geomagnetic field (Van der Voo and Torsvik, 2001). We demonstrate, however, by using a dataset made exclusively and entirely of paleomagnetic directions with low inclinations from the northern hemisphere, that the effects of an octupole field contamination can not account for Pangea 'B' in the Early Permian. We therefore review geological data from the literature in support of Pangea dextral mega-shear. The transformation from Pangea 'B' to Pangea 'A' occurred after the cooling of the Varisican lithosphere during the Permian at a minimum plate speed of ≈15cm/yr. No Triassic transformation is herein envisaged. The transformation is coeval with the opening of the Neotethys Ocean, which took place along the eastern margin of Gondwanan between India/Arabia and the Cimmerian continents, and widespread lithospheric wrenching and magmatism in the west, along the margin of the Adriatic promontory. We show that the "push-pull" driving forces associated with the Gondwana grand

  19. On the Physical Explanation for Quantum Computational Speedup

    CERN Document Server

    Cuffaro, Michael E

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this dissertation is to clarify the debate over the explanation of quantum speedup and to submit a tentative resolution to it. In particular, I argue that the physical explanation for quantum speedup is precisely the fact that the phenomenon of quantum entanglement enables a quantum computer to fully exploit the representational capacity of Hilbert space. This is impossible for classical systems, joint states of which must always be representable as product states. Chapter 2 begins with a discussion of the most popular of the candidate physical explanations for quantum speedup: the many worlds explanation. I argue that unlike the neo-Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics it does not have the conceptual resources required to overcome the `preferred basis objection'. I further argue that the many worlds explanation, at best, can serve as a good description of the physical process which takes place in so-called network-based computation, but that it is incompatible with other models of comput...

  20. Effective Teacher Practice on the Plausibility of Human-Induced Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niepold, F.; Sinatra, G. M.; Lombardi, D.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change education programs in the United States seek to promote a deeper understanding of the science of climate change, behavior change and stewardship, and support informed decision making by individuals, organizations, and institutions--all of which are summarized under the term 'climate literacy.' The ultimate goal of climate literacy is to enable actors to address climate change, both in terms of stabilizing and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, but also an increased capacity to prepare for the consequences and opportunities of climate change. However, the long-term nature of climate change and the required societal response involve the changing students' ideas about controversial scientific issues which presents unique challenges for educators (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010; Sinatra & Mason, 2008). This session will explore how the United States educational efforts focus on three distinct, but related, areas: the science of climate change, the human-climate interaction, and using climate education to promote informed decision making. Each of these approaches are represented in the Atlas of Science Literacy (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2007) and in the conceptual framework for science education developed at the National Research Council (NRC) in 2012. Instruction to develop these fundamental thinking skills (e.g., critical evaluation and plausibility reappraisal) has been called for by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve, 2013), an innovative and research based way to address climate change education within the decentralized U.S. education system. However, the promise of the NGSS is that students will have more time to build mastery on the subjects, but the form of that instructional practice has been show to be critical. Research has show that effective instructional activities that promote evaluation of evidence improve students' understanding and acceptance toward the scientifically accepted model of human

  1. Plausible antioxidant biomechanics and anticonvulsant pharmacological activity of brain-targeted β-carotene nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuf M

    2012-08-01

    general tonic–clonic seizures reduced significantly to 2.90 ± 0.98 seconds by the use of BCNP and was further reduced on P-80-BCNP to 1.20 ± 0.20 seconds as compared to PTZ control and PTZ-placebo control (8.09 ± 0.26 seconds. General tonic–clonic seizures latency was increased significantly to 191.0 ± 9.80 seconds in BCNP and was further increased in P-80-BCNP to 231.0 ± 16.30 seconds, as compared to PTZ (120.10 ± 4.50 seconds and placebo control (120.30 ± 7.4 seconds. The results of this study demonstrate a plausible novel anticonvulsant activity of β-carotene at a low dose of 2 mg/kg, with brain-targeted nanodelivery, thus increasing its bioavailability and stability.Keywords: anticonvulsant, blood–brain barrier (BBB, targeted brain delivery, polysorbate-80-coated β-carotene nanoparticles (P-80-BCNP, maximal electroshock seizure (MES, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ

  2. Vulnerabilities to agricultural production shocks: An extreme, plausible scenario for assessment of risk for the insurance sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Lunt

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate risks pose a threat to the function of the global food system and therefore also a hazard to the global financial sector, the stability of governments, and the food security and health of the world’s population. This paper presents a method to assess plausible impacts of an agricultural production shock and potential materiality for global insurers. A hypothetical, near-term, plausible, extreme scenario was developed based upon modules of historical agricultural production shocks, linked under a warm phase El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO meteorological framework. The scenario included teleconnected floods and droughts in disparate agricultural production regions around the world, as well as plausible, extreme biotic shocks. In this scenario, global crop yield declines of 10% for maize, 11% for soy, 7% for wheat and 7% for rice result in quadrupled commodity prices and commodity stock fluctuations, civil unrest, significant negative humanitarian consequences and major financial losses worldwide. This work illustrates a need for the scientific community to partner across sectors and industries towards better-integrated global data, modeling and analytical capacities, to better respond to and prepare for concurrent agricultural failure. Governments, humanitarian organizations and the private sector collectively may recognize significant benefits from more systematic assessment of exposure to agricultural climate risk.

  3. 'Reverse discordance' between 68Ga-DOTA-NOC PET/CT and 177Lu-DOTA-TATE posttherapy scan: the plausible explanations and its implications for high-dose therapy with radiolabeled somatostatin receptor analogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Sandip; Abhyankar, Amit; Kand, Purushottam; Kumar, Rakesh; Asopa, Ramesh; Rajan, Mysore Govinda Ramakrishna; Nayak, Uday; Shimpi, Hemant; Das, Tapas; Venkatesh, Meera; Chakrabarty, Sudipta; Banerjee, Sharmila

    2011-07-01

    In this technical note, an unusual discordance between diagnostic and posttherapeutic scan resulting from the use of different somatostatin receptor ligands in two settings is described. Such observation, we believe, is multifactorial, but most importantly arises due to different receptor affinity profile of the ligands and different somatostatin receptor subtype expression in different tumors. It is important for the treating physician to be aware of this phenomenon that would aid in improving our understanding of complex ligand-receptor interactions in various somatostatin receptor-positive tumors with its possible implications for therapeutic decision making with radiolabeled somatostatin receptor analogues.

  4. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D decreases HTRA1 promoter activity in the rhesus monkey--a plausible explanation for the influence of vitamin D on age-related macular degeneration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahl, Lisa; Schubert, Stephanie; Skawran, Britta; Sandbothe, Maria; Schmidtke, Jörg; Stuhrmann, Manfred

    2013-11-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the major cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide and the risk is influenced by both environmental and genetic risk factors. One important disease-associated region in humans is located on 10q26 and includes the two candidate genes ARMS2 and HTRA1. However, determination of the causative gene has not yet been possible and examining the situation in the rhesus monkey may help understand the situation in humans. In a recent paper, we characterized the rhesus monkey 10q26-orthologue region on chromosome 9 in detail and identified the drusen-associated HTRA1 promoter SNP rs196357513 as a putative risk factor. In this study, we predicted 9 binding sites for the vitamin D-dependent transcription factor vitamin D receptor in the rhesus HTRA1 promoter, one of which is destroyed by the rs196357513-risk allele. As patients with vitamin D deficit are at increased risk for age-related macular degeneration, a luciferase assay in transiently transfected ARPE19-cells was performed to evaluate the influence of the SNP rs196357513 and of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D on the rhesus monkey HTRA1 promoter activity. This revealed that the luciferase activity of the promoter construct containing the rs196357513 wild type allele was significantly reduced after vitamin D stimulation. An in silico analysis and literature search imply that this regulation could also play a role in human HTRA1 expression. Moreover, HTRA1 promoter activity of the construct containing the rs196357513 risk allele appeared diminished in comparison to the construct with the wild type allele, albeit this difference was not significant. The lower promoter activity due to the rhesus monkey rs196357513 risk allele apparently contradicts the common hypothesis for the human HTRA1 promoter risk allele of SNP rs11200638, for which a higher promoter activity has been observed. Our data point to a yet unexpected effect of decreased HTRA1 expression on drusen pathogenesis. Thus not only a higher HTRA1 expression, but an imbalance of HTRA1 might be disease-relevant. Both findings require closer analysis, but if relevance for humans proves true, it would impact current age-related macular degeneration research and treatment.

  5. Making context explicit for explanation and incremental knowledge acquisition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brezillon, P. [Univ. Paris (France)

    1996-12-31

    Intelligent systems may be improved by making context explicit in problem solving. This is a lesson drawn from a study of the reasons why a number of knowledge-based systems (KBSs) failed. We discuss the interest to make context explicit in explanation generation and incremental knowledge acquisition, two important aspects of intelligent systems that aim to cooperate with users. We show how context can be used to better explain and incrementally acquire knowledge. The advantages of using context in explanation and incremental knowledge acquisition are discussed through SEPIT, an expert system for supporting diagnosis and explanation through simulation of power plants. We point out how the limitations of such systems may be overcome by making context explicit.

  6. Dimensions of integration in interdisciplinary explanations of the origin of evolutionary novelty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Alan C; Lugar, Gary L

    2013-12-01

    Many philosophers of biology have embraced a version of pluralism in response to the failure of theory reduction but overlook how concepts, methods, and explanatory resources are in fact coordinated, such as in interdisciplinary research where the aim is to integrate different strands into an articulated whole. This is observable for the origin of evolutionary novelty-a complex problem that requires a synthesis of intellectual resources from different fields to arrive at robust answers to multiple allied questions. It is an apt locus for exploring new dimensions of explanatory integration because it necessitates coordination among historical and experimental disciplines (e.g., geology and molecular biology). These coordination issues are widespread for the origin of novel morphologies observed in the Cambrian Explosion. Despite an explicit commitment to an integrated, interdisciplinary explanation, some potential disciplinary contributors are excluded. Notable among these exclusions is the physics of ontogeny. We argue that two different dimensions of integration-data and standards-have been insufficiently distinguished. This distinction accounts for why physics-based explanatory contributions to the origin of novelty have been resisted: they do not integrate certain types of data and differ in how they conceptualize the standard of uniformitarianism in historical, causal explanations. Our analysis of these different dimensions of integration contributes to the development of more adequate and integrated explanatory frameworks.

  7. Preliminary Study on Plausible Reasoning in Chemistry Teaching of Senior Middle School%高中化学合情推理教学的初步研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨健; 吴俊明; 骆红山

    2009-01-01

    合情推理(Plausible reasoning)对科学教育具重要意义.通过科学哲学、逻辑学讨论以及历史实例说明科学发现离不开合情推理,科学教育必须重视合情推理能力的培养,并对高中化学合情推理教学的可能性、对象和内容等问题进行了讨论.%Plausible reasoning is significant to science education. Scientific philosophy, logic and historical examples prove that plausible reasoning is indispensable to scientific discoveries,so science education must pay attention to the development of plausible reasoning ability of students. Moreover, it discusses the possibility, object and content of plausible reasoning teaching in chemistry of senior middle school.

  8. A quantum probability explanation for violations of 'rational' decision theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pothos, Emmanuel M; Busemeyer, Jerome R

    2009-06-22

    Two experimental tasks in psychology, the two-stage gambling game and the Prisoner's Dilemma game, show that people violate the sure thing principle of decision theory. These paradoxical findings have resisted explanation by classical decision theory for over a decade. A quantum probability model, based on a Hilbert space representation and Schrödinger's equation, provides a simple and elegant explanation for this behaviour. The quantum model is compared with an equivalent Markov model and it is shown that the latter is unable to account for violations of the sure thing principle. Accordingly, it is argued that quantum probability provides a better framework for modelling human decision-making.

  9. Theoretical Explanation of Return Predictability Based on Stock Price Formulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Lei; Wu Chongfeng; Wang Xinrong

    2006-01-01

    To find out which factors determine stock return and to give rational explanation of return predictability, according to the principle of stock price formulation, the trend of stock price is obtained by use of option pricing method. The trend of stock price is put into reconstructing CAPM (capital asset pricing model) beta; it is concluded that the firm-specific biases and the scale biases potentially induce return predictability. In addition, through the relation between the biases structure and the intrinsic value, an appropriate theoretic explanation is supplied for three-factor pricing model proposed by Fama and French.

  10. Testing the Transivity Explanation of the Allais Paradox

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groes, Ebbe; Jacobsen, Hans Jørgen; Sloth, Birgitte;

    1999-01-01

    This paper uses a two-dimensional version of a standard common consequence experiment to test the intransitivity explanation of Allais-paradox-type violations of expected utility theory. We compare the common consequence effect of two choice problems differing only with respect to whether...... intransitivity as an explanation of the Allais Paradox. The question whether violations of expected utility are mainly due to intransitivity or to violation of independence is important since it is exactly on this issue the main new decision theories differ...

  11. The relationship between fifth grade students' Understandings about Evidence-Based Explanations and their Abilities to Develop Evidence-Based Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Eun Kyung

    The purpose of this study was to investigate how fifth grade students' abilities to develop evidence-based explanations are related to their understandings about evidence-based explanations. A total of 97 fifth graders' understandings about evidence-based explanations and their abilities to develop evidence-based explanations were examined by two open-ended questionnaires and follow-up interviews. The Understandings about Evidence-Based Explanations (UEBE) and the Abilities to Develop Evidence-Based Explanations (ADEE) were developed by the researcher and content validity and face validity were established. Data analysis involved a systematic process consistent with analytic induction as well as a statistical analysis. The patterns from students' understandings about evidence-based explanations and abilities to develop evidence-based explanations were explored and the relationship between understandings and abilities were examined by Fisher's Exact test at the .05 level of significance. Results indicated that there was no relationship between students' understandings about evidence-based explanations and their abilities to develop evidence-based explanations (p>.05). The results of this study do not support the appealing assumption held by many science educators that students' inquiry skills reflect their understandings about scientific inquiry. Instead, the findings suggest that students' understandings about evidence-based explanations should be assessed separately and students' abilities to develop evidence-based explanations should not be inferred by their understandings about evidence-based explanations. Overall, students' understandings about evidence-based explanations were not well developed compared to their abilities to develop evidence-based explanations. Therefore, it is necessary for science educators to teach both understandings about evidence-based explanations and abilities to develop evidence-based explanations.

  12. Assessment of plausible bioindicators for plant performance in advanced wastewater treatment systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Uz, Blanca; Arregui, Lucía; Calvo, Pilar; Salvadó, Humbert; Fernández, Natividad; Rodríguez, Eva; Zornoza, Andrés; Serrano, Susana

    2010-09-01

    Three full-scale advanced biological systems for nitrogen removal showing different efficiencies were assessed during one year, to investigate the protist communities supported in these wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). The main goal of this research was to explore the differences of these communities from those observed in conventional activated sludge systems. The final objective was to provide background support for the proposal of bioindicators in this type of biological systems, where scarce information was available until now, since only conventional systems had been previously studied from this point of view. Results obtained indicate that, in fact, protist population density and diversity in advanced systems for N-elimination are quite different from other wastewater systems studied before. A statistical approach through multivariate analysis was developed to search for association between protist species and physical-chemical system performance, and specifically N-removal efficiencies. The original hypothesis proposing that previous indicators from conventional systems are not adequate in advanced N-removal mechanisms was proved to be correct. Efficient processes on N-removal, despite what it had been usually found in conventional systems, show important flagellate and amoeba populations and these populations tend to reduce their abundances as nitrogen removal performance decreases (moderate to low). Ciliates are however less abundant in these N-removal efficient systems. Certain groups and genera of protist such as flagellates and small amoebae are thus proposed as indicative of high performance N-removal, while in this case the appearance of certain ciliates were indicative of low performance on N- or high organic matter removal (as COD) efficiencies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The Importance of Qualitative Research for Causal Explanation in Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Joseph A.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of causation has long been controversial in qualitative research, and many qualitative researchers have rejected causal explanation as incompatible with an interpretivist or constructivist approach. This rejection conflates causation with the positivist "theory" of causation, and ignores an alternative understanding of causation,…

  14. Infant Preferences for Attractive Faces: A Cognitive Explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubenstein, Adam J.; Kalakanis, Lisa; Langlois, Judith H.

    1999-01-01

    Four studies assessed a cognitive explanation for development of infants' preference for attractive faces: cognitive averaging and preferences for mathematically averaged faces, or prototypes. Findings indicated that adults and 6-month olds prefer prototypical, mathematically averaged faces and that 6-month olds can abstract the central tendency…

  15. Rhetoric and Cultural Explanation: A Discussion with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sipiora, Phillip; Atwill, Janet

    1990-01-01

    Recounts an interview with cultural critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Explains that the study of cultural politics is an examination of how politics devises cultural explanations for managing crises. Argues that the composition theory/practice distinction is artificial. Suggests that mediation of two positions often favors one side or the other.…

  16. 48 CFR 19.101 - Explanation of terms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... PROGRAMS SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS Size Standards 19.101 Explanation of terms. As used in this subpart— Affiliates. Business concerns are affiliates of each other if, directly or indirectly, either one controls or... franchise agreement are not considered in determining whether the franchisor controls or has the power...

  17. Some Problems in the Explanation of Interest Rates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Tinbergen (Jan)

    1947-01-01

    textabstractThe article discusses the problems in the explanation of interest rates. Econometric analysis has to start from a theoretical scheme of the subject, its object indicates the determinants or data of the rates of interest and the functional relationship between these rates and their

  18. Using Google Earth to Teach Plate Tectonics and Science Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Lisa M.; Plautz, Mike; Almquist, Heather; Crews, Jeff; Estrada, Jen

    2012-01-01

    "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas" emphasizes that the practice of science is inherently a model-building activity focused on constructing explanations using evidence and reasoning (NRC 2012). Because building and refining is an iterative process, middle school students may view this practice…

  19. Cognitive processes in history: learners' explanation of the causes of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Erna Kinsey

    since 1994 is the notion that in the history classroom learners' ability to think .... of thought that draws a distinct line between the approach to explanation in the natural .... unlike a scientist, an historian asks open-ended questions and uses selected ..... One of the learners involved in the research project wrote: “ … in Maths.

  20. On the Complexity of Finding Second-Best Abductive Explanations

    CERN Document Server

    Liberatore, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    While looking for abductive explanations of a given set of manifestations, an ordering between possible solutions is often assumed. The complexity of finding/verifying optimal solutions is already known. In this paper we consider the computational complexity of finding second-best solutions. We consider different orderings, and consider also different possible definitions of what a second-best solution is.

  1. The Importance of Qualitative Research for Causal Explanation in Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Joseph A.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of causation has long been controversial in qualitative research, and many qualitative researchers have rejected causal explanation as incompatible with an interpretivist or constructivist approach. This rejection conflates causation with the positivist "theory" of causation, and ignores an alternative understanding of causation,…

  2. Explanation of the recent results on photoionization of endohedral atoms

    CERN Document Server

    Amusia, M Ya; Drukarev, E G

    2014-01-01

    We suggest an explanation of the recently observed discrepancy between the experimental and theoretical results on ionization of atoms, encapsulated into the fullerenes by photons with the energies of about 80-190eV. On the ground of previous theoretical considerations we conclude that the photoionization of the caged atom without excitation of the fullerene shell has low probability.

  3. A Self-Categorization Explanation for Opinion Consensus Perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinguang; Reid, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    The public expression of opinions (and related communicative activities) hinges upon the perception of opinion consensus. Current explanations for opinion consensus perceptions typically focus on egocentric and other biases, rather than functional cognitions. Using self-categorization theory we showed that opinion consensus perceptions flow from…

  4. Some Problems in the Explanation of Interest Rates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Tinbergen (Jan)

    1947-01-01

    textabstractThe article discusses the problems in the explanation of interest rates. Econometric analysis has to start from a theoretical scheme of the subject, its object indicates the determinants or data of the rates of interest and the functional relationship between these rates and their determ

  5. Elementary Students' Mathematical Explanations and Attention to Audience with Screencasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Reasoning and constructing mathematical explanations for an audience have become increasingly important activities in elementary classrooms with the implementation of reform-oriented curriculum and standards. Mobile learning tools and applications, such as screencasts, allow students to generate multimedia presentations of their solution…

  6. Children Balance Theories and Evidence in Exploration, Explanation, and Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonawitz, Elizabeth Baraff; van Schijndel, Tessa J. P.; Friel, Daniel; Schulz, Laura

    2012-01-01

    We look at the effect of evidence and prior beliefs on exploration, explanation and learning. In Experiment 1, we tested children both with and without differential prior beliefs about balance relationships (Center Theorists, mean: 82 months; Mass Theorists, mean: 89 months; No Theory children, mean: 62 months). Center and Mass Theory children who…

  7. Children balance theories and evidence in exploration, explanation, and learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonawitz, E.B.; van Schijndel, T.J.P.; Friel, D.; Schulz, L.

    2012-01-01

    We look at the effect of evidence and prior beliefs on exploration, explanation and learning. In Experiment 1, we tested children both with and without differential prior beliefs about balance relationships (Center Theorists, mean: 82 months; Mass Theorists, mean: 89 months; No Theory children,

  8. A skin-picking disorder case report: a psychopathological explanation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ângela Ribeiro

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available We describe the case of a 44-year-old woman, without known previous psychiatric history, hospitalized after a significant hemorrhage caused by self-inflicted deep facial dermal lesions (with muscle exposition. Psychopathological possible explanations of this case, as in similar reviewed ones, are related to frustration, aggression, and impulsivity.

  9. Using Google Earth to Teach Plate Tectonics and Science Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Lisa M.; Plautz, Mike; Almquist, Heather; Crews, Jeff; Estrada, Jen

    2012-01-01

    "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas" emphasizes that the practice of science is inherently a model-building activity focused on constructing explanations using evidence and reasoning (NRC 2012). Because building and refining is an iterative process, middle school students may view this practice…

  10. Rhetoric and Cultural Explanation: A Discussion with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sipiora, Phillip; Atwill, Janet

    1990-01-01

    Recounts an interview with cultural critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Explains that the study of cultural politics is an examination of how politics devises cultural explanations for managing crises. Argues that the composition theory/practice distinction is artificial. Suggests that mediation of two positions often favors one side or the other.…

  11. Education's impact on explanations of radical right-wing voting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lubbers, M.; Tolsma, J.

    2011-01-01

    One of the reactions to the large demographic changes in Europe due to migration has been the rise of radical right-wing parties. Previous research has shown that education is one of the most relevant explanations of this voting behaviour. By pooling the European Social Surveys from 2002, 2004, 2006

  12. From old organisms to new molecules: integrative biology and therapeutic targets in accelerated human ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, L S; Faragher, R G A

    2007-10-01

    Understanding the basic biology of human ageing is a key milestone in attempting to ameliorate the deleterious consequences of old age. This is an urgent research priority given the global demographic shift towards an ageing population. Although some molecular pathways that have been proposed to contribute to ageing have been discovered using classical biochemistry and genetics, the complex, polygenic and stochastic nature of ageing is such that the process as a whole is not immediately amenable to biochemical analysis. Thus, attempts have been made to elucidate the causes of monogenic progeroid disorders that recapitulate some, if not all, features of normal ageing in the hope that this may contribute to our understanding of normal human ageing. Two canonical progeroid disorders are Werner's syndrome and Hutchinson-Gilford progeroid syndrome (also known as progeria). Because such disorders are essentially phenocopies of ageing, rather than ageing itself, advances made in understanding their pathogenesis must always be contextualised within theories proposed to help explain how the normal process operates. One such possible ageing mechanism is described by the cell senescence hypothesis of ageing. Here, we discuss this hypothesis and demonstrate that it provides a plausible explanation for many of the ageing phenotypes seen in Werner's syndrome and Hutchinson-Gilford progeriod syndrome. The recent exciting advances made in potential therapies for these two syndromes are also reviewed.

  13. Unstable genes unstable mind: beyond the central dogma of molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegde, Mahabaleshwar V; Saraph, Arundhati A

    2011-08-01

    Schizophrenia has a polygenic mode of inheritance and an estimated heritability of over 80%, but success in understanding its genetic underpinnings to date has been modest. Unlike in trinucleotide neurodegenerative disorders, the phenomenon of genetic anticipation observed in schizophrenia or bipolar disorder has not been explained. For the first time, we provide a plausible molecular explanation of genetic anticipation and pathophysiology of schizophrenia, at least in part, with supporting evidence. We postulate that abnormally increased numbers of CAG repeats in many genes being expressed in the brain, coding for glutamine, cumulatively press for higher demand of glutamine in the respective brain cells, resulting in a metabolic crisis and dysregulation of the glutamate-glutamine cycle. This can adversely affect the functioning of both glutamate and GABA receptors, which are known to be involved in psychosis, and may also affect glutathione levels, increasing oxidative stress. The resulting psychosis (gain in function), originating from unstable genes, is described as an effect "beyond the central dogma of molecular biology". The hypothesis explains genetic anticipation, as further expansions in subsequent generations may result in increased severity and earlier occurrence. Many other well described findings provide proof of concept. This is a testable hypothesis, does not deny any known facts and opens up new avenues of research.

  14. Biology meets Physics: Reductionism and Multi-scale Modeling of Morphogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Sara; Batterman, Robert

    2017-01-01

    and biology. Contrary to the assumption that physical science approaches provide reductive explanations in biology, we exemplify how inputs from physical science approaches often reveal the importance of macro-scale models and explanations. We illustrate this through an examination of the role of biomechanics...

  15. Explanation, argumentation and dialogic interactions in science classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguiar, Orlando G.

    2016-04-01

    As a responsive article to Miranda Rocksén's paper "The many roles of `explanation' in science education: a case study", this paper aims to emphasize the importance of the two central themes of her paper: dialogic approaches in science education and the role of explanations in science classrooms. I start discussing the concepts of dialogue and dialogism in science classrooms contexts. Dialogism is discussed as the basic tenet from which Rocksén developed her research design and methods. In turn, dialogues in science classrooms may be considered as a particular type of discourse that allows the students' culture, mostly based on everyday knowledge, and the science school culture, related to scientific knowledge and language to be interwoven. I argue that in school, science teachers are always committed to the resolution of differences according to a scientific position for the knowledge to be constructed. Thus, the institution of schooling constrains the ways in which dialogue can be conducted in the classrooms, as the scientific perspective will be always, beforehand, the reference for the conclusions to be reached. The second theme developed here, in dialogue with Rocksén, is about explanations in science classrooms. Based on Jean Paul Bronckart (Atividade de linguagem, textos e discursos: por um interacionismo sócio-discursivo, Educ, São Paulo, 1999), the differences and relationship between explanation and argumentation as communicative acts are re-discussed as well its practical consequences to science teaching. Finally, some epistemological questions are raised about the status of scientific explanations in relation to non-scientific ones.

  16. Explanation, argumentation and dialogic interactions in science classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguiar, Orlando G.

    2016-12-01

    As a responsive article to Miranda Rocksén's paper "The many roles of `explanation' in science education: a case study", this paper aims to emphasize the importance of the two central themes of her paper: dialogic approaches in science education and the role of explanations in science classrooms. I start discussing the concepts of dialogue and dialogism in science classrooms contexts. Dialogism is discussed as the basic tenet from which Rocksén developed her research design and methods. In turn, dialogues in science classrooms may be considered as a particular type of discourse that allows the students' culture, mostly based on everyday knowledge, and the science school culture, related to scientific knowledge and language to be interwoven. I argue that in school, science teachers are always committed to the resolution of differences according to a scientific position for the knowledge to be constructed. Thus, the institution of schooling constrains the ways in which dialogue can be conducted in the classrooms, as the scientific perspective will be always, beforehand, the reference for the conclusions to be reached. The second theme developed here, in dialogue with Rocksén, is about explanations in science classrooms. Based on Jean Paul Bronckart (Atividade de linguagem, textos e discursos: por um interacionismo sócio-discursivo, Educ, São Paulo, 1999), the differences and relationship between explanation and argumentation as communicative acts are re-discussed as well its practical consequences to science teaching. Finally, some epistemological questions are raised about the status of scientific explanations in relation to non-scientific ones.

  17. Regulated Extracellular Choline Acetyltransferase Activity- The Plausible Missing Link of the Distant Action of Acetylcholine in the Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swetha Vijayaraghavan

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh, the classical neurotransmitter, also affects a variety of nonexcitable cells, such as endothelia, microglia, astrocytes and lymphocytes in both the nervous system and secondary lymphoid organs. Most of these cells are very distant from cholinergic synapses. The action of ACh on these distant cells is unlikely to occur through diffusion, given that ACh is very short-lived in the presence of acetylcholinesterase (AChE and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE, two extremely efficient ACh-degrading enzymes abundantly present in extracellular fluids. In this study, we show compelling evidence for presence of a high concentration and activity of the ACh-synthesizing enzyme, choline-acetyltransferase (ChAT in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF and plasma. We show that ChAT levels are physiologically balanced to the levels of its counteracting enzymes, AChE and BuChE in the human plasma and CSF. Equilibrium analyses show that soluble ChAT maintains a steady-state ACh level in the presence of physiological levels of fully active ACh-degrading enzymes. We show that ChAT is secreted by cultured human-brain astrocytes, and that activated spleen lymphocytes release ChAT itself rather than ACh. We further report differential CSF levels of ChAT in relation to Alzheimer's disease risk genotypes, as well as in patients with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neuroinflammatory disease, compared to controls. Interestingly, soluble CSF ChAT levels show strong correlation with soluble complement factor levels, supporting a role in inflammatory regulation. This study provides a plausible explanation for the long-distance action of ACh through continuous renewal of ACh in extracellular fluids by the soluble ChAT and thereby maintenance of steady-state equilibrium between hydrolysis and synthesis of this ubiquitous cholinergic signal substance in the brain and peripheral compartments. These findings may have important implications for the role of cholinergic

  18. Beyond Hebb XOR and biological learning

    CERN Document Server

    Klemm, K; Schuster, H G; Klemm, Konstantin; Bornholdt, Stefan; Schuster, Heinz Georg

    1999-01-01

    A learning algorithm for multilayer neural networks based on biologically plausible mechanisms is studied. Motivated by findings in experimental neurobiology, we consider synaptic averaging in the induction of plasticity changes, which happen on a slower time scale than firing dynamics. This mechanism is shown to enable learning of the exclusive-or (XOR) problem without the aid of error back-propagation, as well as to increase robustness of learning in the presence of noise.

  19. Motivated Shortcomings in Explanation: The Role of Comparative Self-Evaluation and Awareness of Explanation Recipient's Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Devin G.; Neugebauer, Josephine; Sassenberg, Kai; Buder, Jurgen; Hesse, Friedrich W.

    2013-01-01

    Being aware of someone else's existing knowledge is a prerequisite to effectively adapting an explanation to that person's learning needs. However, such knowledge awareness introduces the potential for motivated self-evaluation based on relative knowledge, that is, for social comparison. Because favorable social comparisons are actively defended,…

  20. A Note on Unified Statistics Including Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein, and Tsallis Statistics, and Plausible Extension to Anisotropic Effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christianto V.

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available In the light of some recent hypotheses suggesting plausible unification of thermostatistics where Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein and Tsallis statistics become its special subsets, we consider further plausible extension to include non-integer Hausdorff dimension, which becomes realization of fractal entropy concept. In the subsequent section, we also discuss plausible extension of this unified statistics to include anisotropic effect by using quaternion oscillator, which may be observed in the context of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Further observation is of course recommended in order to refute or verify this proposition.

  1. The apoptotic effect and the plausible mechanism of microwave radiation on rat myocardial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wenhe; Cui, Yan; Feng, Xianmin; Li, Yan; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Junjie; Wang, Huiyan; Lv, Shijie

    2016-08-01

    Microwaves may exert adverse biological effects on the cardiovascular system at the integrated system and cellular levels. However, the mechanism underlying such effects remains poorly understood. Here, we report a previously uncharacterized mechanism through which microwaves damage myocardial cells. Rats were treated with 2450 MHz microwave radiation at 50, 100, 150, or 200 mW/cm(2) for 6 min. Microwave treatment significantly enhanced the levels of various enzymes in serum. In addition, it increased the malondialdehyde content while decreasing the levels of antioxidative stress enzymes, activities of enzyme complexes I-IV, and ATP in myocardial tissues. Notably, irradiated myocardial cells exhibited structural damage and underwent apoptosis. Furthermore, Western blot analysis revealed significant changes in expression levels of proteins involved in oxidative stress regulation and apoptotic signaling pathways, indicating that microwave irradiation could induce myocardial cell apoptosis by interfering with oxidative stress and cardiac energy metabolism. Our findings provide useful insights into the mechanism of microwave-induced damage to the cardiovascular system.

  2. Sex ratio meiotic drive as a plausible evolutionary mechanism for hybrid male sterility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linbin Zhang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Biological diversity on Earth depends on the multiplication of species or speciation, which is the evolution of reproductive isolation such as hybrid sterility between two new species. An unsolved puzzle is the exact mechanism(s that causes two genomes to diverge from their common ancestor so that some divergent genes no longer function properly in the hybrids. Here we report genetic analyses of divergent genes controlling male fertility and sex ratio in two very young fruitfly species, Drosophila albomicans and D. nasuta. A majority of the genetic divergence for both traits is mapped to the same regions by quantitative trait loci mappings. With introgressions, six major loci are found to contribute to both traits. This genetic colocalization implicates that genes for hybrid male sterility have evolved primarily for controlling sex ratio. We propose that genetic conflicts over sex ratio may operate as a perpetual dynamo for genome divergence. This particular evolutionary mechanism may largely contribute to the rapid evolution of hybrid male sterility and the disproportionate enrichment of its underlying genes on the X chromosome--two patterns widely observed across animals.

  3. Plausible Roles for RAGE in Conditions Exacerbated by Direct and Indirect (Secondhand Smoke Exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua B. Lewis

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Approximately 1 billion people smoke worldwide, and the burden placed on society by primary and secondhand smokers is expected to increase. Smoking is the leading risk factor for myriad health complications stemming from diverse pathogenic programs. First- and second-hand cigarette smoke contains thousands of constituents, including several carcinogens and cytotoxic chemicals that orchestrate chronic inflammatory responses and destructive remodeling events. In the current review, we outline details related to compromised pulmonary and systemic conditions related to smoke exposure. Specifically, data are discussed relative to impaired lung physiology, cancer mechanisms, maternal-fetal complications, cardiometabolic, and joint disorders in the context of smoke exposure exacerbations. As a general unifying mechanism, the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE and its signaling axis is increasingly considered central to smoke-related pathogenesis. RAGE is a multi-ligand cell surface receptor whose expression increases following cigarette smoke exposure. RAGE signaling participates in the underpinning of inflammatory mechanisms mediated by requisite cytokines, chemokines, and remodeling enzymes. Understanding the biological contributions of RAGE during cigarette smoke-induced inflammation may provide critically important insight into the pathology of lung disease and systemic complications that combine during the demise of those exposed.

  4. How plausible is the use of dietary n-3 PUFA in the adjuvant therapy of cancer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serini, Simona; Ottes Vasconcelos, Renata; Fasano, Elena; Calviello, Gabriella

    2016-06-01

    Considerable debate exists regarding the potential antineoplastic effect of dietary long-chain n-3 PUFA contained in fatty fishes. Since the majority of published data has proven that their intake does not induce toxic or carcinogenic effects in humans, their possible preventive use against cancer has been suggested. On the other hand, it is unlikely that they could be effective in cancer patients as a single therapy. Nevertheless, a considerable effort has been put forth in recent years to evaluate the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA might improve the antineoplastic efficiency of currently used anticancer agents. The rationale for this therapeutic combinatory strategy is trying to increase cancer sensitivity to conventional therapies. This could allow the use of lower drug/radiation doses and, thereby, a reduction in the detrimental health effects associated with these treatments. We will here critically examine the studies that have investigated this possibility, by focusing particularly on the biological and molecular mechanisms underlying the antineoplastic effect of these combined treatments. A possible use of n-3 PUFA in combination with the innovative single-targeted anti-cancer therapies, that often are not completely devoid of dangerous side-effects, is also suggested.

  5. Nutritional links to plausible mechanisms underlying pancreatic cancer: a conference report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hine, R Jean; Srivastava, Sudhir; Milner, John A; Ross, Sharon A

    2003-11-01

    Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is one of most catastrophic and least understood of cancers. Evidence from clinical studies indicates that the development of pancreas cancer progresses over many years before symptoms appear. Most people with pancreatic cancer die within six months of diagnosis. The lack of early disease markers, the paucity of direct subject/patient interview data and limited availability of high quality biological samples have slowed progress toward identifying environmental and genetic disease risk factors. Much remains to be learned about the development of pancreatic cancer and about potential interventions for disease prevention. Epidemiological and mechanistic studies examining risk factors for pancreatic cancer supply little consistent or strong evidence to provide a cohesive prevention strategy for this cancer, but offer clues for future research concerning the prevention and early detection of this devastating disease. This Executive Summary provides background discussion on pancreatic cancer and summaries of each of the topics discussed at the workshop, including 1) Molecular aspects, 2) Dietary and other risk factors for pancreatic cancer, 3) The metabolic hypothesis for pancreatic cancer, 4) Preclinical studies on pancreatic cancer, 5) Methylation, 6) Oxidative stress and 7) Biomarker Profiling. This document also contains a compilation of recommendations for future research, concluding remarks, a list of speakers and participants attending the workshop, and a selection of key references to aid future research into nutritional links to mechanisms underlying pancreas cancer. The recommendations section suggests gaps in current knowledge and articulates future directions for this area of investigation.

  6. Sex ratio meiotic drive as a plausible evolutionary mechanism for hybrid male sterility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Linbin; Sun, Tianai; Woldesellassie, Fitsum; Xiao, Hailian; Tao, Yun

    2015-03-01

    Biological diversity on Earth depends on the multiplication of species or speciation, which is the evolution of reproductive isolation such as hybrid sterility between two new species. An unsolved puzzle is the exact mechanism(s) that causes two genomes to diverge from their common ancestor so that some divergent genes no longer function properly in the hybrids. Here we report genetic analyses of divergent genes controlling male fertility and sex ratio in two very young fruitfly species, Drosophila albomicans and D. nasuta. A majority of the genetic divergence for both traits is mapped to the same regions by quantitative trait loci mappings. With introgressions, six major loci are found to contribute to both traits. This genetic colocalization implicates that genes for hybrid male sterility have evolved primarily for controlling sex ratio. We propose that genetic conflicts over sex ratio may operate as a perpetual dynamo for genome divergence. This particular evolutionary mechanism may largely contribute to the rapid evolution of hybrid male sterility and the disproportionate enrichment of its underlying genes on the X chromosome--two patterns widely observed across animals.

  7. Preschool Teachers' Explanations for Hygiene Habits and Young Children's Biological Awareness of Contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyama, Noriko

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Preschools have many norms and rules children are supposed to follow. Among them, behavioral norms associated with mealtime are of great consequence because eating is an essential life function. The present study examined young Japanese children's understanding of hygiene norms and rules at mealtime from the standpoint of their…

  8. A US-China Interview Study: Biology Students' Argumentation and Explanation about Energy Consumption Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Hui; Hokayem, Hayat; Wang, Sasha; Wei, Xin

    2016-01-01

    As China and the United States become the top two carbon emitters in the world, it is crucial for citizens in both countries to construct a sophisticated understanding of energy consumption issues. This interview study examines how U.S. and Chinese students compare in explaining and arguing about two critical energy consumption issues: burning…

  9. MicroRNA-378 regulates adiponectin expression in adipose tissue: a new plausible mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayoshi Ishida

    Full Text Available AIMS: Mechanisms regulating adiponectin expression have not been fully clarified. MicroRNAs (miRNAs, small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression, are involved in biological processes, including obesity and insulin resistance. We evaluated whether the miRNA-378 pathway is involved in regulating adiponectin expression. METHODS AND RESULTS: First, we determined a putative target site for miRNA-378 in the 3 prime untranslated region (3'UTR of the adiponectin gene by in silico analysis. The levels of adiponectin mRNA and protein were decreased in 3T3-L1 cells overexpressing the mimic of miRNA-378. Luminescence activity in HEK293T cells expressing a renilla-luciferase-adiponectin-3'UTR sequence was inhibited by overexpressing the mimic of miRNA-378, and the decrease was reversed by adding the inhibitor of miRNA-378. Moreover, we confirmed the inhibitory effects of the mimic were cancelled in a deleted mutant of the miR-378 3'-UTR binding site. Addition of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα led a upregulation of miR-378 and downregulation of adiponectin at mRNA and protein levels in 3T3-L1 cells. Level of miR-378 was higher and mRNA level of adiponectin was lower in diabetic ob/ob mice than those of normal C57BL/6 mice and levels of miR378 and adiponectin were negatively well correlated (r = -0.624, p = 0.004. CONCLUSIONS: We found that levels of miRNA-378 could modulate adiponectin expression via the 3'UTR sequence-binding site. Our findings warrant further investigations into the role of miRNAs in regulating the adiponectin expression.

  10. Virtual neurorobotics (VNR to accelerate development of plausible neuromorphic brain architectures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip H Goodman

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Traditional research in artificial intelligence and machine learning has viewed the brain as a specially adapted information-processing system. More recently the field of social robotics has been advanced to capture the important dynamics of human cognition and interaction. An overarching societal goal of this research is to incorporate the resultant knowledge about intelligence into technology for prosthetic, assistive, security, and decision support applications. However, despite many decades of investment in learning and classification systems, this paradigm has yet to yield truly “intelligent” systems. For this reason, many investigators are now attempting to incorporate more realistic neuromorphic properties into machine learning systems, encouraged by over two decades of neuroscience research that has provided parameters that characterize the brain’s interdependent genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, anatomic, and electrophysiological networks. Given the complexity of neural systems, developing tenable models to capture the essence of natural intelligence for real-time application requires that we discriminate features underlying information processing and intrinsic motivation from those reflecting biological constraints (such as maintaining structural integrity and transporting metabolic products. We propose herein a conceptual framework and an iterative method of virtual neurorobotics (VNR intended to rapidly forward-engineer and test progressively more complex putative neuromorphic brain prototypes for their ability to support intrinsically intelligent, intentional interaction with humans. The VNR system is based on the viewpoint that a truly intelligent system must be driven by emotion rather than programmed tasking, incorporating intrinsic motivation and intentionality. We report pilot results of a closed-loop, real-time interactive VNR system with a spiking neural brain, and provide a video demonstration as online supplemental

  11. Virtual Neurorobotics (VNR) to Accelerate Development of Plausible Neuromorphic Brain Architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Philip H; Buntha, Sermsak; Zou, Quan; Dascalu, Sergiu-Mihai

    2007-01-01

    Traditional research in artificial intelligence and machine learning has viewed the brain as a specially adapted information-processing system. More recently the field of social robotics has been advanced to capture the important dynamics of human cognition and interaction. An overarching societal goal of this research is to incorporate the resultant knowledge about intelligence into technology for prosthetic, assistive, security, and decision support applications. However, despite many decades of investment in learning and classification systems, this paradigm has yet to yield truly "intelligent" systems. For this reason, many investigators are now attempting to incorporate more realistic neuromorphic properties into machine learning systems, encouraged by over two decades of neuroscience research that has provided parameters that characterize the brain's interdependent genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, anatomic, and electrophysiological networks. Given the complexity of neural systems, developing tenable models to capture the essence of natural intelligence for real-time application requires that we discriminate features underlying information processing and intrinsic motivation from those reflecting biological constraints (such as maintaining structural integrity and transporting metabolic products). We propose herein a conceptual framework and an iterative method of virtual neurorobotics (VNR) intended to rapidly forward-engineer and test progressively more complex putative neuromorphic brain prototypes for their ability to support intrinsically intelligent, intentional interaction with humans. The VNR system is based on the viewpoint that a truly intelligent system must be driven by emotion rather than programmed tasking, incorporating intrinsic motivation and intentionality. We report pilot results of a closed-loop, real-time interactive VNR system with a spiking neural brain, and provide a video demonstration as online supplemental material.

  12. Biology meets Physics: Reductionism and Multi-scale Modeling of Morphogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Sara; Batterman, Robert

    2017-01-01

    from philosophers of biology. Specifically, scholars have pointed to the impossibility of deducing biological explanations from physical ones, and to the irreducible nature of distinctively biological processes such as gene regulation and evolution. This paper takes a step back in asking whether bottom......-up modeling is feasible even when modeling simple physical systems across scales. By comparing examples of multi-scale modeling in physics and biology, we argue that the “tyranny of scales” problem present a challenge to reductive explanations in both physics and biology. The problem refers to the scale...... and biology. Contrary to the assumption that physical science approaches provide reductive explanations in biology, we exemplify how inputs from physical science approaches often reveal the importance of macro-scale models and explanations. We illustrate this through an examination of the role of biomechanics...

  13. Ionic liquid pretreatment of biomass for sugars production: Driving factors with a plausible mechanism for higher enzymatic digestibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Tirath; Gaur, Ruchi; Dixit, Pooja; Gupta, Ravi P; Kagdiyal, V; Kumar, Ravindra; Tuli, Deepak K

    2016-09-20

    In this study, five ionic liquids (ILs) have been explored for biomass pretreatment for the production of fermentable sugar. We also investigated the driving factors responsible for improved enzymatic digestibility of various ILs treated biomass along with postulating the plausible mechanism thereof. Post pretreatment, mainly two factors impacted the enzymatic digestibility (i) structural deformation (cellulose I to II) along with xylan/lignin removal and (ii) properties of ILs; wherein, K-T parameters, viscosity and surface tension had a direct influence on pretreatment. A systematic investigation of these parameters and their impact on enzymatic digestibility is drawn. [C2mim][OAc] with β-value 1.32 resulted 97.7% of glucose yield using 10 FPU/g of biomass. A closer insight into the cellulose structural transformation has prompted a plausible mechanism explaining the better digestibility. The impact of these parameters on the digestibility can pave the way to customize the process to make biomass vulnerable to enzymatic attack.

  14. Antimicrobial drug use in Austrian pig farms: plausibility check of electronic on-farm records and estimation of consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trauffler, M; Griesbacher, A; Fuchs, K; Köfer, J

    2014-10-25

    Electronic drug application records from farmers from 75 conventional pig farms were revised and checked for their plausibility. The registered drug amounts were verified by comparing the farmers' records with veterinarians' dispensary records. The antimicrobial consumption was evaluated from 2008 to 2011 and expressed in weight of active substance(s), number of used daily doses (nUDD), number of animal daily doses (nADD) and number of product-related daily doses (nPrDD). All results were referred to one year and animal bodyweight (kg biomass). The data plausibility proof revealed about 14 per cent of unrealistic drug amount entries in the farmers' records. The annual antimicrobial consumption was 33.9 mg/kg/year, 4.9 UDDkg/kg/year, 1.9 ADDkg/kg/year and 2.5 PrDDkg/kg/year (average). Most of the antimicrobials were applied orally (86 per cent) and at group-level. Main therapy indications were metaphylactic/prophylactic measures (farrow-to-finish and fattening farms) or digestive tract diseases (breeding farms). The proportion of the 'highest priority critically important antimicrobials' was low (12 per cent). After determination of a threshold value, farms with a high antimicrobial use could be detected. Statistical tests showed that the veterinarian had an influence on the dosage, the therapy indication and the active substance. Orally administered antimicrobials were mostly underdosed, parenterally administered antimicrobials rather correctly or overdosed.

  15. Nursing Teaching Strategies by Encouraging Students’ Questioning, Argumentation and Explanation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dayse Neri de Souza

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Nursing students need to develop competences in the field of explanation, argumentation and questioning as they are pivotal to foster a relationship with their patients and achieve a greater humanisation of care. The objective of this paper is to analyse the perception of 1st-year nursing students with regard to the humanisation of care provided to patients by encouraging them to discuss real-life episodes. The study is qualitative and content analysis used the students’ questions, explanations and argumentation as core discourses. Among other conclusions, results point towards the importance of promoting activities that encourage the different nursing students’ discourses and the ability to understand the humanisation and dehumanisation patterns arising from the real-life episodes used as case study.

  16. Less Mundane Explanation of Pioneer Anomaly from Q-Relativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smarandache F.

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available There have been various explanations of Pioneer blueshift anomaly in the past few years; nonetheless no explanation has been offered from the viewpoint of Q-relativity physics. In the present paper it is argued that Pioneer anomalous blueshift may be caused by Pioneer spacecraft experiencing angular shift induced by similar Q- relativity effect which may also affect Jupiter satellites. By taking into consideration “aether drift” effect, the proposed method as described herein could explain Pioneer blueshift anomaly within 0.26% error range, which speaks for itself. Another new proposition of redshift quantization is also proposed from gravitational Bohr-radius which is consistent with Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization. Further observation is of course recommended in order to refute or verify this proposition.

  17. Dynamical 3-Space: Alternative Explanation of the "Dark Matter Ring"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cahill R. T.

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available NASA has claimed the discovery of a “Ring of Dark Matter” in the galaxy cluster CL 0024 +17, see Jee M.J. et al. arXiv:0705.2171, based upon gravitational lensing data. Here we show that the lensing can be given an alternative explanation that does not involve “dark matter”. This explanation comes from the new dynamics of 3-space. This dynamics involves two constant G and alpha — the fine structure constant. This dynamics has explained the bore hole anomaly, spiral galaxy flat rotation speeds, the masses of black holes in spherical galaxies, gravitational light bending and lensing, all without invoking “dark matter”, and also the supernova redshift data without the need for “dark energy”.

  18. Board competency explanations for differentiation in a harmonisation environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holm, Claus; Schøler, Finn

    Some company leaders decide that their companies should differentiate themselves from others even though the regulatory establishments such as the European Union and IASB are making elaborate efforts to emphasise comparability and the need for harmonisation of reporting behaviour and governance...... in reporting and governance structure. Our contribution to existing knowledge about optimal board compositions is provision of explanations for ability and willingness to make certain critical corporate decisions. In order to identify such explanations, we choose to make an explorative study of the corporate...... governance codes' general recommendations for board member competencies which can be classified as related to internationalisation, professional background and diversity. We examine four specific instances of observed differentiation behaviour, i.e. two instances of disclosure behaviour: Voluntary IFRS...

  19. Women's rape fantasies: an empirical evaluation of the major explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bivona, Jenny M; Critelli, Joseph W; Clark, Michael J

    2012-10-01

    This study evaluated explanations of rape fantasy in a sample of female undergraduates (N = 355) using a sexual fantasy checklist which included eight types of rape fantasy, participants' detailed descriptions of a rape fantasy they have had, a rape fantasy scenario audio presentation, and measures of personality. Three explanations of rape fantasy were tested: openness to sexual experience, sexual desirability, and sexual blame avoidance. Women who were higher in erotophilia and self-esteem and who had more frequent consensual sexual fantasies and more frequent desirability fantasies, particularly of performing as a stripper, had more frequent rape fantasies. Women who were higher in erotophilia, openness to fantasy, desirability fantasies, and self-esteem reported greater sexual arousal to rape fantasies. Sexual blame avoidance theory was not supported; sexual desirability theory was moderately supported; openness to sexual experience theory received the strongest support.

  20. Nursing teaching strategies by encouraging students' questioning, argumentation and explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Dayse Neri de; Souza, Francislê Neri de

    2014-12-01

    Nursing students need to develop competences in the field of explanation, argumentation and questioning as they are pivotal to foster a relationship with their patients and achieve a greater humanisation of care. The objective of this paper is to analyse the perception of 1st-year nursing students with regard to the humanisation of care provided to patients by encouraging them to discuss real-life episodes. The study is qualitative and content analysis used the students' questions, explanations and argumentation as core discourses. Among other conclusions, results point towards the importance of promoting activities that encourage the different nursing students' discourses and the ability to understand the humanisation and dehumanisation patterns arising from the real-life episodes used as case study.

  1. Teachers’ explanations of learners’ errors in standardised mathematics assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yael Shalem

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available With the increased use of standardised mathematics assessments at the classroom level, teachers are encouraged, and sometimes required, to use data from these assessments to inform their practice. As a consequence, teacher educators and researchers are starting to focus on the development of analytical tools that will help them determine how teachers interpret learners’ work, in particular learners’ errors in the context of standardised and other assessments. To detect variation and associations between and within the different aspects of teacher knowledge related to mathematical error analysis, we developed an instrument with six criteria based on aspects of teachers’ knowledge related to explaining and diagnosing learners’ errors. In this study we provide evidence of the usability of the criteria by coding 572 explanations given by groups of mathematics educators (teachers and district officials in a professional development context. The findings consist of observable trends and associations between the different criteria that describe the nature of teachers’ explanations of learners’ errors.

  2. Introspective Reasoning Models for Multistrategy Case-Based and Explanation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-03-10

    The algorithm will generalize the explanation (that this particular dog barked at a particular piece of luggage because it detected mari- juana ) to a...Krulwich. & Freed, 1993; Fox & Leake, 1994; Oehlmann, Edwards, & Sleeman, 1994; Plaza & Arcos , 1993: Stroulia & Goel. in press), and a few have used the...pp. 675-680). Hillsdale. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Plaza. E.. & Arcos . J. L. (1993). Reflection and analogy in memory-based learning. In R. S

  3. Fissidens grandifrons: a possible explanation for the rarity of sporophytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pursell Ronald A.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Perigonia are described for the first time in Fissidens grandifrons Brid. A possible explanation for the rarity of sporophytes in this species, the result of perigonial and perichaetial plants separated in different mats, is presented. Sexual reproduction in F. grandifrons is compared with that of F. perdecurrens Besch. and F. ventricosus Lesq. The peristome of F. perdecurrens is described for the first time.

  4. Evolutionary Psychology and the Explanation of Ethnic Phenomena

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Goetze

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In a recent series of articles, Hislope (1998, 2000 and Harvey (2000a, 2000b have raised questions about the usefulness of “evolutionary theory” especially for any purpose other than identifying “distal” causes of ethnic phenomena. This article responds to those views and argues that evolutionary psychology shows great promise in contributing to the explanation of contemporary ethnic identities and ethnic conflict. The authors argue that an evolutionary psychology approach embraces research conducted through conventional social science approaches, helps to complete explanations of the proximate causes of ethnic conflict, and can recast thought and encourage new areas of research about important issues in the ethnic conflict field. Illustrations are provided in support of each of these points. Some of these arguments have been heard before with respect to the general role of evolutionary theory in explaining social phenomena but they are arguments we think bear repeating and illustrating in the context of the study of ethnic phenomena. Before examining the ways that evolutionary psychology can contribute to social science explanation of ethnic phenomena, we summarize the general evolutionary psychology approach to the study of social behavior.

  5. Superfluous neuroscience information makes explanations of psychological phenomena more appealing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Duque, Diego; Evans, Jessica; Christian, Colton; Hodges, Sara D

    2015-05-01

    Does the presence of irrelevant neuroscience information make explanations of psychological phenomena more appealing? Do fMRI pictures further increase that allure? To help answer these questions, 385 college students in four experiments read brief descriptions of psychological phenomena, each one accompanied by an explanation of varying quality (good vs. circular) and followed by superfluous information of various types. Ancillary measures assessed participants' analytical thinking, beliefs on dualism and free will, and admiration for different sciences. In Experiment 1, superfluous neuroscience information increased the judged quality of the argument for both good and bad explanations, whereas accompanying fMRI pictures had no impact above and beyond the neuroscience text, suggesting a bias that is conceptual rather than pictorial. Superfluous neuroscience information was more alluring than social science information (Experiment 2) and more alluring than information from prestigious "hard sciences" (Experiments 3 and 4). Analytical thinking did not protect against the neuroscience bias, nor did a belief in dualism or free will. We conclude that the "allure of neuroscience" bias is conceptual, specific to neuroscience, and not easily accounted for by the prestige of the discipline. It may stem from the lay belief that the brain is the best explanans for mental phenomena.

  6. Changes in University Students' Explanation Models of DC Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokkonen, Tommi; Mäntylä, Terhi

    2017-04-01

    One well-known learning obstacle is that students rarely use the concepts in the way that scientists use them. Rather, students mix up closely related concepts and are inclined towards matter-based conceptualisations. Furthermore, some researchers have argued that certain difficulties are rooted in the student's limited repertoire of causal schemes. These two aspects are conveniently represented in the recent proposal of the systemic view of concept learning. We applied this framework in our analyses of university students' explanations of DC circuits and their use of concepts such as voltage, current and resistance. Our data consist of transcribed group interviews, which we analysed with content analysis. The results of our analysis are represented with directed graphs. Our results show that students had a rather refined ontological knowledge of the concepts. However, students relied on rather simple explanation models, but few students were able to modify their explanations during the interview. Based on the analysis, we identified three processes of change: model switch, model refinement and model elaboration. This emphasises the importance of relevant relational knowledge at a later stage of learning. This demonstrates how concept individuation and learning of relational structures occurs (and in which order) and sets forth interesting research questions for future research.

  7. Metabolic scaling in animals: methods, empirical results, and theoretical explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Craig R; Kearney, Michael R

    2014-01-01

    Life on earth spans a size range of around 21 orders of magnitude across species and can span a range of more than 6 orders of magnitude within species of animal. The effect of size on physiology is, therefore, enormous and is typically expressed by how physiological phenomena scale with mass(b). When b ≠ 1 a trait does not vary in direct proportion to mass and is said to scale allometrically. The study of allometric scaling goes back to at least the time of Galileo Galilei, and published scaling relationships are now available for hundreds of traits. Here, the methods of scaling analysis are reviewed, using examples for a range of traits with an emphasis on those related to metabolism in animals. Where necessary, new relationships have been generated from published data using modern phylogenetically informed techniques. During recent decades one of the most controversial scaling relationships has been that between metabolic rate and body mass and a number of explanations have been proposed for the scaling of this trait. Examples of these mechanistic explanations for metabolic scaling are reviewed, and suggestions made for comparing between them. Finally, the conceptual links between metabolic scaling and ecological patterns are examined, emphasizing the distinction between (1) the hypothesis that size- and temperature-dependent variation among species and individuals in metabolic rate influences ecological processes at levels of organization from individuals to the biosphere and (2) mechanistic explanations for metabolic rate that may explain the size- and temperature-dependence of this trait.

  8. Quantum physics meets biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, Markus; Juffmann, Thomas; Vedral, Vlatko

    2009-12-01

    Quantum physics and biology have long been regarded as unrelated disciplines, describing nature at the inanimate microlevel on the one hand and living species on the other hand. Over the past decades the life sciences have succeeded in providing ever more and refined explanations of macroscopic phenomena that were based on an improved understanding of molecular structures and mechanisms. Simultaneously, quantum physics, originally rooted in a world-view of quantum coherences, entanglement, and other nonclassical effects, has been heading toward systems of increasing complexity. The present perspective article shall serve as a "pedestrian guide" to the growing interconnections between the two fields. We recapitulate the generic and sometimes unintuitive characteristics of quantum physics and point to a number of applications in the life sciences. We discuss our criteria for a future "quantum biology," its current status, recent experimental progress, and also the restrictions that nature imposes on bold extrapolations of quantum theory to macroscopic phenomena.

  9. Quantum physics meets biology

    CERN Document Server

    Arndt, Markus; Vedral, Vlatko

    2009-01-01

    Quantum physics and biology have long been regarded as unrelated disciplines, describing nature at the inanimate microlevel on the one hand and living species on the other hand. Over the last decades the life sciences have succeeded in providing ever more and refined explanations of macroscopic phenomena that were based on an improved understanding of molecular structures and mechanisms. Simultaneously, quantum physics, originally rooted in a world view of quantum coherences, entanglement and other non-classical effects, has been heading towards systems of increasing complexity. The present perspective article shall serve as a pedestrian guide to the growing interconnections between the two fields. We recapitulate the generic and sometimes unintuitive characteristics of quantum physics and point to a number of applications in the life sciences. We discuss our criteria for a future quantum biology, its current status, recent experimental progress and also the restrictions that nature imposes on bold extrapolat...

  10. Plausibility, necessity and identity: A logic of relative plausibility%似然性、必然性和恒等:一种相对似然性逻辑

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李小五; 文学锋

    2007-01-01

    构造一个希尔伯特型的系统RPL, 来刻画由J·哈尔彭提出的似然性测度概念, 证明RPL相对一个邻域型语义是可靠和完全的.运用表述RPL的语言, 证明它可以定义已经得到深入研究的必然性、条件句和命题恒等这样的概念.%We construct a Hilbert style system RPL for the notion of plausibility measure introduced by Halpern J, and we prove the soundness and completeness with respect to a neighborhood style semantics.Using the language of RPL, we demonstrate that it can define well-studied notions of necessity,conditionals and propositional identity.

  11. All biology is computational biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowetz, Florian

    2017-03-01

    Here, I argue that computational thinking and techniques are so central to the quest of understanding life that today all biology is computational biology. Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science.

  12. All biology is computational biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Here, I argue that computational thinking and techniques are so central to the quest of understanding life that today all biology is computational biology. Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science. PMID:28278152

  13. Dormancy and Recovery Testing for Biological Wastewater Processors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummerick, Mary F.; Coutts, Janelle L.; Lunn, Griffin M.; Spencer, LaShelle; Khodadad, Christina L.; Birmele, Michele N.; Frances, Someliz; Wheeler, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    Resource recovery and recycling waste streams to usable water via biological water processors is a plausible component of an integrated water purification system. Biological processing as a pretreatment can reduce the load of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds entering physiochemical systems downstream. Aerated hollow fiber membrane bioreactors, have been proposed and studied for a number of years as an approach for treating wastewater streams for space exploration.

  14. An optimization framework of biological dynamical systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horie, Ryota

    2008-07-07

    Different biological dynamics are often described by different mathematical equations. On the other hand, some mathematical models describe many biological dynamics universally. Here, we focus on three biological dynamics: the Lotka-Volterra equation, the Hopfield neural networks, and the replicator equation. We describe these three dynamical models using a single optimization framework, which is constructed with employing the Riemannian geometry. Then, we show that the optimization structures of these dynamics are identical, and the differences among the three dynamics are only in the constraints of the optimization. From this perspective, we discuss the unified view for biological dynamics. We also discuss the plausible categorizations, the fundamental nature, and the efficient modeling of the biological dynamics, which arise from the optimization perspective of the dynamical systems.

  15. Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Food Security in 2050 under a Range of Plausible Socioeconomic and Emissions Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebe, K.; Lotze-Campen, H.; Bodirsky, B.; Kavallari, A.; Mason-d'Croz, D.; van der Mensbrugghe, D.; Robinson, S.; Sands, R.; Tabeau, A.; Willenbockel, D.; Islam, S.; van Meijl, H.; Mueller, C.; Robertson, R.

    2014-12-01

    Previous studies have combined climate, crop and economic models to examine the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security, but results have varied widely due to differences in models, scenarios and data. Recent work has examined (and narrowed) these differences through systematic model intercomparison using a high-emissions pathway to highlight the differences. New work extends that analysis to cover a range of plausible socioeconomic scenarios and emission pathways. Results from three general circulation models are combined with one crop model and five global economic models to examine the global and regional impacts of climate change on yields, area, production, prices and trade for coarse grains, rice, wheat, oilseeds and sugar to 2050. Results show that yield impacts vary with changes in population, income and technology as well as emissions, but are reduced in all cases by endogenous changes in prices and other variables.

  16. The role of adverse childhood experiences in cardiovascular disease risk: a review with emphasis on plausible mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shaoyong; Jimenez, Marcia P; Roberts, Cole T F; Loucks, Eric B

    2015-10-01

    Childhood adversity, characterized by abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, is a problem that exerts a significant impact on individuals, families, and society. Growing evidence suggests that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with health decline in adulthood, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). In the current review, we first provide an overview of the association between ACEs and CVD risk, with updates on the latest epidemiological evidence. Second, we briefly review plausible pathways by which ACEs could influence CVD risk, including traditional risk factors and novel mechanisms. Finally, we highlight the potential implications of ACEs in clinical and public health. Information gleaned from this review should help physicians and researchers in better understanding potential long-term consequences of ACEs and considering adapting current strategies in treatment or intervention for patients with ACEs.

  17. A hitherto undescribed case of cerebellar ataxia as the sole presentation of thyrotoxicosis in a young man: a plausible association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elhadd, Tarik Abdelkareim; Linton, Kathryn; McCoy, Caoihme; Saha, Subrata; Holden, Roger

    2014-01-01

    A 16-year-old male presented to hospital following an episode of unusual behavior on the football pitch, where he was witnessed as grossly ataxic by his teammates. The assessment demonstrated marked cerebellar signs on examination but no other neurological deficit. The investigation showed the evidence of biochemical thyrotoxicosis with free T4 at 37 pmol/L (normal reference range: 11-27) and thyrotropin (TSH) plausible because alternative etiologies were excluded, and the normalization of thyroid function with treatment was coupled with complete resolution of the neurological syndrome. Cerebellar syndromes may well be one of the presenting features of thyrotoxicosis, and this should be in the list of its differential diagnosis.

  18. Influence of the Aqueous Environment on Protein Structure—A Plausible Hypothesis Concerning the Mechanism of Amyloidogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irena Roterman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The aqueous environment is a pervasive factor which, in many ways, determines the protein folding process and consequently the activity of proteins. Proteins are unable to perform their function unless immersed in water (membrane proteins excluded from this statement. Tertiary conformational stabilization is dependent on the presence of internal force fields (nonbonding interactions between atoms, as well as an external force field generated by water. The hitherto the unknown structuralization of water as the aqueous environment may be elucidated by analyzing its effects on protein structure and function. Our study is based on the fuzzy oil drop model—a mechanism which describes the formation of a hydrophobic core and attempts to explain the emergence of amyloid-like fibrils. A set of proteins which vary with respect to their fuzzy oil drop status (including titin, transthyretin and a prion protein have been selected for in-depth analysis to suggest the plausible mechanism of amyloidogenesis.

  19. Relations between intuitive biological thinking and biological misconceptions in biology majors and nonmajors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coley, John D; Tanner, Kimberly

    2015-03-02

    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed misconceptions, among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists have described intuitive conceptual systems--teleological, essentialist, and anthropocentric thinking--that humans use to reason about biology. We hypothesize that seemingly unrelated biological misconceptions may have common origins in these intuitive ways of knowing, termed cognitive construals. We presented 137 undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors with six biological misconceptions. They indicated their agreement with each statement, and explained their rationale for their response. Results indicate frequent agreement with misconceptions, and frequent use of construal-based reasoning among both biology majors and nonmajors in their written explanations. Moreover, results also show associations between specific construals and the misconceptions hypothesized to arise from those construals. Strikingly, such associations were stronger among biology majors than nonmajors. These results demonstrate important linkages between intuitive ways of thinking and misconceptions in discipline-based reasoning, and raise questions about the origins, persistence, and generality of relations between intuitive reasoning and biological misconceptions.

  20. Relations between Intuitive Biological Thinking and Biological Misconceptions in Biology Majors and Nonmajors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coley, John D.; Tanner, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed misconceptions, among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists have described intuitive conceptual systems—teleological, essentialist, and anthropocentric thinking—that humans use to reason about biology. We hypothesize that seemingly unrelated biological misconceptions may have common origins in these intuitive ways of knowing, termed cognitive construals. We presented 137 undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors with six biological misconceptions. They indicated their agreement with each statement, and explained their rationale for their response. Results indicate frequent agreement with misconceptions, and frequent use of construal-based reasoning among both biology majors and nonmajors in their written explanations. Moreover, results also show associations between specific construals and the misconceptions hypothesized to arise from those construals. Strikingly, such associations were stronger among biology majors than nonmajors. These results demonstrate important linkages between intuitive ways of thinking and misconceptions in discipline-based reasoning, and raise questions about the origins, persistence, and generality of relations between intuitive reasoning and biological misconceptions. PMID:25713093

  1. Charting plausible futures for diabetes prevalence in the United States: a role for system dynamics simulation modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milstein, Bobby; Jones, Andrew; Homer, Jack B; Murphy, Dara; Essien, Joyce; Seville, Don

    2007-07-01

    Healthy People 2010 (HP 2010) objectives call for a 38% reduction in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2, by the year 2010. The process for setting this objective, however, did not focus on the achievability or the compatibility of this objective with other national public health objectives. We used a dynamic simulation model to explore plausible trajectories for diabetes prevalence in the wake of rising levels of obesity in the U.S. population. The model helps to interpret historic trends in diabetes prevalence in the United States and to anticipate plausible future trends through 2010. We conducted simulation experiments using a computer model of diabetes population dynamics to 1) track the rates at which people develop diabetes, are diagnosed with the disease, and die, and 2) assess the effects of various preventive-care interventions. System dynamics modeling methodology based on data from multiple sources guided the analyses. With the number of new cases of diabetes being much greater than the number of deaths among those with the disease, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is likely to continue to increase. Even a 29% reduction in the number of new cases (the HP 2010 objective) would only slow the growth, not reverse it. Increased diabetes detection rates or decreased mortality rates--also HP 2010 objectives--would further increase diagnosed prevalence. The HP 2010 objective for reducing diabetes prevalence is unattainable given the historical processes that are affecting incidence, diagnosis, and mortality, and even a zero-growth future is unlikely. System dynamics modeling shows why interventions to protect against chronic diseases have only gradual effects on their diagnosed prevalence.

  2. Diagnosing Students' Understanding of Energy and Its Related Concepts in Biological Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabalengula, Vivien Mweene; Sanders, Martie; Mumba, Frackson

    2012-01-01

    This study diagnosed the understanding about energy and biological-context energy concepts held by 90 first-year South African university biology students. In particular, students' explanations of energy in a biological context, how energy is involved in different biological situations and whether energy is present and what types of energy are…

  3. MNC's Know-how Feedback: an Economic Explanation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Rong-pu; XUAN Guo-liang

    2005-01-01

    An important motive of internationalization of multinational corporation (MNC) is to acquire local knowledge, and to transfer know-how from its foreign subsidiaries to the parent in order to enbance core compctence. An economic explanation about know-how feedback is demonstrated, the factors of subsidiaries feedback decision are analyzed, the benefit effects of the parent and subsidiary on feedback and nonfeedback model are elaborated. In conclusion, MNC should locate in the country abundant with advanced knowledge and pay attention to internal and external knowledge transfer mechanism in order to achieve better know-how feedback performance.

  4. Infant preferences for attractive faces: a cognitive explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubenstein, A J; Kalakanis, L; Langlois, J H

    1999-05-01

    Research on infant face perception has shown that infants' preferences for attractive faces exist well before socialization from parents, peers, and the media can affect these preferences. Four studies assessed a cognitive explanation for the development of attractiveness preferences: cognitive averaging and infant preferences for mathematically averaged faces, or prototypes. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that both adults and 6-month-old infants prefer prototypical, mathematically averaged faces. Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated that 6-month-olds can abstract the central tendency from a group of naturalistic faces. Taken together, the studies suggest that infants' preferences for attractive faces can be explained by general information-processing mechanisms.

  5. Stringy explanation of $b \\to s \\ell^+ \\ell^-$ anomalies

    CERN Document Server

    Celis, Alejandro; Lust, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    We show that the recent anomalies in $b \\to s \\ell^+ \\ell^-$ transitions observed by the LHCb collaboration can be accommodated within string motivated models with a low mass $Z^{\\prime}$ gauge boson. Such $Z^{\\prime}$ gauge boson can be obtained in compactifications with a low string scale. We consider a class of intersecting D-brane models, in which different families of quarks and leptons are simultaneously realized at different D-brane intersections. The explanation of $b \\to s \\ell^+ \\ell^-$ anomalies via a stringy $Z^{\\prime}$ sets important restrictions on these viable D-brane constructions.

  6. Unsystematic Risk Explanation to Momentum Profits in Taiwan

    OpenAIRE

    Ching-Ping Wang; Hung-Hsi Huang; Kai-Jei Tu

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the momentum profits and provides a systematic risk as well as time-varying unsystematic risk explanation, adopting the monthly returns in the Taiwan stock market during 2003–2008 periods. Through the regression models including and combining the CAPM, Fama–French three factor model, GARCH(1,1)-M and TGARCH(1,1)-M, the main results are as follows. First, most of the momentum strategies have not significant positive returns. Next, CAPM as well as Fama and French factors...

  7. The key ingredients of personality traits: situations, behaviors, and explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yu; Read, Stephen J; Denson, Thomas F; Xu, Yiyuan; Zhang, Jin; Pedersen, William C

    2014-01-01

    The trait and social cognitive perspectives are considered disparate approaches to understanding personality. We suggest an integrative view in which three elements derived from the social cognitive perspective (i.e., situations, behaviors, and explanations [SBEs]) form the basis of personality traits. Study 1 demonstrated strong associations between traits and SBEs across the Big Five dimensions. Studies 2 through 7 tested the discriminative validity, internal structure, and unique contributions of the individual components of SBEs. Studies 8 and 9 demonstrated that the strong associations between traits and SBEs generalize to different cultures. The present work suggests that SBEs may be a universal folk psychological mechanism underlying personality traits.

  8. A simple explanation of OPERA results without strange physics

    CERN Document Server

    Henri, Gilles

    2011-01-01

    We show that OPERA recent results showing an apparent superluminal velocity of muonic neutrinos can find a very simple explanation without any measurement error or any strange physics. Namely, it is enough that the beam composition varies during the leading and the trailing edges to explain an apparent time shift in the detected neutrinos. The order of magnitude of the shift will be the relative variation of the average cross-section times the rising/decaying time, and even a modest change in the composition of the beam could produce the observed effect.

  9. A simple explanation of the classic hydrostatic paradox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kontomaris, Stylianos-Vasileios; Malamou, Anna

    2016-07-01

    An interesting problem in fluid mechanics, with significant educational importance, is the classic hydrostatic paradox. The hydrostatic paradox states the fact that in different shaped containers, with the same base area, which are filled with a liquid of the same height, the applied force by the liquid on the base of each container is exactly the same. However, if the shape of the container is different, the amount of the liquid (and as a consequence the weight) can greatly vary. In this paper, a simple explanation of the hydrostatic paradox, specifically designed and implemented for educational purposes regarding secondary education, is provided.

  10. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubichler, Manfred D; Stadler, Peter F; Prohaska, Sonja J; Nowick, Katja

    2015-12-01

    Function is a central concept in biological theories and explanations. Yet discussions about function are often based on a narrow understanding of biological systems and processes, such as idealized molecular systems or simple evolutionary, i.e., selective, dynamics. Conflicting conceptions of function continue to be used in the scientific literature to support certain claims, for instance about the fraction of "functional DNA" in the human genome. Here we argue that all biologically meaningful interpretations of function are necessarily context dependent. This implies that they derive their meaning as well as their range of applicability only within a specific theoretical and measurement context. We use this framework to shed light on the current debate about functional DNA and argue that without considering explicitly the theoretical and measurement contexts all attempts to integrate biological theories are prone to fail.

  11. Explanations in Microphysics: a Response to van Fraassen's Argument

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvio Seno Chibeni

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to offer a rejoinder to an argument against scientific realism put forward by van Fraassen, based on theoretical considerations regarding microphysics. At a certain stage of his general attack to scientific realism, van Fraassen argues, in contrast to what realists typically hold, that empirical regularities should sometimes be regarded as “brute facts”, which do not ask for explanation in terms of deeper, unobservable mechanisms. The argument from microphysics formulated by van Fraassen is based on the claim that in microphysics the demand for explanation leads to a demand for the so-called hidden-variable theories, which “runs contrary to at least one major school of thought in twentieth-century physics”. It is shown here that this argument does not represent an insurmountable obstacle to scientific realism, not even when a series of important theoretical and experimental results against hidden-variable theories — and not merely a conflict with a certain school of thought—is taken into account.

  12. Depression as a disease of modernity: explanations for increasing prevalence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidaka, Brandon H

    2012-11-01

    There has been much speculation about modern environments causing an epidemic of depression. This review aims to (1) determine whether depression rates have increased and (2) review evidence for possible explanations. While available data indicate rising prevalence and an increased lifetime risk for younger cohorts, strong conclusions cannot be drawn due to conflicting results and methodological flaws. There are numerous potential explanations for changing rates of depression. Cross-cultural studies can be useful for identifying likely culprits. General and specific characteristics of modernization correlate with higher risk. A positive correlation between a country's GDP per capita, as a quantitative measure of modernization, and lifetime risk of a mood disorder trended toward significance (p=0.06). Mental and physical well-being are intimately related. The growing burden of chronic diseases, which arise from an evolutionary mismatch between past human environments and modern-day living, may be central to rising rates of depression. Declining social capital and greater inequality and loneliness are candidate mediators of a depressiogenic social milieu. Modern populations are increasingly overfed, malnourished, sedentary, sunlight-deficient, sleep-deprived, and socially-isolated. These changes in lifestyle each contribute to poor physical health and affect the incidence and treatment of depression. The review ends with a call for future research and policy interventions to address this public health crisis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Are explanations of the Poynting-Robertson effect correct?

    CERN Document Server

    Klacka, J; Pastor, P; Komar, L

    2009-01-01

    Physics of the Poynting-Robertson (P-R) effect is discussed and compared with the statements published in the past thirty years. Relativistically covariant formulation reveals the essence of the P-R effect and points out to nonphysical explanations in scientific papers and monographs. Although the final equation of motion $m$ $d\\vec{v} / dt$ $=$ ($S A'\\bar{Q'}_{pr}$ $ / $ $c$) ${(1 - \\vec{v} \\cdot \\vec{e} / c) \\vec{e} - \\vec{v} / c}$ has been usually correctly presented and used, its derivation and explanation of its essence is frequently incorrect. The relativistically covariant form of the equation of motion yields the P-R effect as an action of the radiation pressure force on a moving spherical body. No "P-R drag", as a particular relativistically covariant equation of motion, exists. Omission of the nonphysical term "P-R drag" excludes any confusion in the published definitions. The difference between the effects of solar electromagnetic and corpuscular (solar wind) radiation is stressed. The force acting...

  14. A NEO-NEWTONIAN EXPLANATION OF THE PIONEER ANOMALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. D. Greaves

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available For over 20 years NASA has struggled to nd an explanation for the Pioneer anomaly, an unmodelled weak acceleration towards the sun (= 8:5 x 10-10 m s-2, observed in deep space probes Pioneer 10, 11, Galileo and Ulysses (Anderson et al. 1998, 1999; Katz 1999. No consensus explanation has been given since the anomaly was rst announced, suggesting that new physics is involved. The riddle may be solved if we assume that c, the speed of light, is not a universal constant. Newtonian mechanics, together with the hypothesis by C spedes-Cur (2002 that the index of refraction is a function of the gravitational energy density of space, leads to values of c slightly higher for interstellar space dominated by the primordial energy density p* due to galaxies and far away stars, far from the gravitational in uence of Earth, Moon, and Sun. The value derived for the index of refraction of space (n0 < 1, implies a Doppler shift of the radio signal received from the probes which results in a decrease of the frequency received at Earth and interpreted as a weak acceleration towards the Sun.

  15. The challenges and scope of theoretical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krakauer, David C; Collins, James P; Erwin, Douglas; Flack, Jessica C; Fontana, Walter; Laubichler, Manfred D; Prohaska, Sonja J; West, Geoffrey B; Stadler, Peter F

    2011-05-07

    Scientific theories seek to provide simple explanations for significant empirical regularities based on fundamental physical and mechanistic constraints. Biological theories have rarely reached a level of generality and predictive power comparable to physical theories. This discrepancy is explained through a combination of frozen accidents, environmental heterogeneity, and widespread non-linearities observed in adaptive processes. At the same time, model building has proven to be very successful when it comes to explaining and predicting the behavior of particular biological systems. In this respect biology resembles alternative model-rich frameworks, such as economics and engineering. In this paper we explore the prospects for general theories in biology, and suggest that these take inspiration not only from physics, but also from the information sciences. Future theoretical biology is likely to represent a hybrid of parsimonious reasoning and algorithmic or rule-based explanation. An open question is whether these new frameworks will remain transparent to human reason. In this context, we discuss the role of machine learning in the early stages of scientific discovery. We argue that evolutionary history is not only a source of uncertainty, but also provides the basis, through conserved traits, for very general explanations for biological regularities, and the prospect of unified theories of life.

  16. A genome-wide association meta-analysis of diarrhoeal disease in young children identifies FUT2 locus and provides plausible biological pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bustamante, Mariona; Standl, Marie; Bassat, Quique

    2016-01-01

    More than a million childhood diarrhoeal episodes occur worldwide each year, and in developed countries a considerable part of them are caused by viral infections. In this study, we aimed to search for genetic variants associated with diarrhoeal disease in young children by meta-analyzing genome-...

  17. A mathematical and biological plausible model of decision-execution regulation in "Go/No-Go" tasks: Focusing on the fronto-striatal-thalamic pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baghdadi, Golnaz; Towhidkhah, Farzad; Rostami, Reza

    2017-07-01

    Discovering factors influencing the speed and accuracy of responses in tasks such as "Go/No-Go" is one of issues which have been raised in neurocognitive studies. Mathematical models are considered as tools to identify and to study decision making procedure from different aspects. In this paper, a mathematical model has been presented to show several factors can alter the output of decision making procedure before execution in a "Go/No-Go" task. The dynamic of this model has two stable fixed points, each of them corresponds to the "Press" and "Not-press" responses. This model that focuses on the fronto-striatal-thalamic direct and indirect pathways, receives planned decisions from frontal cortex and sends a regulated output to motor cortex for execution. The state-space analysis showed that several factors could affect the regulation procedure such as the input strength, noise value, initial condition, and the values of involved neurotransmitters. Some probable analytical reasons that may lead to changes in decision-execution regulation have been suggested as well. Bifurcation diagram analysis demonstrates that an optimal interaction between these factors can compensate the weaknesses of some others. It is predicted that abnormalities of response control in different brain disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be resolved by providing treatment techniques that target the regulation of the interaction. The model also suggests a possible justification to show why so many studies insist on the important role of dopamine in some brain disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Pathways to plausibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlberg, Ayo

    2008-01-01

    Herbal medicine has long been contrasted to modern medicine in terms of a holistic approach to healing, vitalistic theories of health and illness and an emphasis on the body’s innate self-healing capacities. At the same time, since the early 20th century, the cultivation, preparation and mass...

  19. The Effect of Different Textual Narrations on Students' Explanations at the Submicroscopic Level in Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Balushi, Sulaiman M.

    2013-01-01

    The effect of different textual versions (macroscopic (control), submicroscopic, and guided imagery) of the explanation of a chemical phenomenon on students' submicroscopic explanation of a related phenomenon was examined. The sample included 152 pre-service science teachers. The three textual versions of the explanation were distributed randomly…

  20. Segregation in desiccated sessile drops of biological fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarasevich, Yu Yu; Pravoslavnova, D M

    2007-04-01

    It is shown here that concurrence between advection and diffusion in a drying sessile drop of a biological fluid can produce spatial redistribution of albumen and salt. The result gives an explanation for the patterns observed in the dried drops of the biological fluids.

  1. Biological computation

    CERN Document Server

    Lamm, Ehud

    2011-01-01

    Introduction and Biological BackgroundBiological ComputationThe Influence of Biology on Mathematics-Historical ExamplesBiological IntroductionModels and Simulations Cellular Automata Biological BackgroundThe Game of Life General Definition of Cellular Automata One-Dimensional AutomataExamples of Cellular AutomataComparison with a Continuous Mathematical Model Computational UniversalitySelf-Replication Pseudo Code Evolutionary ComputationEvolutionary Biology and Evolutionary ComputationGenetic AlgorithmsExample ApplicationsAnalysis of the Behavior of Genetic AlgorithmsLamarckian Evolution Genet

  2. Energy and Matter: Differences in Discourse in Physical and Biological Sciences Can Be Confusing for Introductory Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Laurel M.; Momsen, Jennifer; Maskiewicz, April; D'Avanzo, Charlene

    2012-01-01

    Biology majors often take introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses during their first two years of college. The various and sometimes conflicting discourse about and explanations of matter and energy in these courses may contribute to confusion and alternative conceptions (those that differ from scientific consensus) in biology…

  3. Energy and Matter: Differences in Discourse in Physical and Biological Sciences Can Be Confusing for Introductory Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Laurel M.; Momsen, Jennifer; Maskiewicz, April; D'Avanzo, Charlene

    2012-01-01

    Biology majors often take introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses during their first two years of college. The various and sometimes conflicting discourse about and explanations of matter and energy in these courses may contribute to confusion and alternative conceptions (those that differ from scientific consensus) in biology…

  4. Explanations of a magic trick across the life span

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay A Olson

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Studying how children and adults explain magic tricks can reveal developmental differences in cognition. We showed 167 children (aged 4 to 13 years a video of a magician making a pen vanish and asked them to explain the trick. Although most claimed to know the secret, none of them correctly identified it. The younger children provided more supernatural interpretations and more often took the magician’s actions at face value. Combined with a similar study of adults (N=1008, we found that both young children and older adults were particularly overconfident in their explanations of the trick. Our methodology demonstrates the feasibility of using magic to study cognitive development across the life span.

  5. The explanation of eclipses in Greco-Roman antiquity

    CERN Document Server

    Casazza, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    The search of a rational explanation of eclipses pervades the beginnings of philosophical and scientific thought. Within this intellectual frame, the knowledge of the "saros cycle" (a cycle of 18 years, 10 or 11 days and 1/3 of a day that separates two successive sun or moon eclipses of similar features), inherited by the Greeks from the Babylonians, favored important theoretical developments in the West. The purpose of this paper is to present, briefly and schematically, a) the ancient theorizations on the causes of eclipses, b) the range of predictability of eclipses in Antiquity, c) the warnings -transmitted by some classical writers- to those who want to observe in naked eyes a solar eclipse, and d) the popular beliefs and social practices upon the occurrence of unexpected eclipses in ancient times.

  6. Witchcraft beliefs and witch hunts: an interdisciplinary explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koning, Niek

    2013-06-01

    This paper proposes an interdisciplinary explanation of the cross-cultural similarities and evolutionary patterns of witchcraft beliefs. It argues that human social dilemmas have led to the evolution of a fear system that is sensitive to signs of deceit and envy. This was adapted in the evolutionary environment of small foraging bands but became overstimulated by the consequences of the Agricultural Revolution, leading to witch paranoia. State formation, civilization, and economic development abated the fear of witches and replaced it in part with more collectivist forms of social paranoia. However, demographic-economic crises could rekindle fear of witches-resulting, for example, in the witch craze of early modern Europe. The Industrial Revolution broke the Malthusian shackles, but modern economic growth requires agricultural development as a starting point. In sub-Saharan Africa, witch paranoia has resurged because the conditions for agricultural development are lacking, leading to fighting for opportunities and an erosion of intergenerational reciprocity.

  7. A simple explanation for DAMA with moderate channeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feldstein, Brian; Fitzpatrick, A. Liam; Katz, Emanuel [Physics Department, Boston University, 590 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA, 02215 (United States); Tweedie, Brock, E-mail: bfeldste@buphy.bu.edu, E-mail: fitzpatr@physics.bu.edu, E-mail: amikatz@buphy.bu.edu, E-mail: brock@pha.jhu.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2010-03-01

    We consider the possibility that the DAMA signal arises from channeled events in simple models where the dark matter interaction with nuclei is suppressed at small momenta. As with the standard WIMP, these models have two parameters (the dark matter mass and the size of the cross-section), without the need to introduce an additional energy threshold type of parameter. We find that they can be consistent with channeling fractions as low as about ∼ 15%, so long as at least ∼ 70% of the nuclear recoil energy for channeled events is deposited electronically. Given that there are reasons not to expect very large channeling fractions, these scenarios make the channeling explanation of DAMA much more compelling.

  8. Another explanation for the cause of heterosis phenomenon

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    NGUYEN THIEN HUYEN

    2016-12-01

    The explanation for heterosis phenomenon is based on ideas: (i) every trait of an organism depends on many genes. (ii) Inbreeding depression and heterosis are related to individual genetic diversity. To assess individual genetic diversity ofan organism, I suggest the term number of genetic properties. Assessing the changes of individual genetic diversity caused by self-pollination and cross-pollination reveals that self-pollinating plants of natural cross-pollinating leads to the decrease in individual genetic diversity of offspring and crossing between pure lines of genetic difference leads to the increase in individual genetic diversity of hybrids. Therefore, I propose that the decrease in individual genetic diversity is the cause the of depression and the increase in individual genetic diversity is the cause of heterosis.

  9. What is osmosis? Explanation and understanding of a physical phenomenon

    CERN Document Server

    Borg, F G

    2003-01-01

    Although osmosis is a familiar phenomenon, and of pivotal importance in natural systems, it is seldom explained how it might work on the molecular level (if treated at all in physics text books). The standard treatment of osmosis in thermodynamics employs the concept of the chemical potential and does not give any clues how the process "really" works. On the other hand one may also encounter conflicting qualitative and molecular explanations of osmosis. We use the case of osmosis in the present paper to elucidate different ways to "explain" and "understand" physical phenomena. The role of qualitative understanding of physical phenomena is emphasized. However, as the case of osmosis demonstrates, there may be a big gap between the abstract macroscopic theory and molecular conceptions of the mechanism.

  10. A flavor-safe composite explanation of $R_K$

    CERN Document Server

    Carmona, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    In these proceedings we discuss a flavor-safe explanation of the anomaly found in $R_K= {\\cal B}(B \\to K \\mu^+ \\mu^-)/{\\cal B}(B \\to K e^+ e^-)$ by LHCb, within the framework of composite Higgs models. We present a model featuring a non-negligible degree of compositeness for all three generations of right-handed leptons, which leads to a violation of lepton-flavor universality in neutral current interactions while other constraints from quark- and lepton-flavor physics are met. Moreoever, the particular embedding of the lepton sector considered in this setup provides a parametrically enhanded contribution to the Higgs mass that can weak considerably the need for ultra-light top partners.

  11. Theories of International Relations and the Explanation of Foreign Aid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAUSELLI, Gino

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available 50 years after the publication of the first and influential article in international relations (IR analyzing foreign aid motivations, A theory of foreign aid, by Hans Morgenthau, IR scholarship has not yet accomplished a consistent theoretical body explaining international development cooperation. Most of the empirical studies on foreign aid have been contributions from other disciplines, especially economics. Research from the field of international relations has been mostly descriptive or poorly connected with IR paradigms.This article proposes to analyze motivations of foreign aid allocations decisions of donors. These motivations will be examined from the theoretical perspective of the international relations scholarship. In this way, it is sought to contribute, from the discipline of IR, to the explanation of the process in which developed countries make transfers of resources to developing countries.

  12. Explanation-based learning of data oriented parsing

    CERN Document Server

    Simaan, K

    1997-01-01

    This paper presents a new view of Explanation-Based Learning (EBL) of natural language parsing. Rather than employing EBL for specializing parsers by inferring new ones, this paper suggests employing EBL for learning how to reduce ambiguity only partially. The present method consists of an EBL algorithm for learning partial-parsers, and a parsing algorithm which combines partial-parsers with existing ``full-parsers". The learned partial-parsers, implementable as Cascades of Finite State Transducers (CFSTs), recognize and combine constituents efficiently, prohibiting spurious overgeneration. The parsing algorithm combines a learned partial-parser with a given full-parser such that the role of the full-parser is limited to combining the constituents, recognized by the partial-parser, and to recognizing unrecognized portions of the input sentence. Besides the reduction of the parse-space prior to disambiguation, the present method provides a way for refining existing disambiguation models that learn stochastic g...

  13. Models for Prediction, Explanation and Control: Recursive Bayesian Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Casini

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The Recursive Bayesian Net (RBN formalism was originally developed for modelling nested causal relationships. In this paper we argue that the formalism can also be applied to modelling the hierarchical structure of mechanisms. The resulting network contains quantitative information about probabilities, as well as qualitative information about mechanistic structure and causal relations. Since information about probabilities, mechanisms and causal relations is vital for prediction, explanation and control respectively, an RBN can be applied to all these tasks. We show in particular how a simple two-level RBN can be used to model a mechanism in cancer science. The higher level of our model contains variables at the clinical level, while the lower level maps the structure of the cell's mechanism for apoptosis.

  14. Explanations of a magic trick across the life span

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Jay A.; Demacheva, Irina; Raz, Amir

    2015-01-01

    Studying how children and adults explain magic tricks can reveal developmental differences in cognition. We showed 167 children (aged 4–13 years) a video of a magician making a pen vanish and asked them to explain the trick. Although most tried to explain the secret, none of them correctly identified it. The younger children provided more supernatural interpretations and more often took the magician's actions at face value. Combined with a similar study of adults (N = 1008), we found that both young children and older adults were particularly overconfident in their explanations of the trick. Our methodology demonstrates the feasibility of using magic to study cognitive development across the life span. PMID:25798117

  15. Binocular disparity as an explanation for the moon illusion

    CERN Document Server

    Antonides, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    We present another explanation for the moon illusion, in which the moon looks larger near the horizon than near the zenith. In our model, the sky is considered a spatially contiguous and geometrically smooth surface. When an object (like the moon) breaks the contiguity of the surface, humans perceive an occlusion of the surface rather than an object appearing through a hole. Binocular vision dictates that the moon is distant, but this perception model dictates that the moon is closer than the sky. To solve the dilemma, the brain distorts the projections of the moon to increase the binocular disparity, which results in increase of the angular size of the moon. The degree of the distortion depends upon the apparent distance to the sky, which is influenced by the surrounding objects and the condition of the sky. The closer the sky appears, the stronger the illusion. At the zenith, few distance cues are present, causing difficulty with distance estimation and weakening the illusion.

  16. Bouncing of charged droplets: An explanation using mean curvature flow

    CERN Document Server

    Helmensdorfer, Sebastian

    2013-01-01

    Two oppositely charged droplets of (say) water in e.g. oil or air will tend to drift together under the influence of their charges. As they make contact, one might expect them to coalesce and form one large droplet, and this indeed happens when the charge difference is sufficiently small. However, Ristenpart et al discovered a remarkable physical phenomenon whereby for large enough charge differentials, the droplets bounce off each other as they make contact. Explanations based on minimisation of area under a volume constraint have been proposed based on the premise that consideration of surface energy cannot be sufficient. However, in this note we explain that on the contrary, the bouncing phenomenon can be completely explained in terms of energy, including an accurate prediction of the threshold charge differential between coalescence and bouncing.

  17. Evolutionary Explanations for Societal Differences in Single Parenthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel Barber Ph.D.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The new research strategy presented in this paper, Evolutionary Social Science, is designed to bridge the gap between evolutionary psychology that operates from the evolutionary past and social science that is bounded by recent history. Its core assumptions are (1 that modern societies owe their character to an interaction of hunter-gatherer adaptations with the modern environment; (2 that changes in societies may reflect change in individuals; (3 that historical changes and cross-societal differences are due to the same adaptational mechanisms, and (4 that different social contexts (e.g., social status modify psychological development through adaptive mechanisms. Preliminary research is reviewed concerning historical, societal, and cross-national variation in single parenthood as an illustration of the potential usefulness of this new approach. Its success at synthesizing the evidence demonstrates that the time frames of evolutionary explanation and recent history can be bridged.

  18. Scalar Dark Matter Explanation of Diphoton Excess at LHC

    CERN Document Server

    Han, Huayong; Zheng, Sibo

    2015-01-01

    We consider a 750 GeV scalar dark matter as an explanation of diphoton signal excess observed at the LHC run 2 through direct Yukawa interaction with a SM top- or bottom-like fermion partner. In this setup the scalar dark matter is mainly produced by gluon fusion, and decays at the one-loop level to SM diboson channels $\\gamma\\gamma$, $ZZ$, $WW$ and $gg$. we show that fermion partner with mass $m_{\\psi}$ in the range between $(375,410)$ GeV or $(745, 750)$ GeV for exotic electric charge $Q=\\pm 2$ can account for scalar dark matter as the origin of diphoton excess.

  19. Explanations versus applications: the explanatory power of valuable beliefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Jesse; Epley, Nicholas

    2005-10-01

    People hold beliefs that vary not only in their perceived truth, but also in their value to the believer--their meaning, relevance, and importance. We argue that a belief's value is determined, at least in part, by its explanatory power. Highly valuable beliefs are those that can uniquely explain and organize a diverse set of observations. Less valuable beliefs, in contrast, are those that can be explained by other observations, or that explain and organize few observations. The results of three experiments are consistent with these hypotheses. These experiments demonstrate that applying either scientific or religious beliefs to explain other observations increases the perceived value of those beliefs, whereas generating explanations for the existence of beliefs decreases their perceived value. Discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for people's resistance to explaining their own beliefs, for the perceived value of science and religion, and for culture wars between people holding opposing beliefs.

  20. ENGINEERING CHARACTERISTICS AND ITS MECHANISM EXPLANATION OF VIBRATORY SYNCHRONIZATION TRANSMISSION

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiong Wanli; Wen Bangchun; Duan Zhishan

    2004-01-01

    Vibratory synchronization transmission (VST) is a kind of special physical phenomenon in inertia vibra-tion mechanical systems.For an inertia vibration mechanical system driven by one pair of motors runs in step,even the power supply of one motor is cut off,the motor can continue to keep rotating state under the vibration exciting of the machine body driven by only one other motor.And its rotating frequency will be the same as that of the other one.The transient process of this wonderful physical phenomenon has not been described quantitatively according to current-existing mechanical models.On the basis of investigation of the engineering characteristics of VST,a mechanical and electrical coupling mathematical model of a two-shaft inertia vibration machine is established.With this model,the transient process of VST is recurred quantitatively and successfully,and a reasonable explana-tion is given.

  1. The induction ability of qualitative plausibility measures in default reasoning%量化plausibility测度在默认推理系统中的推理能力

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    霍旭辉; 寇辉

    2011-01-01

    作者讨论了量化plausibility测度在默认推理逻辑系统(P系统)中的推理能力,给出了一般量化plausibility测度与possibility测度具有相同推理能力的条件.%In this paper,the authors investigate the induction ability of qualitative plausibility measures in default reasoning,and obtain the conditions such that the general qualitative plausibility measures and the possibilty measures have the same induction in default reasoning.

  2. Plausible Drug Targets in the Streptococcus mutans Quorum Sensing Pathways to Combat Dental Biofilms and Associated Risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Gurmeet; Rajesh, Shrinidhi; Princy, S Adline

    2015-12-01

    Streptococcus mutans, a Gram positive facultative anaerobe, is one among the approximately seven hundred bacterial species to exist in human buccal cavity and cause dental caries. Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-density dependent communication process that respond to the inter/intra-species signals and elicit responses to show behavioral changes in the bacteria to an aggressive forms. In accordance to this phenomenon, the S. mutans also harbors a Competing Stimulating Peptide (CSP)-mediated quorum sensing, ComCDE (Two-component regulatory system) to regulate several virulence-associated traits that includes the formation of the oral biofilm (dental plaque), genetic competence and acidogenicity. The QS-mediated response of S. mutans adherence on tooth surface (dental plaque) imparts antibiotic resistance to the bacterium and further progresses to lead a chronic state, known as periodontitis. In recent years, the oral streptococci, S. mutans are not only recognized for its cariogenic potential but also well known to worsen the infective endocarditis due to its inherent ability to colonize and form biofilm on heart valves. The review significantly appreciate the increasing complexity of the CSP-mediated quorum-sensing pathway with a special emphasis to identify the plausible drug targets within the system for the development of anti-quorum drugs to control biofilm formation and associated risks.

  3. Three-layered metallodielectric nanoshells: plausible meta-atoms for metamaterials with isotropic negative refractive index at visible wavelengths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, DaJian; Jiang, ShuMin; Cheng, Ying; Liu, XiaoJun

    2013-01-14

    A three-layered Ag-low-permittivity (LP)-high-permittivity (HP) nanoshell is proposed as a plausible meta-atom for building the three-dimensional isotropic negative refractive index metamaterials (NIMs). The overlap between the electric and magnetic responses of Ag-LP-HP nanoshell can be realized by designing the geometry of the particle, which can lead to the negative electric and magnetic polarizabilities. Then, the negative refractive index is found in the random arrangement of Ag-LP-HP nanoshells. Especially, the modulation of the middle LP layer can move the negative refractive index range into the visible region. Because the responses arise from the each meta-atom, the metamaterial is intrinsically isotropic and polarization independent. It is further found with the increase of the LP layer thickness that the negative refractive index range of the random arrangement shows a large blue-shift and becomes narrow. With the decrease of the filling fraction, the negative refractive index range shows a blue-shift and becomes narrow while the maximum of the negative refractive index decreases.

  4. Non-canonical 3'-5' extension of RNA with prebiotically plausible ribonucleoside 2',3'-cyclic phosphates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutschler, Hannes; Holliger, Philipp

    2014-04-09

    Ribonucleoside 2',3'-cyclic phosphates (N>p's) are generated by multiple prebiotically plausible processes and are credible building blocks for the assembly of early RNA oligomers. While N>p's can be polymerized into short RNAs by non-enzymatic processes with variable efficiency and regioselectivity, no enzymatic route for RNA synthesis had been described. Here we report such a non-canonical 3'-5' nucleotidyl transferase activity. We engineered a variant of the hairpin ribozyme to catalyze addition of all four N>p's (2',3'-cyclic A-, G-, U-, and CMP) to the 5'-hydroxyl termini of RNA strands with 5' nucleotide addition enhanced in all cases by eutectic ice phase formation at -7 °C. We also observed 5' addition of 2',3'-cyclic phosphate-activated β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD>p) and ACA>p RNA trinucleotide, and multiple additions of GUCCA>p RNA pentamers. Our results establish a new mode of RNA 3'-5' extension with implications for RNA oligomer synthesis from prebiotic nucleotide pools.

  5. Bilinguals' Plausibility Judgments for Phrases with a Literal vs. Non-literal Meaning: The Influence of Language Brokering Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belem G. López

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous work has shown that prior experience in language brokering (informal translation may facilitate the processing of meaning within and across language boundaries. The present investigation examined the influence of brokering on bilinguals' processing of two word collocations with either a literal or a figurative meaning in each language. Proficient Spanish-English bilinguals classified as brokers or non-brokers were asked to judge if adjective+noun phrases presented in each language made sense or not. Phrases with a literal meaning (e.g., stinging insect were interspersed with phrases with a figurative meaning (e.g., stinging insult and non-sensical phrases (e.g., stinging picnic. It was hypothesized that plausibility judgments would be facilitated for literal relative to figurative meanings in each language but that experience in language brokering would be associated with a more equivalent pattern of responding across languages. These predictions were confirmed. The findings add to the body of empirical work on individual differences in language processing in bilinguals associated with prior language brokering experience.

  6. Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ∼17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, Joseph R; Burke, Andrea; Dunbar, Nelia W; Köhler, Peter; Thomas, Jennie L; Arienzo, Monica M; Chellman, Nathan J; Maselli, Olivia J; Sigl, Michael; Adkins, Jess F; Baggenstos, Daniel; Burkhart, John F; Brook, Edward J; Buizert, Christo; Cole-Dai, Jihong; Fudge, T J; Knorr, Gregor; Graf, Hans-F; Grieman, Mackenzie M; Iverson, Nels; McGwire, Kenneth C; Mulvaney, Robert; Paris, Guillaume; Rhodes, Rachael H; Saltzman, Eric S; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Taylor, Kendrick C; Winckler, Gisela

    2017-09-05

    Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ∼17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ∼192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found >2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics-similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica-plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ∼17.7 ka.

  7. X-ray investigation of the diffuse emission around plausible gamma-ray emitting pulsar wind nebulae in Kookaburra region

    CERN Document Server

    Kishishita, Tetsuichi; Uchiyama, Yasunobu; Tanaka, Yasuyuki; Takahashi, Tadayuki

    2012-01-01

    We report on the results from {\\it Suzaku} X-ray observations of the radio complex region called Kookaburra, which includes two adjacent TeV $\\gamma$-ray sources HESS J1418-609 and HESS J1420-607. The {\\it Suzaku} observation revealed X-ray diffuse emission around a middle-aged pulsar PSR J1420-6048 and a plausible PWN Rabbit with elongated sizes of $\\sigma_{\\rm X}=1^{\\prime}.66$ and $\\sigma_{\\rm X}=1^{\\prime}.49$, respectively. The peaks of the diffuse X-ray emission are located within the $\\gamma$-ray excess maps obtained by H.E.S.S. and the offsets from the $\\gamma$-ray peaks are $2^{\\prime}.8$ for PSR J1420-6048 and $4^{\\prime}.5$ for Rabbit. The X-ray spectra of the two sources were well reproduced by absorbed power-law models with $\\Gamma=1.7-2.3$. The spectral shapes tend to become softer according to the distance from the X-ray peaks. Assuming the one zone electron emission model as the first order approximation, the ambient magnetic field strengths of HESS J1420-607 and HESS J1418-609 can be estimate...

  8. Bethe-Heitler cascades as a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars

    CERN Document Server

    Zheng, Y G; Kang, S J

    2016-01-01

    Context. Very high-energy (VHE) $\\gamma$-ray measurements of distant TeV blazars can be nicely explained by TeV spectra induced by ultra high-energy cosmic rays. Aims. We develop a model for a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars. Methods. In the model, the TeV emission in distant TeV blazars is dominated by two mixed components. The first is the internal component with the photon energy around 1 TeV produced by inverse Compton scattering of the relativistic electrons on the synchrotron photons (SSC) with a correction for extragalactic background light absorbtion and the other is the external component with the photon energy more than 1 TeV produced by the cascade emission from high-energy protons propagating through intergalactic space. Results. Assuming suitable model parameters, we apply the model to observed spectra of distant TeV blazars of 1ES 0229+200. Our results show that 1) the observed spectrum properties of 1ES 0229+200, especially the TeV $\\gamma$-ray tail of the observed spect...

  9. Simultaneous observations of a pair of kilohertz QPOs and a plausible 1860 Hz QPO from an accreting neutron star system

    CERN Document Server

    Bhattacharyya, Sudip

    2009-01-01

    We report an indication (3.22 sigma) of ~ 1860 Hz quasi-periodic oscillations from a neutron star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-536. If confirmed, this will be by far the highest frequency feature observed from an accreting neutron star system, and hence could be very useful to understand such systems. This plausible timing feature was observed simultaneously with lower (~ 585 Hz) and upper (~ 904 Hz) kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations. The two kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillation frequencies had the ratio of ~ 1.5, and the frequency of the alleged ~ 1860 Hz feature was close to the triple and the double of these frequencies. This can be useful to constrain the models of all the three features. In particular, the ~ 1860 Hz feature could be (1) from a new and heretofore unknown class of quasi-periodic oscillations, or (2) the first observed overtone of lower or upper kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations. Finally we note that, although the relatively low significance of the ~ 1860 Hz feature argues for caut...

  10. Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ˜17.7 ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, Joseph R.; Burke, Andrea; Dunbar, Nelia W.; Köhler, Peter; Thomas, Jennie L.; Arienzo, Monica M.; Chellman, Nathan J.; Maselli, Olivia J.; Sigl, Michael; Adkins, Jess F.; Baggenstos, Daniel; Burkhart, John F.; Brook, Edward J.; Buizert, Christo; Cole-Dai, Jihong; Fudge, T. J.; Knorr, Gregor; Graf, Hans-F.; Grieman, Mackenzie M.; Iverson, Nels; McGwire, Kenneth C.; Mulvaney, Robert; Paris, Guillaume; Rhodes, Rachael H.; Saltzman, Eric S.; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P.; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Taylor, Kendrick C.; Winckler, Gisela

    2017-09-01

    Glacial-state greenhouse gas concentrations and Southern Hemisphere climate conditions persisted until ˜17.7 ka, when a nearly synchronous acceleration in deglaciation was recorded in paleoclimate proxies in large parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with many changes ascribed to a sudden poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies and subsequent climate impacts. We used high-resolution chemical measurements in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, Byrd, and other ice cores to document a unique, ˜192-y series of halogen-rich volcanic eruptions exactly at the start of accelerated deglaciation, with tephra identifying the nearby Mount Takahe volcano as the source. Extensive fallout from these massive eruptions has been found >2,800 km from Mount Takahe. Sulfur isotope anomalies and marked decreases in ice core bromine consistent with increased surface UV radiation indicate that the eruptions led to stratospheric ozone depletion. Rather than a highly improbable coincidence, circulation and climate changes extending from the Antarctic Peninsula to the subtropics—similar to those associated with modern stratospheric ozone depletion over Antarctica—plausibly link the Mount Takahe eruptions to the onset of accelerated Southern Hemisphere deglaciation ˜17.7 ka.

  11. Removal of hazardous organics from water using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs): plausible mechanisms for selective adsorptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, Zubair; Jhung, Sung Hwa

    2015-01-01

    Provision of clean water is one of the most important issues worldwide because of continuing economic development and the steady increase in the global population. However, clean water resources are decreasing everyday, because of contamination with various pollutants including organic chemicals. Pharmaceutical and personal care products, herbicides/pesticides, dyes, phenolics, and aromatics (from sources such as spilled oil) are typical organics that should be removed from water. Because of their huge porosities, designable pore structures, and facile modification, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are used in various adsorption, separation, storage, and delivery applications. In this review, the adsorptive purifications of contaminated water with MOFs are discussed, in order to understand possible applications of MOFs in clean water provision. More importantly, plausible adsorption or interaction mechanisms and selective adsorptions are summarized. The mechanisms of interactions such as electrostatic interaction, acid-base interaction, hydrogen bonding, π-π stacking/interaction, and hydrophobic interaction are discussed for the selective adsorption of organics over MOFs. The adsorption mechanisms will be very helpful not only for understanding adsorptions but also for applications of adsorptions in selective removal, storage, delivery and so on.

  12. Bothered by abstractness or engaged by cohesion? Experts' explanations enhance novices' deep-learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachner, Andreas; Nückles, Matthias

    2015-03-01

    Experts' explanations have been shown to better enhance novices' transfer as compared with advanced students' explanations. Based on research on expertise and text comprehension, we investigated whether the abstractness or the cohesion of experts' and intermediates' explanations accounted for novices' learning. In Study 1, we showed that the superior cohesion of experts' explanations accounted for most of novices' transfer, whereas the degree of abstractness did not impact novices' transfer performance. In Study 2, we investigated novices' processing while learning with experts' and intermediates' explanations. We found that novices studying experts' explanations actively self-regulated their processing of the explanations, as they showed mainly deep-processing activities, whereas novices learning with intermediates' explanations were mainly engaged in shallow-processing activities by paraphrasing the explanations. Thus, we concluded that subject-matter expertise is a crucial prerequisite for instructors. Despite the abstract character of experts' explanations, their subject-matter expertise enables them to generate highly cohesive explanations that serve as a valuable scaffold for students' construction of flexible knowledge by engaging them in deep-level processing.

  13. Organic Matter in SNC Meteorites: Is It Time to Re-Evaluate the Viking Biology Experimental Data?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warmflash, D.; Clemett, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    New data from SNC meteorites suggests that organic material may be present in the martian upper crust. This adds to possibility that the Viking biology experiments may have plausible biological interpretations as well as inorganic chemical interpretations Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract..

  14. David Hull's generalized natural selection as an explanation for scientific change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Michelle Yvette

    2001-10-01

    Philosophers of science such as Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn have employed evolutionary idiom in describing scientific change. In Science as a Process (1988) Hull makes evolutionary theory explanatorily applicable. He modifies key evolutionary terms in order that both biological evolution and scientific change are instances of a general selection process. According to Hull, because of naturally-existing competition for credit among researchers and the professional lineages they constitute, scientists are constrained to cooperate and collaborate. This process entails two important philosophical consequences. First, it allows for a natural justification of why the sciences can provide objective empirical knowledge. Second, appreciating its strength means that a philosophical analysis of scientific change is solidly difficult features to combine. I work on strengthening two weaknesses in Hull's arguments. First, operating in his analysis is an unexplicated notion of ``information'' running parallel to the equally opaque notion of genetic information. My third chapter provides a clear account of ``genetic information'' whose usefulness extends beyond the assistance it can render Hull as a clear concept is needed in biological contexts as well. The fourth and fifth chapters submit evidence of scientific change from radio astronomy. Hull insists on empirical backing for philosophical theses but his own book stands to suffer from selection effects as it offers cases drawn from a single subspecialty in the biological sciences. I found that in the main scientists and the change they propel accords well with Hull's explanation. However, instances of major change reveal credit- and resource-sharing to a degree contrary with what Hull would expect. My conclusion is that the naturalness of competition, instantiated during the course of standardized and relatively ``normal'' scientific research, is not the norm during periods of new research and its uncertain standards of

  15. Determination of nitric oxide metabolites, nitrate and nitrite, in Anopheles culicifacies mosquito midgut and haemolymph by anion exchange high-performance liquid chromatography: plausible mechanism of refractoriness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adak Tridibesh

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The diverse physiological and pathological role of nitric oxide in innate immune defenses against many intra and extracellular pathogens, have led to the development of various methods for determining nitric oxide (NO synthesis. NO metabolites, nitrite (NO2- and nitrate (NO3- are produced by the action of an inducible Anopheles culicifacies NO synthase (AcNOS in mosquito mid-guts and may be central to anti-parasitic arsenal of these mosquitoes. Method While exploring a plausible mechanism of refractoriness based on nitric oxide synthase physiology among the sibling species of An. culicifacies, a sensitive, specific and cost effective high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC method was developed, which is not influenced by the presence of biogenic amines, for the determination of NO2- and NO3- from mosquito mid-guts and haemolymph. Results This method is based on extraction, efficiency, assay reproducibility and contaminant minimization. It entails de-proteinization by centrifugal ultra filtration through ultracel 3 K filter and analysis by high performance anion exchange liquid chromatography (Sphereclone, 5 μ SAX column with UV detection at 214 nm. The lower detection limit of the assay procedure is 50 pmoles in all midgut and haemolymph samples. Retention times for NO2- and NO3- in standards and in mid-gut samples were 3.42 and 4.53 min. respectively. Assay linearity for standards ranged between 50 nM and 1 mM. Recoveries of NO2- and NO3- from spiked samples (1–100 μM and from the extracted standards (1–100 μM were calculated to be 100%. Intra-assay and inter assay variations and relative standard deviations (RSDs for NO2- and NO3- in spiked and un-spiked midgut samples were 5.7% or less. Increased levels NO2- and NO3- in midguts and haemolymph of An. culicifacies sibling species B in comparison to species A reflect towards a mechanism of refractoriness based on AcNOS physiology. Conclusion HPLC is a sensitive

  16. Biologi Radiasi

    OpenAIRE

    Milla Yoesfianda

    2008-01-01

    Biologi radiasi adalah ilmu yang mempelajari tentang pengaruh dari ionisasi radiasi dalam tubuh makhluk hidup. Kemungkinan terjadinya efek biologis akibat interaksi radiasi dan jaringan tubuh manusia, berbanding lurus dengan besarnya dosis radiasi yang mengenai jaringan tubuh tersebut. Radiasi dapat mengakibatkan efek baik secara langsung maupun tidak langsung. Efek yang merusak secara biologis dari radiasi ionisasi diklasifikasikan menjadi tiga kategori utama, yaitu efek somatik determin...

  17. Vitalism in naive biological thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, S C; Taplin, J E; Gelman, S A

    2000-09-01

    Vitalism is the belief that internal bodily organs have agency and that they transmit or exchange a vital force or energy. Three experiments investigated the use of vitalistic explanations for biological phenomena by 5- and 10-year-old English-speaking children and adults, focusing on 2 components: the notion that bodily organs have intentions and the notion that some life force or energy is transmitted. The original Japanese finding of vitalistic thinking was replicated in Experiment 1 with English-speaking 5-year-olds. Experiment 2 indicated that the more active component of vitalism for these children is a belief in the transfer of energy during biological processes, and Experiment 3 suggested an additional, albeit lesser, role for organ intentionality. A belief in vital energy may serve a causal placeholder function within a naive theory of biology until a more precisely formulated mechanism is known.

  18. On Matrix Sampling and Imputation of Context Questionnaires with Implications for the Generation of Plausible Values in Large-Scale Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, David; Su, Dan

    2016-01-01

    This article presents findings on the consequences of matrix sampling of context questionnaires for the generation of plausible values in large-scale assessments. Three studies are conducted. Study 1 uses data from PISA 2012 to examine several different forms of missing data imputation within the chained equations framework: predictive mean…

  19. World Literacy Prospects at the Turn of the Century: Is the Objective of Literacy for All by the Year 2000 Statistically Plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carceles, Gabriel

    1990-01-01

    Describes status and challenge of worldwide illiteracy. Discusses statistical plausibility of universal literacy by 2000. Predicts literacy universalization will take from 14 to 21 years, depending on region, if 1980s trends continue. Implies literacy work requires action strategies commensurate with problem, including national programs and mass…

  20. [Biological weapons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerwat, K; Becker, S; Wulf, H; Densow, D

    2010-08-01

    Biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction that use pathogens (bacteria, viruses) or the toxins produced by them to target living organisms or to contaminate non-living substances. In the past, biological warfare has been repeatedly used. Anthrax, plague and smallpox are regarded as the most dangerous biological weapons by various institutions. Nowadays it seems quite unlikely that biological warfare will be employed in any military campaigns. However, the possibility remains that biological weapons may be used in acts of bioterrorism. In addition all diseases caused by biological weapons may also occur naturally or as a result of a laboratory accident. Risk assessment with regard to biological danger often proves to be difficult. In this context, an early identification of a potentially dangerous situation through experts is essential to limit the degree of damage. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart * New York.

  1. The discourse of causal explanations in school science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Tammy Jayne Anne

    Researchers and educators working from a systemic functional linguistic perspective have provided a body of work on science discourse which offers an excellent starting point for examining the linguistic aspects of the development of causal discourse in school science, discourse which Derewianka (1995) claimed is critical to success in secondary school. No work has yet described the development of causal language by identifying the linguistic features present in oral discourse or by comparing the causal discourse of native and non-native (ESL) speakers of English. The current research responds to this gap by examining the oral discourse collected from ESL and non-ESL students at the primary and high school grades. Specifically, it asks the following questions: (1) How do the teachers and students in these four contexts develop causal explanations and their relevant taxonomies through classroom interactions? (2) What are the causal discourse features being used by the students in these four contexts to construct oral causal explanations? The findings of the social practice analysis showed that the teachers in the four contexts differed in their approaches to teaching, with the primary school mainstream teacher focusing largely on the hands-on practice , the primary school ESL teacher moving from practice to theory, the high school mainstream teacher moving from theory to practice, and the high school ESL teacher relying primarily on theory. The findings from the quantitative, small corpus approach suggest that the developmental path of cause which has been identified in the writing of experts shows up not only in written texts but also in the oral texts which learners construct. Moreover, this move appears when the discourse of high school ESL and non-ESL students is compared, suggesting a developmental progression in the acquisition of these features by these students. The findings also reveal that the knowledge constructed, as shown by the concept maps created

  2. Developing spatially explicit footprints of plausible land-use scenarios in the Santa Cruz Watershed, Arizona and Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Laura M.; Feller, Mark; Villarreal, Miguel L.

    2012-01-01

    The SLEUTH urban growth model is applied to a binational dryland watershed to envision and evaluate plausible future scenarios of land use change into the year 2050. Our objective was to create a suite of geospatial footprints portraying potential land use change that can be used to aid binational decision-makers in assessing the impacts relative to sustainability of natural resources and potential socio-ecological consequences of proposed land-use management. Three alternatives are designed to simulate different conditions: (i) a Current Trends Scenario of unmanaged exponential growth, (ii) a Conservation Scenario with managed growth to protect the environment, and (iii) a Megalopolis Scenario in which growth is accentuated around a defined international trade corridor. The model was calibrated with historical data extracted from a time series of satellite images. Model materials, methodology, and results are presented. Our Current Trends Scenario predicts the footprint of urban growth to approximately triple from 2009 to 2050, which is corroborated by local population estimates. The Conservation Scenario results in protecting 46% more of the Evergreen class (more than 150,000 acres) than the Current Trends Scenario and approximately 95,000 acres of Barren Land, Crops, Deciduous Forest (Mesquite Bosque), Grassland/Herbaceous, Urban/Recreational Grasses, and Wetlands classes combined. The Megalopolis Scenario results also depict the preservation of some of these land-use classes compared to the Current Trends Scenario, most notably in the environmentally important headwaters region. Connectivity and areal extent of land cover types that provide wildlife habitat were preserved under the alternative scenarios when compared to Current Trends.

  3. Testing the physiological plausibility of conflicting psychological models of response inhibition: A forward inference fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criaud, Marion; Longcamp, Marieke; Anton, Jean-Luc; Nazarian, Bruno; Roth, Muriel; Sescousse, Guillaume; Strafella, Antonio P; Ballanger, Bénédicte; Boulinguez, Philippe

    2017-08-30

    The neural mechanisms underlying response inhibition and related disorders are unclear and controversial for several reasons. First, it is a major challenge to assess the psychological bases of behaviour, and ultimately brain-behaviour relationships, of a function which is precisely intended to suppress overt measurable behaviours. Second, response inhibition is difficult to disentangle from other parallel processes involved in more general aspects of cognitive control. Consequently, different psychological and anatomo-functional models coexist, which often appear in conflict with each other even though they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The standard model of response inhibition in go/no-go tasks assumes that inhibitory processes are reactively and selectively triggered by the stimulus that participants must refrain from reacting to. Recent alternative models suggest that action restraint could instead rely on reactive but non-selective mechanisms (all automatic responses are automatically inhibited in uncertain contexts) or on proactive and non-selective mechanisms (a gating function by which reaction to any stimulus is prevented in anticipation of stimulation when the situation is unpredictable). Here, we assessed the physiological plausibility of these different models by testing their respective predictions regarding event-related BOLD modulations (forward inference using fMRI). We set up a single fMRI design which allowed for us to record simultaneously the different possible forms of inhibition while limiting confounds between response inhibition and parallel cognitive processes. We found BOLD dynamics consistent with non-selective models. These results provide new theoretical and methodological lines of inquiry for the study of basic functions involved in behavioural control and related disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Combination of monoclonal antibodies and DPP-IV inhibitors in the treatment of type 1 diabetes: a plausible treatment modality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubala, Anil; Gupta, Ankur; Samanta, Malay K

    2014-07-01

    Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial for the maintenance of immunological tolerance. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) occurs when the immune-regulatory mechanism fails. In fact, T1D is reversed by islet transplantation but is associated with hostile effects of persistent immune suppression. T1D is believed to be dependent on the activation of type-1 helper T (Th1) cells. Immune tolerance is liable for the activation of the Th1 cells. The important role of Th1 cells in pathology of T1D entails the depletion of CD4(+) T cells, which initiated the use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against CD4(+) T cells to interfere with induction of T1D. Prevention of autoimmunity is not only a step forward for the treatment of T1D, but could also restore the β-cell mass. Glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 stimulates β-cell proliferation and also has anti-apoptotic effects on them. However, the potential use of GLP-1 as a possible method to restore pancreatic β-cells is limited due to rapid degradation by dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-IV. We hypothesize that treatment with combination of CD4 mAbs and DPP-IV inhibitors could prevent/reverse T1D. CD4 mAbs have the ability to induce immune tolerance, thereby arresting further progression of T1D; DPP-IV inhibitors have the capability to regenerate the β-cell mass. Consequently, the combination of CD4 mAbs and DPP-IV inhibitor could avoid or at least minimize the constraints of intensive subcutaneous insulin therapy. We presume that if this hypothesis proves correct, it may become one of the plausible therapeutic options for T1D.

  5. In Silico Structure Prediction of Human Fatty Acid Synthase-Dehydratase: A Plausible Model for Understanding Active Site Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Arun; Umashankar, Vetrivel; Samdani, A; Sangeetha, Manoharan; Krishnakumar, Subramanian; Deepa, Perinkulam Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Fatty acid synthase (FASN, UniProt ID: P49327) is a multienzyme dimer complex that plays a critical role in lipogenesis. Consequently, this lipogenic enzyme has gained tremendous biomedical importance. The role of FASN and its inhibition is being extensively researched in several clinical conditions, such as cancers, obesity, and diabetes. X-ray crystallographic structures of some of its domains, such as β-ketoacyl synthase, acetyl transacylase, malonyl transacylase, enoyl reductase, β-ketoacyl reductase, and thioesterase, (TE) are already reported. Here, we have attempted an in silico elucidation of the uncrystallized dehydratase (DH) catalytic domain of human FASN. This theoretical model for DH domain was predicted using comparative modeling methods. Different stand-alone tools and servers were used to validate and check the reliability of the predicted models, which suggested it to be a highly plausible model. The stereochemical analysis showed 92.0% residues in favorable region of Ramachandran plot. The initial physiological substrate β-hydroxybutyryl group was docked into active site of DH domain using Glide. The molecular dynamics simulations carried out for 20 ns in apo and holo states indicated the stability and accuracy of the predicted structure in solvated condition. The predicted model provided useful biochemical insights into the substrate-active site binding mechanisms. This model was then used for identifying potential FASN inhibitors using high-throughput virtual screening of the National Cancer Institute database of chemical ligands. The inhibitory efficacy of the top hit ligands was validated by performing molecular dynamics simulation for 20 ns, where in the ligand NSC71039 exhibited good enzyme inhibition characteristics and exhibited dose-dependent anticancer cytotoxicity in retinoblastoma cancer cells in vitro.

  6. Assessing the Sensitivity of a Reservoir Management System Under Plausible Assumptions About Future Climate Over Seasons to Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, M. N.; Brown, C. M.; Baroang, K. M.; Kaheil, Y. H.

    2011-12-01

    We illustrate an analysis procedure that explores the robustness and overall productivity of a reservoir management system under plausible assumptions about climate fluctuation and change. Results are presented based on a stylized version of a multi-use reservoir management model adapted from Angat Dam, Philippines. It represents a modest-sized seasonal storage reservoir in a climate with a pronounced dry season. The reservoir management model focuses on October-March, during which climatological inflow declines due to the arrival of the dry season, and reservoir management becomes critical and challenging. Inflow is assumed to be impacted by climate fluctuations representing interannal variation (white noise), decadal to multidecadal variation (MDV, here represented by a stochastic autoregressive process) and global change (GC), here represented by a systematic linear trend in seasonal inflow total over the simulation period of 2008-2047. Reservoir reliability, and risk of extreme persistent water shortfall, is assessed under different combinations and magnitudes of GC and MDV. We include an illustration of adaptive management, using seasonal forecasts and updated climate normals. A set of seasonal forecast and observed inflow values are generated for 2008-2047 by randomly rearranging the forecast-observed pairs for 1968-2007. Then, trends are imposed on the observed series, with differing assumptions about the extent to which the seasonal forecasts can be expected to track the trend. We consider the framework presented here well-suited to providing insights about managing the climate risks in reservoir operations, providing guidance on expected benefits and risks of different strategies and climate scenarios.

  7. An Investigation into Teacher Support of Scientific Explanation in High School Science Inquiry Units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffenberg, Rebecca

    The Framework for K-12 Science Education, the foundation for the Next Generation Science Standards, identifies scientific explanation as one of the eight practices "essential for learning science." In order to design professional development to help teachers implement these new standards, we need to assess students' current skill level in explanation construction, characterize current teacher practice surrounding it, and identify best practices for supporting students in explanation construction. This multiple-case study investigated teacher practice in eight high school science inquiry units in the Portland metro area and the scientific explanations the students produced in their work samples. T eacher Instructional Portfolios (TIPs) were analyzed with a TIP rubric based on best practices in teaching science inquiry and a qualitative coding scheme. Written scientific explanations were analyzed with an explanation rubric and qualitative codes. Relationships between instructional practices and explanation quality were examined. The study found that students struggle to produce high quality explanations. They have the most difficulty including adequate reasoning with science content. Also, teachers need to be familiar with the components of explanation and use a variety of pedagogical techniques to support students' explanation construction. Finally, the topic of the science inquiry activity should be strongly connected to the content in the unit, and students need a firm grasp of the scientific theory or model on which their research questions are based to adequately explain their inquiry results.

  8. Learning from instructional explanations: effects of prompts based on the active-constructive-interactive framework.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Roelle

    Full Text Available Although instructional explanations are commonly provided when learners are introduced to new content, they often fail because they are not integrated into effective learning activities. The recently introduced active-constructive-interactive framework posits an effectiveness hierarchy in which interactive learning activities are at the top; these are then followed by constructive and active learning activities, respectively. Against this background, we combined instructional explanations with different types of prompts that were designed to elicit these learning activities and tested the central predictions of the active-constructive-interactive framework. In Experiment 1, N = 83 students were randomly assigned to one of four combinations of instructional explanations and prompts. To test the active < constructive learning hypothesis, the learners received either (1 complete explanations and engaging prompts designed to elicit active activities or (2 explanations that were reduced by inferences and inference prompts designed to engage learners in constructing the withheld information. Furthermore, in order to explore how interactive learning activities can be elicited, we gave the learners who had difficulties in constructing the prompted inferences adapted remedial explanations with either (3 unspecific engaging prompts or (4 revision prompts. In support of the active < constructive learning hypothesis, we found that the learners who received reduced explanations and inference prompts outperformed the learners who received complete explanations and engaging prompts. Moreover, revision prompts were more effective in eliciting interactive learning activities than engaging prompts. In Experiment 2, N = 40 students were randomly assigned to either (1 a reduced explanations and inference prompts or (2 a reduced explanations and inference prompts plus adapted remedial explanations and revision prompts condition. In support of the constructive

  9. Sex Differences in Cognition: Exploring Alternative Explanations. Symposium Papers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Anne C.; And Others

    This document contains five symposium papers exploring sex differences in cognition. The first paper defines the purposes of the study, i.e., to examine which cognitive performance factors are related to sex differences, and to investigate possible biological, social, and psychological factors affecting developmental sex differences. The second…

  10. Explanations of Freud's Psychoanalysis Theories on the Lives and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    FIRST LADY

    psychoanalysis. It is believed that this study would help to understudy the ... desire of sex for a parent of the opposite sex (Pearsal, 1999). ... considered a illegitimate child, because his mother married one of his father's ... shows that biological relationship. ... image declaring its triumph over gravity and outshining the sun.

  11. Uniparental disomy as an explanation of presumptive low penetrance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sulisalo, T.; Chapelle, A. de la [Univ. of Helsinki (Finland); Kaitila, I. [Univ. of Helsinki (Finland)]|[Helsinki Univ. Central Hospital (Finland)

    1994-09-01

    Reduced penetrance has been proposed to account for an observed deficiency of affected individuals in the recessively inherited developmental disorder, cartilage-hair hypoplasia (CHH, MIM No.250250). We recently mapped the gene for CHH to the short arm of chromosome 9, and have shown that reduced penetrance is an unlikely explanation as no unaffected sibs with a genotype identical to that of the affected children were observed at any of the closest marker loci studied. Here we report that two CHH patients out of 45 Finnish uniplex patients had maternal uniparental disomy (UPD) for chromosome 9. The patients were tested with eighteen chromosome 9-specific markers and no paternal contribution was observed in any of the informative meioses. Paternity was confirmed by typing markers from all autosomes other than chromosome 9, and the X chromosome. Both patients were homozygous for all chromosome 9 markers with the exception of one of them who was heterozygous for the maternal alleles at two marker loci on 9q. Further studies will show what proportion of individuals homozygous for CHH is caused by UPD allowing its quantitative significance to be assessed. Based on the data presented here we propose UPD as a main mechanism contributing to the observed deficiency of affected individuals in CHH families.

  12. TRANSITIONAL PARADIGM AS AN EXPLANATION FOR THE DEMOCRATIZATION PROCESSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerti Sqapi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Over the last quarter of the century, the transitional paradigm (or the approach of the transition has been a dominant paradigm that has greatly influenced different studies on democratization. The purpose of this paper, in a general perspective, is to conduct an analysis of the transitional paradigm, assumptions, key concepts, and hypotheses developed thereof, in order to evaluate the validity or at least be able to understand and explain the processes of democratization wave that affected third world countries.  Development of literature and studies within the conceptual framework of this paradigm was mainly conducted during the period of what is known as “the third wave of democratization.” Explanation and direction of change from autocratic to democratic regimes, evident in those countries affected by the third wave, were the main claim of the transition approach.  This paper attempts to investigate the validity of the conceptual framework of this approach with respect to the interpretation (and change of directions of the democratization processes in these countries.

  13. Self-Regulated Learning in Accounting: Diagnosis, Dimensions and Explanations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raimundo Nonato Lima Filho

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This research analyzes self-regulated learning in A ccounting students in two public universities, presenting diagnosis, dimensions and possible explanations, contextualized from the gender, age and stage in the course. The object ives of this paper include to: (a identify the self-regulated learning strategies used by Accounti ng students in two public universities, (b determine the dimensions associated with those stra tegies, and (c analyze how these strategies could be explained on the basis of gende r, age or stage (semester of the students in the course. A sample consisting of 249 individuals revealed that gender and age are factors that influence the degree of self-regulation of a s tudent. Women and younger students tend to have higher levels of self-regulated learning, howe ver, in the stage analysis, the results did not show normal distribution, thus demonstrating the im possibility of realizing the increase or decrease of the degree of self-regulated learning a mong respondents. These results contribute to the practice of teaching accounting, as older st udents and those with a male gender should receive more special attention in relation to their development of self-regulated, independent and proactive learning.

  14. Why did Kant reject physiological explanations in his anthropology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturm, Thomas

    2008-12-01

    One of Kant's central tenets concerning the human sciences is the claim that one need not, and should not, use a physiological vocabulary if one studies human cognitions, feelings, desires, and actions from the point of view of his 'pragmatic' anthropology. The claim is well known, but the arguments Kant advances for it have not been closely discussed. I argue against misguided interpretations of the claim, and I present his actual reasons in favor of it. Contemporary critics of a 'physiological anthropology' reject physiological explanations of mental states as more or less epistemologically dubious. Kant does not favor such ignorance claims--and this is for the good, since none of these claims was sufficiently justified at that time. Instead, he develops an original irrelevance thesis concerning the empirical knowledge of the physiological basis of the mind. His arguments for this claim derive from his original and, up to now, little understood criticism of a certain conception of pragmatic history, related to his anthropological insights concerning our ability to create new rules of action, the social dynamics of human action, and the relative inconstancy of human nature. The irrelevance thesis also changes his views of the goal and methodology of anthropology. Kant thereby argues for a distinctive approach in quest for a general 'science of man'.

  15. Darwin's explanation of design: from natural theology to natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayala, Francisco J

    2010-08-01

    Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and other physical scientists ushered in a conception of the universe as matter in motion governed by natural laws. Their discoveries brought about a fundamental revolution, namely a commitment to the postulate that the universe obeys immanent laws that can account for natural phenomena. The workings of the universe were brought into the realm of science: explanation through natural laws. Darwin completed the Copernican revolution by extending it to the living world. Darwin demonstrated the evolution of organisms. More important yet is that he discovered natural selection, the process that explains the "design" of organisms. The adaptations and diversity of organisms, the origin of novel and complex species, even the origin of mankind, could now be explained by an orderly process of change governed by natural laws. The origin of species and the exquisite features of organisms had previously been explained as special creations of an Omniscient God. Darwin brought them into the domain of science. Evolution is a creative process that produces genuine novelty. The creative power of evolution arises from a distinctive interaction between chance and necessity, between random mutation and natural selection.

  16. Explanation of Delayed Fusion Product Loss in TFTR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zweben, S. J.; Yavorski, V.; Andrushchenko, Zh. N.; Goloborod'Ko, V. Ya.; Reznik, S. N.; Edenstrasser, J. W.

    1998-11-01

    Observations of partially thermalized, (i.e. "delayed") fusion product loss have been made at the bottom of TFTR in both DD(S.J. Zweben et al, Phys. Plasmas 1, 1469 (1994)) and DT(H. Herrmann et al, Nuclear Fusion 37, 293 (1997)) plasmas, but the cause of these losses was not understood. An explanation is proposed in terms of collisional TF ripple loss(V. Yavorski et al, submitted to Nuclear Fusion 1998), in which the influence of the vacuum region between the plasma edge and the outer wall allows the ripple loss orbits to reach the vessel bottom. The inclusion of the inward shifts of the vacuum flux surfaces causes the angle of intersection of the marginally confined trapped orbits to move from the outer midplane toward the vessel bottom, particularly for high plasma currents, low particle energies, and small plasma radii. Calculations are presented using 3-D Fokker-Planck modeling of ripple loss in TFTR. These results are at least qualitatively and semi-quantitatively consistent with the previous observations of delayed loss.

  17. An empirical explanation of the flash-lag effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojtach, William T; Sung, Kyongje; Truong, Sandra; Purves, Dale

    2008-10-21

    When a flash of light is presented in physical alignment with a moving object, the flash is perceived to lag behind the position of the object. This phenomenon, known as the flash-lag effect, has been of particular interest to vision scientists because of the challenge it presents to understanding how the visual system generates perceptions of objects in motion. Although various explanations have been offered, the significance of this effect remains a matter of debate. Here, we show that: (i) contrary to previous reports based on limited data, the flash-lag effect is an increasing nonlinear function of image speed; and (ii) this function is accurately predicted by the frequency of occurrence of image speeds generated by the perspective transformation of moving objects. These results support the conclusion that perceptions of the relative position of a moving object are determined by accumulated experience with image speeds, in this way allowing for visual behavior in response to real-world sources whose speeds and positions cannot be perceived directly.

  18. Biological Correlates of Empathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Timucin Oral

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Empathy can be defined as the capacity to know emotionally what another is experiencing from within the frame of reference of that other person and the capacity to sample the feelings of another or it can be metaphorized as to put oneself in another’s shoes. Although the concept of empathy was firstly described in psychological theories, researches studying the biological correlates of psychological theories have been increasing recently. Not suprisingly, dinamically oriented psychotherapists Freud, Kohut, Basch and Fenichel had suggested theories about the biological correlates of empathy concept and established the basis of this modality decades ago. Some other theorists emphasized the importance of empathy in the early years of lifetime regarding mother-child attachment in terms of developmental psychology and investigated its role in explanation of psychopathology. The data coming from some of the recent brain imaging and animal model studies also seem to support these theories. Although increased activity in different brain regions was shown in many of the brain imaging studies, the role of cingulate cortex for understanding mother-child relationship was constantly emphasized in nearly all of the studies. In addition to these studies, a group of Italian scientists has defined a group of neurons as “mirror neurons” in their studies observing rhesus macaque monkeys. Later, they also defined mirror neurons in human studies, and suggested them as “empathy neurons”. After the discovery of mirror neurons, the hopes of finding the missing part of the puzzle for understanding the biological correlates of empathy raised again. Although the roles of different biological parameters such as skin conductance and pupil diameter for defining empathy have not been certain yet, they are going to give us the opportunity to revise the inconsistent basis of structural validity in psychiatry and to stabilize descriptive validity. In this review, the

  19. Metastasis in renal cell carcinoma: Biology and implications for therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Gong

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Although multiple advances have been made in systemic therapy for renal cell carcinoma (RCC, metastatic RCC remains incurable. In the current review, we focus on the underlying biology of RCC and plausible mechanisms of metastasis. We further outline evolving strategies to combat metastasis through adjuvant therapy. Finally, we discuss clinical patterns of metastasis in RCC and how distinct systemic therapy approaches may be considered based on the anatomic location of metastasis.

  20. Darwin's Difficulties and Students' Struggles with Trait Loss: Cognitive-Historical Parallelisms in Evolutionary Explanation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Minsu; Nehm, Ross H.

    2014-05-01

    Although historical changes in scientific ideas sometimes display striking similarities with students' conceptual progressions, some scholars have cautioned that such similarities lack meaningful commonalities. In the history of evolution, while Darwin and his contemporaries often used natural selection to explain evolutionary trait gain or increase, they struggled to use it to convincingly account for cases of trait loss or decrease. This study examines Darwin's evolutionary writings about trait gain and loss in the Origin of Species (On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. D. Appleton, New York, 1859) and compares them to written evolutionary explanations for trait gain and loss in a large (n > 500), cross-cultural and cross-sectional sample (novices and experts from the USA and Korea). Findings indicate that significantly more students and experts applied natural selection to cases of trait gain, but like Darwin and his contemporaries, they more often applied `use and disuse' and `inheritance of acquired characteristics' to episodes of trait loss. Although the parallelism between Darwin's difficulties and students' struggles with trait loss are striking, significant differences also characterize explanatory model structure. Overall, however, students and scientists struggles to explain trait loss—which is a very common phenomenon in the history of life—appear to transcend time, place, and level of biological expertise. The significance of these findings for evolution education are discussed; in particular, the situated nature of biological reasoning, and the important role that the history of science can play in understanding cognitive constraints on science learning.

  1. Global environmental change: local perceptions, understandings, and explanations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aili Pyhälä

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Global environmental change (GEC is an increasingly discussed phenomenon in the scientific literature as evidence of its presence and impacts continues to grow. Yet, while the documentation of GEC is becoming more readily available, local perceptions of GEC - particularly in small-scale societies - and preferences about how to deal with it, are still largely overlooked. Local knowledge and perceptions of GEC are important in that agents make decisions (including on natural resource management based on individual perceptions. We carried out a systematic literature review that aims to provide an exhaustive state-of-the-art of the degree to and manner in which the study of local perceptions of change are being addressed in GEC research. We reviewed 126 articles found in peer-reviewed journals (between 1998 and 2014 that address local perceptions of GEC. We used three particular lenses of analysis that are known to influence local perceptions, namely (i cognition, (ii culture and knowledge, and (iii possibilities for adaptation.We present our findings on the geographical distribution of the current research, the most common changes reported, perceived drivers and impacts of change, and local explanations and evaluations of change and impacts. Overall, we found the studies to be geographically biased, lacking methodological reporting, mostly theory based with little primary data, and lacking of indepth analysis of the psychological and ontological influences in perception and implications for adaptation. We provide recommendations for future GEC research and propose the development of a "meta-language" around adaptation, perception, and mediation to encourage a greater appreciation and understanding of the diversity around these phenomena across multiple scales, and improved codesign and facilitation of locally relevant adaptation and mitigation strategies.

  2. Global environmental change: local perceptions, understandings, and explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyhälä, Aili; Fernández-Llamazares, Álvaro; Lehvävirta, Hertta; Byg, Anja; Ruiz-Mallén, Isabel; Salpeteur, Matthieu; Thornton, Thomas F.

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental change (GEC) is an increasingly discussed phenomenon in the scientific literature as evidence of its presence and impacts continues to grow. Yet, while the documentation of GEC is becoming more readily available, local perceptions of GEC— particularly in small-scale societies—and preferences about how to deal with it, are still largely overlooked. Local knowledge and perceptions of GEC are important in that agents make decisions (including on natural resource management) based on individual perceptions. We carried out a systematic literature review that aims to provide an exhaustive state-of-the-art of the degree to and manner in which the study of local perceptions of change are being addressed in GEC research. We reviewed 126 articles found in peer-reviewed journals (between 1998 and 2014) that address local perceptions of GEC. We used three particular lenses of analysis that are known to influence local perceptions, namely (i) cognition, (ii) culture and knowledge, and (iii) possibilities for adaptation.We present our findings on the geographical distribution of the current research, the most common changes reported, perceived drivers and impacts of change, and local explanations and evaluations of change and impacts. Overall, we found the studies to be geographically biased, lacking methodological reporting, mostly theory based with little primary data, and lacking of indepth analysis of the psychological and ontological influences in perception and implications for adaptation. We provide recommendations for future GEC research and propose the development of a “meta-language” around adaptation, perception, and mediation to encourage a greater appreciation and understanding of the diversity around these phenomena across multiple scales, and improved codesign and facilitation of locally relevant adaptation and mitigation strategies. PMID:27695479

  3. A model of how different biology experts explain molecular and cellular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M; Anderson, Trevor R; Pelaez, Nancy J

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do explanations made by experts from different biology subdisciplines at a university support the validity of this model? Guided by the modeling framework of R. S. Justi and J. K. Gilbert, the validity of an initial model was tested by asking seven biologists to explain a molecular mechanism of their choice. Data were collected from interviews, artifacts, and drawings, and then subjected to thematic analysis. We found that biologists explained the specific activities and organization of entities of the mechanism. In addition, they contextualized explanations according to their biological and social significance; integrated explanations with methods, instruments, and measurements; and used analogies and narrated stories. The derived methods, analogies, context, and how themes informed the development of our final MACH model of mechanistic explanations. Future research will test the potential of the MACH model as a guiding framework for instruction to enhance the quality of student explanations.

  4. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  5. Why Do People with Delusions Fail to Choose More Realistic Explanations for Their Experiences? An Empirical Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Daniel; Garety, Philippa A.; Fowler, David; Kuipers, Elizabeth; Bebbington, Paul E.; Dunn, Graham

    2004-01-01

    Delusions can be viewed as explanations of experiences. By definition, the experiences are insufficient to merit the delusional explanations. So why have delusions been accepted rather than more realistic explanations? The authors report a study of alternative explanations in 100 individuals with delusions. Patients were assessed on the following…

  6. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartmann, Lars Røeboe; Jones, Neil; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2011-01-01

    Computation via biological devices has been the subject of close scrutiny since von Neumann’s early work some 60 years ago. In spite of the many relevant works in this field, the notion of programming biological devices seems to be, at best, ill-defined. While many devices are claimed or proved t...

  7. Synthesis of nanoparticles and nanomaterials biological approaches

    CERN Document Server

    Abdullaeva, Zhypargul

    2017-01-01

    This book covers biological synthesis approaches for nanomaterials and nanoparticles, including introductory material on their structure, phase compositions and morphology, nanomaterials chemical, physical, and biological properties. The chapters of this book describe in sequence the synthesis of various nanoparticles by microorganisms, bacteria, yeast, algae, and actynomycetes; plant and plant extract-based synthesis; and green synthesis methods. Each chapter provides basic knowledge on the synthesis of nanomaterials, defines fundamental terms, and aims to build a solid foundation of knowledge, followed by explanations, examples, visual photographs, schemes, tables and illustrations. Each chapter also contains control questions, problem drills, as well as case studies that clarify theory and the explanations given in the text. This book is ideal for researchers and advanced graduate students in materials engineering, biotechnology, and nanotechnology fields. As a reference book this work is also appropriate ...

  8. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyhrman, Sonya

    2004-10-01

    The ocean is arguably the largest habitat on the planet, and it houses an astounding array of life, from microbes to whales. As a testament to this diversity and its importance, the discipline of biological oceanography spans studies of all levels of biological organization, from that of single genes, to organisms, to their population dynamics. Biological oceanography also includes studies on how organisms interact with, and contribute to, essential global processes. Students of biological oceanography are often as comfortable looking at satellite images as they are electron micrographs. This diversity of perspective begins the textbook Biological Oceanography, with cover graphics including a Coastal Zone Color Scanner image representing chlorophyll concentration, an electron micrograph of a dinoflagellate, and a photograph of a copepod. These images instantly capture the reader's attention and illustrate some of the different scales on which budding oceanographers are required to think. Having taught a core graduate course in biological oceanography for many years, Charlie Miller has used his lecture notes as the genesis for this book. The text covers the subject of biological oceanography in a manner that is targeted to introductory graduate students, but it would also be appropriate for advanced undergraduates.

  9. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A critical assessment of the recent developmentsof molecular biology is presented.The thesis that they do not lead to a conceptualunderstanding of life and biological systems is defended.Maturana and Varela's concept of autopoiesis is briefly sketchedand its logical circularity avoided by postulatingthe existence of underlying living processes,entailing amplification from the microscopic to the macroscopic scale,with increasing complexity in the passage from one scale to the other.Following such a line of thought, the currently accepted model of condensed matter, which is based on electrostatics and short-ranged forces,is criticized. It is suggested that the correct interpretationof quantum dispersion forces (van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and so onas quantum coherence effects hints at the necessity of includinglong-ranged forces (or mechanisms for them incondensed matter theories of biological processes.Some quantum effects in biology are reviewedand quantum mechanics is acknowledged as conceptually important to biology since withoutit most (if not all of the biological structuresand signalling processes would not even exist. Moreover, it is suggested that long-rangequantum coherent dynamics, including electron polarization,may be invoked to explain signal amplificationprocess in biological systems in general.

  10. The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario: Improving Resilience for California from a Plausible M9 Earthquake near the Alaska Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, S.; Jones, L.; Wilson, R. I.; Bahng, B.; Barberopoulou, A.; Borrero, J. C.; Brosnan, D.; Bwarie, J.; Geist, E. L.; Johnson, L.; Kirby, S. H.; Knight, W.; Long, K.; Lynett, P. J.; Miller, K.; Mortensen, C. E.; Nicolsky, D.; Oglesby, D. D.; Perry, S. C.; Plumlee, G. S.; Porter, K. A.; Real, C. R.; Ryan, K. J.; Suleimani, E.; Thio, H. K.; Titov, V.; Wein, A. M.; Whitmore, P.; Wood, N. J.

    2013-12-01

    The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario models a hypothetical but plausible tsunami, created by an Mw9.1 earthquake occurring offshore from the Alaskan peninsula, and its impacts on the California coast. We present the likely inundation areas, current velocities in key ports and harbors, physical damage and repair costs, economic consequences, environmental impacts, social vulnerability, emergency management, and policy implications for California associated with the tsunami scenario. The intended users are those who must make mitigation decisions before and rapid decisions during future tsunamis. Around a half million people would be present in the scenario's inundation area in residences, businesses, public venues, parks and beaches. Evacuation would likely be ordered for the State of California's maximum mapped tsunami inundation zone, evacuating an additional quarter million people from residences and businesses. Some island and peninsula communities would face particular evacuation challenges because of limited access options and short warning time, caused by the distance between Alaska and California. Evacuations may also be a challenge for certain dependent-care populations. One third of the boats in California's marinas could be damaged or sunk, costing at least 700 million in repairs to boats and docks, and potentially much more to address serious issues due to sediment transport and environmental contamination. Fires would likely start at many sites where fuel and petrochemicals are stored in ports and marinas. Tsunami surges and bores may travel several miles inland up coastal rivers. Debris clean-up and recovery of inundated and damaged areas will take days, months, or years depending on the severity of impacts and the available resources for recovery. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (POLA/LB) would be shut down for a miniμm of two days due to strong currents. Inundation of dry land in the ports would result in 100 million damages to cargo and additional

  11. Bipolar-pulses observed by the LRS/WFC-L onboard KAGUYA - Plausible evidence of lunar dust impact -

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasahara, Yoshiya; Horie, Hiroki; Hashimoto, Kozo; Omura, Yoshiharu; Goto, Yoshitaka; Kumamoto, Atsushi; Ono, Takayuki; Tsunakawa, Hideo; Lrs/Wfc Team; Map/Lmag Team

    2010-05-01

    same) and thus most of bipolar-pulses which can be detected in MONO mode are cancelled in DIFF mode. This fact suggests that these bipolar pulses are not a kind of natural wave but these are caused by instantaneous potential changes of the KAGUYA spacecraft. Discussion: Similar type of bipolar-pulses has been observed by the monopole antenna measurements using Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instruments on-board Cassini around Saturn [4]. They demonstrated that these bipolar pulses are caused by impacts of dusts floating around the Saturn. It is well-known that lunar dusts are widely dis-tributed in higher altitude range around the moon and it is plausible that these bipolar pulses are caused by the lunar dust impacts. In the presentation, we show the detailed charac-teristics of bipolar pulses detected by the WFC-L onboard KAGUYA. References: [1] Y. Kasahara et al., Earth, Planets and Space, 60(4), 341-351, 2008. [2] T. Ono et al., Earth, Planets and Space, 60(4), 321-332, 2008. [3] K. Hashimoto et al., The 4th SELENE (KAGUYA) Science Working Team Meeting, (this issue), 2010. [4] W.S. Kurth et al, Planetary and Space Science, 54(9-10), 988-998, 2006.

  12. The Correlates of Tracking Policy: Opportunity Hoarding, Status Competition, or a Technical-Functional Explanation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Sean; Price, Heather

    2011-01-01

    In this analysis, the authors explore the relationship between the social context of high schools and school-to-school variation in tracking policies. The authors consider three explanations for the implementation of highly elaborated tracking systems: opportunity hoarding, status competition, and a technical-functional explanation. Building on…

  13. The Effect of Employing Self-Explanation Strategy with Worked Examples on Acquiring Computer Programing Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhassan, Riyadh

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of employing self-explanation learning strategy supported with Worked Examples on acquiring computer programing skills among freshmen high school students. The study adopted a quasi-experimental method, where an experimental group (n = 33) used the self-explanation strategy supported with worked…

  14. The Roles of Explanation and Feedback in False Belief Understanding: A Microgenetic Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guajardo, Nicole R.; Petersen, Rachel; Marshall, Timothy R.

    2013-01-01

    The authors examined effects of feedback and explanation on false belief performance. Thirty-three children (42-54 months; 15 girls, 18 boys) were randomly assigned to four treatment conditions: explanation, feedback, feedback researcher explains, and feedback child explains. Children completed false belief tasks during pretraining, 8 training…

  15. The Expertise Reversal Effect in Prompting Focused Processing of Instructional Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelle, Julian; Berthold, Kirsten

    2013-01-01

    Providing prompts to induce focused processing of the central contents of instructional explanations is a promising instructional means to support novice learners in learning from instructional explanations. However, within research on the expertise reversal effect it has been shown that instructional means that are beneficial for novices can be…

  16. African American Preschoolers' Emotion Explanations Can Provide Evidence of Their Pragmatic Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curenton, Stephanie M.

    2015-01-01

    This study provides qualitative and quantitative evidence of how an emotion explanation task can reflect African American preschoolers' pragmatic skills. We used an emotion explanation task to assess pragmatic skills among 19 children (aged 3-5 years) related to (1) engaging in conversational turn-taking, (2) answering "Wh-" questions,…

  17. Impact of Self-Explanation and Analogical Comparison Support on Learning Processes, Motivation, Metacognition, and Transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richey, J. Elizabeth

    Research examining analogical comparison and self-explanation has produced a robust set of findings about learning and transfer supported by each instructional technique. However, it is unclear how the types of knowledge generated through each technique differ, which has important implications for cognitive theory as well as instructional practice. I conducted a pair of experiments to directly compare the effects of instructional prompts supporting self-explanation, analogical comparison, and the study of instructional explanations across a number of fine-grained learning process, motivation, metacognition, and transfer measures. Experiment 1 explored these questions using sequence extrapolation problems, and results showed no differences between self-explanation and analogical comparison support conditions on any measure. Experiment 2 explored the same questions in a science domain. I evaluated condition effects on transfer outcomes; self-reported self-explanation, analogical comparison, and metacognitive processes; and achievement goals. I also examined relations between transfer and self-reported processes and goals. Receiving materials with analogical comparison support and reporting greater levels of analogical comparison were both associated with worse transfer performance, while reporting greater levels of self-explanation was associated with better performance. Learners' self-reports of self-explanation and analogical comparison were not related to condition assignment, suggesting that the questionnaires did not measure the same processes promoted by the intervention, or that individual differences in processing are robust even when learners are instructed to engage in self-explanation or analogical comparison.

  18. Navigating Schooled Numeracies: Explanations for Low Achievement, in Mathematics of UK Children from Low SES Background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Dave; Street, Brian; Tomlin, Alison

    2006-01-01

    The intention of the research reported here was to seek explanations for low achievement in school mathematics, as conventionally assessed, that derive from broad understandings of mathematics as social. Such a broad social perspective can provide explanations for low achievement, which could lead to different understandings and hence to different…

  19. Facts, Interpretations, and Explanations: A Review of Evelyn Fox Keller's Making Sense of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2004

    2004-01-01

    The job of a researcher is to explain the phenomenon that he or she is seeking to understand. To do this requires the accumulation of facts. These facts are then interpreted to arrive at explanations. However, individual researchers often interpret facts in different ways and arrive at disparate explanations. In her book, Making Sense of Life,…

  20. Learning the Language of Evolution: Lexical Ambiguity and Word Meaning in Student Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rector, Meghan A.; Nehm, Ross H.; Pearl, Dennis

    2013-01-01

    Our study investigates the challenges introduced by students' use of lexically ambiguous language in evolutionary explanations. Specifically, we examined students' meaning of five key terms incorporated into their written evolutionary explanations: "pressure", "select", "adapt", "need", and "must". We utilized a new technological tool known as the…

  1. Learning the Language of Evolution: Lexical Ambiguity and Word Meaning in Student Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rector, Meghan A.; Nehm, Ross H.; Pearl, Dennis

    2013-01-01

    Our study investigates the challenges introduced by students' use of lexically ambiguous language in evolutionary explanations. Specifically, we examined students' meaning of five key terms incorporated into their written evolutionary explanations: "pressure", "select", "adapt", "need", and "must". We utilized a new technological tool known as the…

  2. Sex-Role Change, Anomie and Female Suicide: A Test of Alternative Durkheimian Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Roy L; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Used trend analysis of suicide rate and female/male suicide ratios from 1950 to 1984 and regression of ratio on educational attainment, labor force participation, fertility, and divorce rates to examine explanations for rate changes. General anomie explanation of female suicide trends was supported for middle-aged females; conjugal anomie…

  3. The Coexistence of Natural and Supernatural Explanations across Cultures and Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legare, Cristine H.; Evans, E. Margaret; Rosengren, Karl S.; Harris, Paul L.

    2012-01-01

    Although often conceptualized in contradictory terms, the common assumption that natural and supernatural explanations are incompatible is psychologically inaccurate. Instead, there is considerable evidence that the same individuals use both natural and supernatural explanations to interpret the very same events and that there are multiple ways in…

  4. Explanation in Science Trade Books Recommended for Use with Elementary Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolkin, Laura B.; McTigue, Erin M.; Donovan, Carol A.; Coleman, Julianne M.

    2009-01-01

    Given concerns with the low levels of explanation in science education classrooms, it has been suggested that text may supply a higher percentage of explanatory discourse than do classroom teachers. However, given that textbooks have been shown to differ little from teacher discourse in percentages of explanation, the present study sought to…

  5. Searching for Explanations in Science Trade Books: What Can We Learn from Coh-Metrix?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolkin, Laura B.; McTigue, Erin M.; Yeh, Yi-fen Y.

    2013-01-01

    Given the importance of explanation in science texts for children, this research explored Coh-Metrix as a tool for rapidly determining the presence of explanations in science trade books. Variables from Coh-Metrix specifically addressing cause ("causal content," "causal cohesion," and "positive causal connectives")…

  6. The many roles of "explanation" in science education: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocksén, Miranda

    2016-02-01

    In this paper the role of explanations is discussed in relation to possible consequences originating in the polysemy of the word explanation. The present study is a response to conceptual confusions that have arisen in the intersection between theory and practice, and between science education literature and communication in authentic science classroom settings. Science classroom communication is examined in terms of one teacher's word use during eleven lessons about evolution. The study contributes empirical examples of how disciplinary norms of valid explanations are manifested in science classroom communication. A dialogical analysis shows how the teacher provides three conversational structures: asking for acts of explanation, providing opportunities to talk about what explanations are in this context and providing opportunities to talk about explanations constructed by students. These three structures facilitate the process of learning how to evaluate and justify explanations. Three potential meanings of the word "explanation" are pointed to: an everyday meaning, a pedagogical-professional meaning and a scientific meaning of the word. It is suggested that the co-existence of these three potential meanings has communicative consequences in science education.

  7. The Role of Explanations and Prescriptions in the Science of Design: The Case of Educational Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penalva, Jose

    2011-01-01

    This article develops the idea that the sciences of the design perspective offer a more adequate solution for bridging the gap between explanations and prescriptions in educational research. This idea is developed over the following steps: first, the scope of the analysis and the problem of the relationship between explanations and prescription…

  8. Words or Pictures: A Comparison of Written and Pictorial Explanations of Physical and Chemical Equilibria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akaygun, Sevil; Jones, Loretta L.

    2014-01-01

    The features of a concept or principle an individual chooses to highlight in an explanation or description may be related to the medium of communication used. Different aspects of understanding can be revealed through words and through drawings. This two-part exploratory study examined the differences between explanations of physical and chemical…

  9. Developing Explanations and Developing Understanding: Students Explain the Phases of the Moon Using Visual Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnafes, Orit

    2012-01-01

    This article presents a theoretical model of the process by which students construct and elaborate explanations of scientific phenomena using visual representations. The model describes progress in the underlying conceptual processes in students' explanations as a reorganization of fine-grained knowledge elements based on the Knowledge in Pieces…

  10. The many roles of "explanation" in science education: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocksén, Miranda

    2016-12-01

    In this paper the role of explanations is discussed in relation to possible consequences originating in the polysemy of the word explanation. The present study is a response to conceptual confusions that have arisen in the intersection between theory and practice, and between science education literature and communication in authentic science classroom settings. Science classroom communication is examined in terms of one teacher's word use during eleven lessons about evolution. The study contributes empirical examples of how disciplinary norms of valid explanations are manifested in science classroom communication. A dialogical analysis shows how the teacher provides three conversational structures: asking for acts of explanation, providing opportunities to talk about what explanations are in this context and providing opportunities to talk about explanations constructed by students. These three structures facilitate the process of learning how to evaluate and justify explanations. Three potential meanings of the word "explanation" are pointed to: an everyday meaning, a pedagogical-professional meaning and a scientific meaning of the word. It is suggested that the co-existence of these three potential meanings has communicative consequences in science education.

  11. Why the Difference Between Explanation and Argument Matters to Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brigandt, Ingo

    2016-05-01

    Contributing to the recent debate on whether or not explanations ought to be differentiated from arguments, this article argues that the distinction matters to science education. I articulate the distinction in terms of explanations and arguments having to meet different standards of adequacy. Standards of explanatory adequacy are important because they correspond to what counts as a good explanation in a science classroom, whereas a focus on evidence-based argumentation can obscure such standards of what makes an explanation explanatory. I provide further reasons for the relevance of not conflating explanations with arguments (and having standards of explanatory adequacy in view). First, what guides the adoption of the particular standards of explanatory adequacy that are relevant in a scientific case is the explanatory aim pursued in this context. Apart from explanatory aims being an important aspect of the nature of science, including explanatory aims in classroom instruction also promotes students seeing explanations as more than facts, and engages them in developing explanations as responses to interesting explanatory problems. Second, it is of relevance to science curricula that science aims at intervening in natural processes, not only for technological applications, but also as part of experimental discovery. Not any argument enables intervention in nature, as successful intervention specifically presupposes causal explanations. Students can fruitfully explore in the classroom how an explanatory account suggests different options for intervention.

  12. Sex-Role Change, Anomie and Female Suicide: A Test of Alternative Durkheimian Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Roy L; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Used trend analysis of suicide rate and female/male suicide ratios from 1950 to 1984 and regression of ratio on educational attainment, labor force participation, fertility, and divorce rates to examine explanations for rate changes. General anomie explanation of female suicide trends was supported for middle-aged females; conjugal anomie…

  13. Using a Diagnosis-Based Approach to Individualize Instructional Explanations in Computer-Mediated Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittwer, Jorg; Nuckles, Matthias; Renkl, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    To maximize the effectiveness of instructional explanations, they should be tailored to an individual learner. However, instructors are often not able to collect diagnostically relevant information about a learner to individualize their explanations. This is particularly true in computer-mediated settings where it is more difficult to thoroughly…

  14. Foldit Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-31

    Report 8/1/2013-7/31/2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Sa. CONTRACT NUMBER Foldit Biology NOOO 14-13-C-0221 Sb. GRANT NUMBER N/A Sc. PROGRAM ELEMENT...Include area code) Unclassified Unclassified Unclassified (206) 616-2660 Zoran Popović Foldit Biology (Task 1, 2, 3, 4) Final Report...Period Covered by the Report August 1, 2013 – July 31, 2015 Date of Report: July 31, 2015 Project Title: Foldit Biology Contract Number: N00014-13

  15. Biology teachers

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mathematics, Science and Biology teachers code switch when they teach. ... (by constantly translating back and forth), and argue for a 'separation approach' ..... for the classroom, only 3 students did not give an answer to this open-ended.

  16. Synthetic biology and its alternatives. Descartes, Kant and the idea of engineering biological machines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogge, Werner; Richter, Michael

    2013-06-01

    The engineering-based approach of synthetic biology is characterized by an assumption that 'engineering by design' enables the construction of 'living machines'. These 'machines', as biological machines, are expected to display certain properties of life, such as adapting to changing environments and acting in a situated way. This paper proposes that a tension exists between the expectations placed on biological artefacts and the notion of producing such systems by means of engineering; this tension makes it seem implausible that biological systems, especially those with properties characteristic of living beings, can in fact be produced using the specific methods of engineering. We do not claim that engineering techniques have nothing to contribute to the biotechnological construction of biological artefacts. However, drawing on Descartes's and Kant's thinking on the relationship between the organism and the machine, we show that it is considerably more plausible to assume that distinctively biological artefacts emerge within a paradigm different from the paradigm of the Cartesian machine that underlies the engineering approach. We close by calling for increased attention to be paid to approaches within molecular biology and chemistry that rest on conceptions different from those of synthetic biology's engineering paradigm.

  17. The character of biological tissue's SHG spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Long; Guo, Zhouyi; Deng, Xiaoyuan; Zhai, Juan; Zhuang, Zhengfei

    2009-08-01

    In biological tissue, the relative strongly SHG (second-harmonic Generation) will be shown in the collagen and the cell membrane with dye molecules under the irradiation of laser. The SHG has a broad prospect in detecting and imaging of the biological tissue for its non-phototoxicity and non-photobleaching. In biological tissue, not only the SHG intensity and emission angle will have more obvious change, but also the spectrum of the SHG will be subject to certain changes when the temperature in the outside world and its structure got a obviously change. According to Kuzyk and Kruhlak's dipole-free sum-over-states theory which gives a introduction for the nonlinear susceptibilities, the relationship between hyperpolarizability of biological tissue, environment temperature and biological tissue's structure is shown in mathematics. In the conditions of control the temperature in experiments, the biological tissue's structure shift can be detected by analyze the SHG spectrum of biological. Also diverse biological tissues' differences in structure can be demonstrated in the spectrum. The change of SHG spectrum for the same biological tissue with environment temperature is discussed. Therefore, SHG spectroscopy analysis provides a new technology for the process of biological tissue lesions. Beside, this research gives a theory results provided by environment temperature which give an explanation for experiment result.

  18. Clever animals and killjoy explanations in comparative psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shettleworth, Sara J

    2010-11-01

    From the process of organic evolution to the analysis of insect societies as self-organizing systems, biology is full of awe-inspiring examples of complexity arising from simplicity. Yet in the contemporary study of animal cognition, demonstrations that complex human-like behavior arises from simple mechanisms rather than from 'higher' processes, such as insight or theory of mind, are often seen as uninteresting and 'killjoy', almost a denial of mental continuity between other species and humans. At the same time, however, research elsewhere in psychology increasingly reveals an unexpected role in human behavior for simple, unconscious and sometimes irrational processes shared by other animals. Greater appreciation of such mechanisms in nonhuman species would contribute to a deeper, more truly comparative psychology.

  19. Biologically inspired load balancing mechanism in neocortical competitive learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir eTal

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A unique delayed self-inhibitory pathway mediated by layer 5 Martinotti Cells was studied in a biologically inspired neural network simulation. Inclusion of this pathway along with layer 5 basket cell lateral inhibition caused balanced competitive learning, which led to the formation of neuronal clusters as were indeed reported in the same region. Martinotti pathway proves to act as a learning conscience, causing overly successful regions in the network to restrict themselves and let others fire. It thus spreads connectivity more evenly throughout the net and solves the dead unit problem of clustering algorithms in a local and biologically plausible manner

  20. Human Development X: Explanation of Macroevolution — Top-Down Evolution Materializes Consciousness. The Origin of Metamorphosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyge Dahl Hermansen

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we first give a short discussion of the macroevolution viewing life as information-directed, complex, dynamic systems. On this basis, we give our explanation of the origin of life and discuss the top-down evolution of molecules, proteins, and macroevolution. We discuss these subjects according to our new holistic biological paradigm. In view of this, we discuss the macroevolution of the organism, the species, the biosphere, and human society. After this, we discuss the shift in evolution from natural selection to a new proposed process of nature called the “metamorphous top-down” evolution. We discuss the capability of the evolutionary shift to govern some of the processes that lead to the formation of new species. We discuss the mechanisms we think are behind this proposed shift in evolution and conclude that this event is able to explain the huge biological diversity of nature in combination with evolutionary natural selection. We also discuss this event of nature as an isolated, but integrated, part of the universe. We propose the most important genetic and biochemical process that we think is behind the evolutionary shift as a complicated symbiosis of mechanisms leading to metamorphosis in all biological individuals, from bacteria to humans. The energetic superorbital that manifests the consciousness governs all these processes through quantum chemical activity. This is the key to evolutionary shift through the consciousness, and we propose to call this process “adult human metamorphosis”.