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Sample records for strong causal associations

  1. Causal boundary for strongly causal spacetimes: Pt. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szabados, L.B.

    1989-01-01

    In a previous paper an analysis of the general structure of the causal boundary constructions and a new explicit identification rule, built up from elementary TIP-TIF gluings, were presented. In the present paper we complete our identification by incorporating TIP-TIP and TIF-TIF gluings as well. An asymptotic causality condition is found which, for physically important cases, ensures the uniqueness of the endpoints of the non-spacelike curves in the completed spacetime. (author)

  2. Determining Directional Dependency in Causal Associations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornprasertmanit, Sunthud; Little, Todd D.

    2012-01-01

    Directional dependency is a method to determine the likely causal direction of effect between two variables. This article aims to critique and improve upon the use of directional dependency as a technique to infer causal associations. We comment on several issues raised by von Eye and DeShon (2012), including: encouraging the use of the signs of…

  3. Causality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, Judea

    2000-03-01

    Written by one of the pre-eminent researchers in the field, this book provides a comprehensive exposition of modern analysis of causation. It shows how causality has grown from a nebulous concept into a mathematical theory with significant applications in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences. Pearl presents a unified account of the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual and structural approaches to causation, and devises simple mathematical tools for analyzing the relationships between causal connections, statistical associations, actions and observations. The book will open the way for including causal analysis in the standard curriculum of statistics, artifical intelligence, business, epidemiology, social science and economics. Students in these areas will find natural models, simple identification procedures, and precise mathematical definitions of causal concepts that traditional texts have tended to evade or make unduly complicated. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in a wide variety of fields. Anyone who wishes to elucidate meaningful relationships from data, predict effects of actions and policies, assess explanations of reported events, or form theories of causal understanding and causal speech will find this book stimulating and invaluable.

  4. Links between causal effects and causal association for surrogacy evaluation in a gaussian setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conlon, Anna; Taylor, Jeremy; Li, Yun; Diaz-Ordaz, Karla; Elliott, Michael

    2017-11-30

    Two paradigms for the evaluation of surrogate markers in randomized clinical trials have been proposed: the causal effects paradigm and the causal association paradigm. Each of these paradigms rely on assumptions that must be made to proceed with estimation and to validate a candidate surrogate marker (S) for the true outcome of interest (T). We consider the setting in which S and T are Gaussian and are generated from structural models that include an unobserved confounder. Under the assumed structural models, we relate the quantities used to evaluate surrogacy within both the causal effects and causal association frameworks. We review some of the common assumptions made to aid in estimating these quantities and show that assumptions made within one framework can imply strong assumptions within the alternative framework. We demonstrate that there is a similarity, but not exact correspondence between the quantities used to evaluate surrogacy within each framework, and show that the conditions for identifiability of the surrogacy parameters are different from the conditions, which lead to a correspondence of these quantities. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Multiethnic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in >100 000 subjects identifies 23 fibrinogen-associated Loci but no strong evidence of a causal association between circulating fibrinogen and cardiovascular disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sabater-Lleal, M.; Huang, J.; Chasman, D.I.; Naitza, S.; Dehghan, A.; Johnson, A.D.; Teumer, A.; Reiner, A.P.; Folkersen, L.; Basu, S.; Rudnicka, A.R.; Trompet, S.; Mälarstig, A.; Baumert, J.; Bis, J.C.; Guo, X.; Hottenga, J.J.; Shin, S.Y.; Lopez, L.M.; Lahti, J.; Tanaka, T.; Yanek, L.R.; Oudot-Mellakh, T.; Wilson, J.F.; Navarro, P.; Huffman, J.E.; Zemunik, T.; Redline, S.; Mehra, R.; Pulanic, D.; Rudan, I.; Wright, A.F.; Kolcic, I.; Polasek, O.; Wild, S.H.; Campbell, H.; Curb, J.D.; Wallace, R.; Liu, S.; Eaton, C.B.; Becker, D.M.; Becker, L.C.; Bandinelli, S.; Räikkönen, K.; Widén, E.; Palotie, A.; Fornage, M.; Green, D.; Gross, M.; Davies, G.E.; Harris, S.E.; Liewald, D.C.; Starr, J.M.; Williams, F.M.; Grant, P.J.; Spector, T.D.; Strawbridge, R.J.; Silveira, A.; Sennblad, B.; Rivadeneira, F.; Uitterlinden, A.G.; Franco, O.H.; Hofman, A.; van Dongen, J.; Willemsen, G.; Boomsma, D.I.; Yao, J.; Swords Jenny, N.; Haritunians, T.; McKnight, B.; Lumley, T.; Taylor, K.D.; Rotter, J.I.; Psaty, B.M.; Peters, A.; Gieger, C.; Illig, T.; Grotevendt, A.; Homuth, G.; Völzke, H.; Kocher, T.; Goel, A.; Franzosi, M.G.; Seedorf, U.; Clarke, R.; Steri, M.; Tarasov, K.V.; Sanna, S.; Schlessinger, D.; Stott, D.J.; Sattar, N.; Buckley, B.M.; Rumley, A.; Lowe, G.D.; McArdle, W.L.; Chen, M.H.; Tofler, G.H.; Song, J.; Boerwinkle, E.; Folsom, A.R.; Rose, L.M.; Franco-Cereceda, A.; Teichert, M.; Ikram, M.A.; Mosley, T.H.; Bevan, S.; Dichgans, M.; Rothwell, P.M.; Sudlow, C.L.; Hopewell, J.C.; Chambers, J.C.; Saleheen, D.; Kooner, J.S.; Danesh, J.; Nelson, C.P.; Erdmann, J.; Reilly, M.P.; Kathiresan, S.; Schunkert, H.; Morange, P.E.; Ferrucci, L.; Eriksson, J.G.; Jacobs, D.; Deary, I.J.; Soranzo, N.; Witteman, J.C.; de Geus, E.J.C.; Tracy, R.P.; Hayward, C.; Koenig, W.; Cucca, F.; Jukema, J.W.; Eriksson, P.; Seshadri, S.; Markus, H.S.; Watkins, H.; Samani, N.J.; Wallaschofski, H.; Smith, N.L.; Tregouet, D.A.; Ridker, P.M.; Tang, W.; Strachan, D.P.; Hamsten, A.; O'Donnell, C.J.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND-: Estimates of the heritability of plasma fibrinogen concentration, an established predictor of cardiovascular disease, range from 34% to 50%. Genetic variants so far identified by genome-wide association studies explain only a small proportion (<2%) of its variation. METHODS AND

  6. Multiethnic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in >100 000 subjects identifies 23 fibrinogen-associated Loci but no strong evidence of a causal association between circulating fibrinogen and cardiovascular disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sabater-Lleal, M.; Huang, J.; Chasman, D.; Naitza, S.; Dehghan, A.; Johnson, A.D.; Teumer, A.; Reiner, A.P.; Folkersen, L.; Basu, S.; Rudnicka, A.R.; Trompet, S.; Malarstig, A.; Baumert, J.; Bis, J.C.; Guo, X.; Hottenga, J.J.; Shin, S.Y.; Lopez, L.M.; Lahti, J.; Tanaka, T.; Yanek, L.R.; Oudot-Mellakh, T.; Wilson, J.F.; Navarro, P.; Huffman, J.E.; Zemunik, T.; Redline, S.; Mehra, R.; Pulanic, D.; Rudan, I.; Wright, A.F.; Kolcic, I.; Polasek, O.; Wild, S.H.; Campbell, H.; Curb, J.D.; Wallace, R.; Liu, S.; Eaton, C.B.; Becker, D.M.; Becker, L.C.; Bandinelli, S.; Raikkonen, K.; Widen, E.; Palotie, A.; Fornage, M.; Green, D.; Gross, M.; Davies, G.; Harris, S.E.; Liewald, D.C.; Starr, J.M.; Williams, F.M.; Grant, P.J.; Spector, T.D.; Strawbridge, R.J.; Silveira, A.; Sennblad, B.; Rivadeneira, F.; Uitterlinden, A.G.; Franco, O.H.; Hofman, A.; Dongen, J. Van; Willemsen, G.; Boomsma, D.I.; Yao, J.; Jenny, N. Swords; Haritunians, T.; McKnight, B.; Lumley, T.; Taylor, K.D.; Rotter, J.I.; Psaty, B.M.; Peters, A.; Gieger, C.; Illig, T.; Grotevendt, A.; Homuth, G.; Volzke, H.; Kocher, T.; Goel, A.; Franzosi, M.G.; Seedorf, U.; Clarke, R.; Steri, M.; Tarasov, K.V.; Sanna, S.; Schlessinger, D.; Stott, D.J.; Sattar, N.; Buckley, B.M.; Rumley, A.; Lowe, G.D.; McArdle, W.L.; Chen, M.H.; Tofler, G.H.; Song, J.; Boerwinkle, E.; Folsom, A.R.; Teichert, M.; et al.,

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Estimates of the heritability of plasma fibrinogen concentration, an established predictor of cardiovascular disease, range from 34% to 50%. Genetic variants so far identified by genome-wide association studies explain only a small proportion (<2%) of its variation. METHODS AND RESULTS:

  7. Causality of the quasi-particle pole in strong coupling theories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henning, P.A.

    1993-01-01

    Conflicting statements on the boundary condition for the causal propagation of quasi-particles are related to a consistency criterion for perturbation theory in strong fields. It is shown, that the two descriptions coincide in the commonly accepted physical region. (orig.)

  8. The Causal Factors Associated with the Loving

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Taghi Heydari

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Families with disabled children need more psycho-social considerations. Motherhood care of the children with multiple disabilities is difficult. Due to its importance, the aim of this study was to investigate the causal factors affecting loving care of mothers of children with multiple disabilities. Methods: The study used a cross-sectional method in which 75 mothers of exceptional children with multiple disabilities (physical and mental in elementary schools in Shiraz, Iran. The data were collected through questionnaires which, besides demographical factors, evaluated the relationship between mothers’ loving care of children with multiple disabilities and four other variables including purpose in life, life satisfaction, religious attitude, and sense of coherence. Mann-Whitney U was used for comparison between mothers’ loving care and other variables. Results: Results revealed that demographic variables did not have a significant relationship with loving care. In the case of social variables, there was a significant relationship between mothers’ loving care and purpose in life (P<0.001, religious attitude (P<0.001, and life satisfaction (P=0.01. Conclusion: Motherhood care of disabled children is a unique phenomenon which is due to attachment of mother-child situation. Nevertheless, these mothers are vulnerable and marginalized people who need more attention and social supports provided by related governmental institutions and also NGOs actors.

  9. Evaluation report on the causal association between humidifier disinfectants and lung injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mina Ha

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES As of November 2011, the Korean government recalled and banned humidifier disinfectants (HDs from the market, because four case-control studies and one retrospective epidemiological study proved the association between HDs and lung injury of unknown cause. The report reviewed the causal role of HDs in lung injury based on scientific evidences. METHODS A careful examination on the association between the HDs and lung injury was based on the criteria of causality inference by Hill and the US Surgeon General Expert Committee. RESULTS We found that all the evidences on the causality fulfilled the criteria (strength of association, consistency, specificity, temporality, biologic gradient, plausibility, coherence, experiment, analogy, consideration of alternative explanations, and cessation of exposure, which proved the unknown cause lung injury reported in 2011 was caused by the HDs. In particular, there was no single reported case of lung injury since the ban in selling HDs in November 2011 as well as before the HDs were sold in markets. CONCLUSIONS Although only a few epidemiological studies in Korea have evaluated the association between lung injury and the use of HDs, those studies contributed to proving the strong association between the use of the HDs and lung injury, based on scientific evidence.

  10. Epidemiological causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morabia, Alfredo

    2005-01-01

    Epidemiological methods, which combine population thinking and group comparisons, can primarily identify causes of disease in populations. There is therefore a tension between our intuitive notion of a cause, which we want to be deterministic and invariant at the individual level, and the epidemiological notion of causes, which are invariant only at the population level. Epidemiologists have given heretofore a pragmatic solution to this tension. Causal inference in epidemiology consists in checking the logical coherence of a causality statement and determining whether what has been found grossly contradicts what we think we already know: how strong is the association? Is there a dose-response relationship? Does the cause precede the effect? Is the effect biologically plausible? Etc. This approach to causal inference can be traced back to the English philosophers David Hume and John Stuart Mill. On the other hand, the mode of establishing causality, devised by Jakob Henle and Robert Koch, which has been fruitful in bacteriology, requires that in every instance the effect invariably follows the cause (e.g., inoculation of Koch bacillus and tuberculosis). This is incompatible with epidemiological causality which has to deal with probabilistic effects (e.g., smoking and lung cancer), and is therefore invariant only for the population.

  11. Serum total bilirubin levels and coronary heart disease--Causal association or epiphenomenon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunutsor, Setor K

    2015-12-01

    Observational epidemiological evidence supports a linear inverse and independent association between serum total bilirubin levels and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, but whether this association is causal remains to be ascertained. A Mendelian randomization approach was employed to test whether serum total bilirubin is causally linked to CHD. The genetic variant rs6742078--well known to specifically modify levels of serum total bilirubin and accounting for up to 20% of the variance in circulating serum total bilirubin levels--was used as an instrumental variable. In pooled analysis of estimates reported from published genome-wide association studies, every copy of the T allele of rs6742078 was associated with 0.42 standard deviation (SD) higher levels of serum total bilirubin (95% confidence interval, 0.40 to 0.43). Based on combined data from the Coronary Artery Disease Genome wide Replication and Meta-analyses and the Coronary Artery Disease (C4D) Genetics Consortium involving a total of 36,763 CHD cases and 76,997 controls, the odds ratio for CHD per copy of the T allele was 1.01 (95% confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.04). The odds ratio of CHD for a 1 SD genetically elevated serum total bilirubin level was 1.03 (95% confidence interval, 0.98 to 1.09). The current findings casts doubt on a strong causal association of serum total bilirubin levels with CHD. The inverse associations demonstrated in observational studies may be driven by biases such as unmeasured confounding and/or reverse causation. However, further research in large-scale consortia is needed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Assessing causality in the association between child adiposity and physical activity levels: a Mendelian randomization analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca C Richmond

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Cross-sectional studies have shown that objectively measured physical activity is associated with childhood adiposity, and a strong inverse dose-response association with body mass index (BMI has been found. However, few studies have explored the extent to which this association reflects reverse causation. We aimed to determine whether childhood adiposity causally influences levels of physical activity using genetic variants reliably associated with adiposity to estimate causal effects.The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children collected data on objectively assessed activity levels of 4,296 children at age 11 y with recorded BMI and genotypic data. We used 32 established genetic correlates of BMI combined in a weighted allelic score as an instrumental variable for adiposity to estimate the causal effect of adiposity on activity. In observational analysis, a 3.3 kg/m² (one standard deviation higher BMI was associated with 22.3 (95% CI, 17.0, 27.6 movement counts/min less total physical activity (p = 1.6×10⁻¹⁶, 2.6 (2.1, 3.1 min/d less moderate-to-vigorous-intensity activity (p = 3.7×10⁻²⁹, and 3.5 (1.5, 5.5 min/d more sedentary time (p = 5.0×10⁻⁴. In Mendelian randomization analyses, the same difference in BMI was associated with 32.4 (0.9, 63.9 movement counts/min less total physical activity (p = 0.04 (∼5.3% of the mean counts/minute, 2.8 (0.1, 5.5 min/d less moderate-to-vigorous-intensity activity (p = 0.04, and 13.2 (1.3, 25.2 min/d more sedentary time (p = 0.03. There was no strong evidence for a difference between variable estimates from observational estimates. Similar results were obtained using fat mass index. Low power and poor instrumentation of activity limited causal analysis of the influence of physical activity on BMI.Our results suggest that increased adiposity causes a reduction in physical activity in children and support research into the targeting of BMI in efforts to

  13. Testing causality in the association between regular exercise and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Moor, M.H.M.; Boomsma, D.I.; Stubbe, J.H.; Willemsen, G.; de Geus, E.J.C.

    2008-01-01

    Context: In the population at large, regular exercise is associated with reduced anxious and depressive symptoms. Results of experimental studies in clinical populations suggest a causal effect of exercise on anxiety and depression, but it is unclear whether such a causal effect also drives the

  14. Electrophysiological difference between the representations of causal judgment and associative judgment in semantic memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qingfei; Liang, Xiuling; Lei, Yi; Li, Hong

    2015-05-01

    Causally related concepts like "virus" and "epidemic" and general associatively related concepts like "ring" and "emerald" are represented and accessed separately. The Evoked Response Potential (ERP) procedure was used to examine the representations of causal judgment and associative judgment in semantic memory. Participants were required to remember a task cue (causal or associative) presented at the beginning of each trial, and assess whether the relationship between subsequently presented words matched the initial task cue. The ERP data showed that an N400 effect (250-450 ms) was more negative for unrelated words than for all related words. Furthermore, the N400 effect elicited by causal relations was more positive than for associative relations in causal cue condition, whereas no significant difference was found in the associative cue condition. The centrally distributed late ERP component (650-750 ms) elicited by the causal cue condition was more positive than for the associative cue condition. These results suggested that the processing of causal judgment and associative judgment in semantic memory recruited different degrees of attentional and executive resources. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Investigating causality in the association between 25(OH)D and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Amy E; Burgess, Stephen; Ware, Jennifer J; Gage, Suzanne H; Richards, J Brent; Davey Smith, George; Munafò, Marcus R

    2016-05-24

    Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of schizophrenia. However, it is not known whether this association is causal or what the direction of causality is. We performed two sample bidirectional Mendelian randomization analysis using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) robustly associated with serum 25(OH)D to investigate the causal effect of 25(OH)D on risk of schizophrenia, and SNPs robustly associated with schizophrenia to investigate the causal effect of schizophrenia on 25(OH)D. We used summary data from genome-wide association studies and meta-analyses of schizophrenia and 25(OH)D to obtain betas and standard errors for the SNP-exposure and SNP-outcome associations. These were combined using inverse variance weighted fixed effects meta-analyses. In 34,241 schizophrenia cases and 45,604 controls, there was no clear evidence for a causal effect of 25(OH)D on schizophrenia risk. The odds ratio for schizophrenia per 10% increase in 25(OH)D conferred by the four 25(OH)D increasing SNPs was 0.992 (95% CI: 0.969 to 1.015). In up to 16,125 individuals with measured serum 25(OH)D, there was no clear evidence that genetic risk for schizophrenia causally lowers serum 25(OH)D. These findings suggest that associations between schizophrenia and serum 25(OH)D may not be causal. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation may not prevent schizophrenia.

  16. Chinese Herbs Containing Aristolochic Acid Associated with Renal Failure and Urothelial Carcinoma: A Review from Epidemiologic Observations to Causal Inference

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Hsiao-Yu; Chen, Pau-Chung; Wang, Jung-Der

    2014-01-01

    Herbal remedies containing aristolochic acid (AA) have been designated to be a strong carcinogen. This review summarizes major epidemiologic evidence to argue for the causal association between AA exposure and urothelial carcinoma as well as nephropathy. The exposure scenarios include the following: Belgian women taking slimming pills containing single material Guang Fang Ji, consumptions of mixtures of Chinese herbal products in the general population and patients with chronic renal failure ...

  17. Does Sufficient Evidence Exist to Support a Causal Association between Vitamin D Status and Cardiovascular Disease Risk? An Assessment Using Hill’s Criteria for Causality

    OpenAIRE

    Weyland, Patricia G.; Grant, William B.; Howie-Esquivel, Jill

    2014-01-01

    Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels have been found to be inversely associated with both prevalent and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors; dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. This review looks for evidence of a causal association between low 25(OH)D levels and increased CVD risk. We evaluated journal articles in light of Hill’s criteria for causality in a biological system. The results of our assessment are as follows. Strength of association: many randomi...

  18. Model selection approach suggests causal association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and colorectal cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Zgaga

    Full Text Available Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC, but causal relationship has not yet been confirmed. We investigate the direction of causation between vitamin D and CRC by extending the conventional approaches to allow pleiotropic relationships and by explicitly modelling unmeasured confounders.Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD, genetic variants associated with 25-OHD and CRC, and other relevant information was available for 2645 individuals (1057 CRC cases and 1588 controls and included in the model. We investigate whether 25-OHD is likely to be causally associated with CRC, or vice versa, by selecting the best modelling hypothesis according to Bayesian predictive scores. We examine consistency for a range of prior assumptions.Model comparison showed preference for the causal association between low 25-OHD and CRC over the reverse causal hypothesis. This was confirmed for posterior mean deviances obtained for both models (11.5 natural log units in favour of the causal model, and also for deviance information criteria (DIC computed for a range of prior distributions. Overall, models ignoring hidden confounding or pleiotropy had significantly poorer DIC scores.Results suggest causal association between 25-OHD and colorectal cancer, and support the need for randomised clinical trials for further confirmations.

  19. The Association Between Circulating Lipoprotein(a) and Type 2 Diabetes: Is It Causal?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ye, Zheng; Haycock, Philip C.; Gurdasani, Deepti; Pomilla, Cristina; Boekholdt, S. Matthijs; Tsimikas, Sotirios; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Sandhu, Manjinder S.; Forouhi, Nita G.

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence supports a direct and causal association between lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] levels and coronary risk, but the nature of the association between Lp(a) levels and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is unclear. In this study, we assessed the association of Lp(a) levels with risk of

  20. Celiac disease : moving from genetic associations to causal variants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hrdlickova, B.; Westra, H-J; Franke, L.; Wijmenga, C.

    Genome-wide association studies are providing insight into the genetic basis of common complex diseases: more than 1150 genetic loci [2165 unique single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)] have recently been associated to 159 complex diseases. The hunt for genes contributing to immune-related diseases

  1. Causal Association of Overall Obesity and Abdominal Obesity with Type 2 Diabetes: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Zhang, Rong; Ma, Xiaojing; Wang, Shiyun; He, Zhen; Huang, Yeping; Xu, Bo; Li, Yangyang; Zhang, Hong; Jiang, Feng; Bao, Yuqian; Hu, Cheng; Jia, Weiping

    2018-05-01

    This study aimed to compare the causal effect of overall obesity and abdominal obesity on type 2 diabetes among Chinese Han individuals. The causal relationship of BMI and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with the risk of glucose deterioration and glycemic traits was compared using two different genetic instruments based on 30 BMI loci and 6 WHR loci with Mendelian randomization (MR) in three prospective cohorts (n = 6,476). Each 1-SD genetically instrumented higher WHR was associated with a 65.7% higher risk of glucose deterioration (95% CI = 1.069-2.569, P = 0.024), whereas no significant association of BMI with glucose deterioration was observed. Furthermore, a causal relationship was found only between BMI and homeostatic model assessment β-cell function (HOMA-B) (β = 0.143, P = 0.001), and there was a nominal association with Stumvoll second-phase insulin secretion traits (β = 0.074, P = 0.022). The significance level did not persist in sensitivity analyses, except in the causal estimate of WHR on the Gutt index in MR-Egger (β = -0.379, P = 0.022) and the causal estimate of BMI on homeostatic model assessment β-cell function in weighted median MR (β = 0.128, P = 0.017). The data from this study support the potential causal relationship between abdominal obesity and hyperglycemia, which may be driven by aggravated insulin resistance, in contrast with the potential causal relationship between overall obesity and insulin secretion. © 2018 The Obesity Society.

  2. Lipoprotein(a) and ischemic heart disease-A causal association? A review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamstrup, P.R.

    2010-01-01

    association of LPA copy number variants, influencing levels of lipoprotein(a), with risk of IHD. In conclusion, results from epidemiologic, in vitro, animal, and genetic epidemiologic studies support a causal association of lipoprotein(a) with risk of IHD, while results from randomized clinical trials...

  3. Vitamin D and diabetes mellitus: Causal or casual association?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grammatiki, M; Rapti, E; Karras, S; Ajjan, R A; Kotsa, Kalliopi

    2017-06-01

    The incidence of both type 2 and type 1 diabetes mellitus has been increasing worldwide. Vitamin D deficiency, or the awareness of its prevalence, has also been increasing. Vitamin D may have a role in the pathogenic mechanisms predisposing to type 2 diabetes by modulating insulin resistance and/or pancreatic β-cell function. Vitamin D status or elements involved in its activation or transport may also be involved in the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus through immunomodulatory role . Based on these observations a potential association between vitamin D and diabetes has been hypothesized. In this review we discuss up to date evidence linking vitamin D with the development of diabetes. Moreover, the role of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of both types of diabetes is analysed together with its role in improving glycemic control in diabetic patients. We also address the potential role of vitamin D deficiency in the development of macro- and microvascular complications in diabetes. Finally, we provide recommendation for Vitamin D therapy in diabetes in view of current evidence and highlight areas for potential future research in this area.

  4. Improved Personalized Recommendation Based on Causal Association Rule and Collaborative Filtering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Wu; Qing, Fang; Zhou, Jin

    2016-01-01

    There are usually limited user evaluation of resources on a recommender system, which caused an extremely sparse user rating matrix, and this greatly reduce the accuracy of personalized recommendation, especially for new users or new items. This paper presents a recommendation method based on rating prediction using causal association rules.…

  5. Assessing Causality and Persistence in Associations between Family Dinners and Adolescent Well-Being

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musick, Kelly; Meier, Ann

    2012-01-01

    Adolescents who share meals with their parents score better on a range of well-being indicators. Using 3 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (N = 17,977), the authors assessed the causal nature of these associations and the extent to which they persist into adulthood. They examined links between family dinners and…

  6. Causal beliefs about obesity and associated health behaviors: results from a population-based survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coups Elliot J

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several genetic variants are associated with obesity risk. Promoting the notion of genes as a cause for obesity may increase genetically deterministic beliefs and decrease motivation to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors. Little is known about whether causal beliefs about obesity are associated with lifestyle behaviors. Study objectives were as follows: 1 to document the prevalence of various causal beliefs about obesity (i.e., genes versus lifestyle behaviors, and 2 to determine the association between obesity causal beliefs and self-reported dietary and physical activity behaviors. Methods The study data were drawn from the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS. A total of 3,534 individuals were included in the present study. Results Overall, 72% of respondents endorsed the belief that lifestyle behaviors have 'a lot' to do with causing obesity, whereas 19% indicated that inheritance has 'a lot' to do with causing obesity. Multinomial logistic regression analyses indicated that the belief that obesity is inherited was associated with lower reported levels of physical activity (OR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.77-0.99 and fruit and vegetable consumption (OR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.76-0.99. In contrast, the belief that obesity is caused by lifestyle behaviors was associated with greater reported levels of physical activity (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.03-1.62, but was not associated with fruit and vegetable intake (OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 0.90-1.28. Conclusions Causal beliefs about obesity are associated with some lifestyle behaviors. Additional research is needed to determine whether promoting awareness of the genetic determinants of obesity will decrease the extent to which individuals will engage in the lifestyle behaviors essential to healthy weight management.

  7. Associations between causal attributions and personal stigmatizing attitudes in untreated persons with current mental health problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolzenburg, Susanne; Freitag, Simone; Schmidt, Silke; Schomerus, Georg

    2018-02-01

    Past research has shown that among the general public, certain causal explanations like biomedical causes are associated with stronger desire for social distance from persons with mental illness. Aim of this study was to find out how different causal attributions of persons with untreated mental health problems regarding their own complaints are associated with stigmatizing attitudes, anticipated self-stigma when seeking help and perceived stigma-stress. Altogether, 207 untreated persons with a current depressive syndrome were interviewed. Biomedical causes, but also belief in childhood trauma or unhealthy behavior as a cause of the problem, were associated with stronger personal stigma and with more stigma-stress. Similarities and differences to findings among the general population and implications for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. ASSESSING CAUSALITY AND PERSISTENCE IN ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN FAMILY DINNERS AND ADOLESCENT WELL-BEING

    OpenAIRE

    Musick, Kelly; Meier, Ann

    2012-01-01

    Adolescents who share meals with their parents score better on a range of well-being indicators. Using three waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (N = 17,977), we assessed the causal nature of these associations and the extent to which they persist into adulthood. We examined links between family dinners and adolescent mental health, substance use, and delinquency at wave 1, accounting for detailed measures of the family environment to test whether family meals simpl...

  9. A significant causal association between C-reactive protein levels and schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Inoshita, Masatoshi; Numata, Shusuke; Tajima, Atsushi; Kinoshita, Makoto; Umehara, Hidehiro; Nakataki, Masahito; Ikeda, Masashi; Maruyama, Souichiro; Yamamori, Hidenaga; Kanazawa, Tetsufumi; Shimodera, Shinji; Hashimoto, Ryota; Imoto, Issei; Yoneda, Hiroshi; Iwata, Nakao

    2016-01-01

    Many observational studies have shown elevated blood CRP levels in schizophrenia compared with controls, and one population-based prospective study has reported that elevated plasma CRP levels were associated with late- and very-late-onset schizophrenia. Furthermore, several clinical studies have reported the efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs on the symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. However, whether elevated CRP levels are causally related to schizophrenia is not still established be...

  10. Associations between childhood ADHD, gender, and adolescent alcohol and marijuana involvement: A causally informative design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkins, Irene J; Saunders, Gretchen R B; Malone, Stephen M; Keyes, Margaret A; McGue, Matt; Iacono, William G

    2018-03-01

    We report whether the etiology underlying associations of childhood ADHD with adolescent alcohol and marijuana involvement is consistent with causal relationships or shared predispositions, and whether it differs by gender. In three population-based twin samples (N = 3762; 64% monozygotic), including one oversampling females with ADHD, regressions were conducted with childhood inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms predicting alcohol and marijuana outcomes by age 17. To determine whether ADHD effects were consistent with causality, twin difference analyses divided effects into those shared between twins in the pair and those differing within pairs. Adolescents with more severe childhood ADHD were more likely to initiate alcohol and marijuana use earlier, escalate to frequent or heavy use, and develop symptoms. While risks were similar across genders, females with more hyperactivity-impulsivity had higher alcohol consumption and progressed further toward daily marijuana use than did males. Monozygotic twins with more severe ADHD than their co-twins did not differ significantly on alcohol or marijuana outcomes, however, suggesting a non-causal relationship. When co-occurring use of other substances and conduct/oppositional defiant disorders were considered, hyperactivity-impulsivity remained significantly associated with both substances, as did inattention with marijuana, but not alcohol. Childhood ADHD predicts when alcohol and marijuana use are initiated and how quickly use escalates. Shared familial environment and genetics, rather than causal influences, primarily account for these associations. Stronger relationships between hyperactivity-impulsivity and heavy drinking/frequent marijuana use among adolescent females than males, as well as the greater salience of inattention for marijuana, merit further investigation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Chinese Herbs Containing Aristolochic Acid Associated with Renal Failure and Urothelial Carcinoma: A Review from Epidemiologic Observations to Causal Inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsiao-Yu Yang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Herbal remedies containing aristolochic acid (AA have been designated to be a strong carcinogen. This review summarizes major epidemiologic evidence to argue for the causal association between AA exposure and urothelial carcinoma as well as nephropathy. The exposure scenarios include the following: Belgian women taking slimming pills containing single material Guang Fang Ji, consumptions of mixtures of Chinese herbal products in the general population and patients with chronic renal failure in Taiwan, occupational exposure in Chinese herbalists, and food contamination in farming villages in valleys of the Danube River. Such an association is corroborated by detecting specific DNA adducts in the tumor tissue removed from affected patients. Preventive actions of banning such use and education to the healthcare professionals and public are necessary for the safety of herbal remedies.

  12. Chinese herbs containing aristolochic acid associated with renal failure and urothelial carcinoma: a review from epidemiologic observations to causal inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hsiao-Yu; Chen, Pau-Chung; Wang, Jung-Der

    2014-01-01

    Herbal remedies containing aristolochic acid (AA) have been designated to be a strong carcinogen. This review summarizes major epidemiologic evidence to argue for the causal association between AA exposure and urothelial carcinoma as well as nephropathy. The exposure scenarios include the following: Belgian women taking slimming pills containing single material Guang Fang Ji, consumptions of mixtures of Chinese herbal products in the general population and patients with chronic renal failure in Taiwan, occupational exposure in Chinese herbalists, and food contamination in farming villages in valleys of the Danube River. Such an association is corroborated by detecting specific DNA adducts in the tumor tissue removed from affected patients. Preventive actions of banning such use and education to the healthcare professionals and public are necessary for the safety of herbal remedies.

  13. Does Sufficient Evidence Exist to Support a Causal Association between Vitamin D Status and Cardiovascular Disease Risk? An Assessment Using Hill’s Criteria for Causality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia G. Weyland

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OHD levels have been found to be inversely associated with both prevalent and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD risk factors; dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. This review looks for evidence of a causal association between low 25(OHD levels and increased CVD risk. We evaluated journal articles in light of Hill’s criteria for causality in a biological system. The results of our assessment are as follows. Strength of association: many randomized controlled trials (RCTs, prospective and cross-sectional studies found statistically significant inverse associations between 25(OHD levels and CVD risk factors. Consistency of observed association: most studies found statistically significant inverse associations between 25(OHD levels and CVD risk factors in various populations, locations and circumstances. Temporality of association: many RCTs and prospective studies found statistically significant inverse associations between 25(OHD levels and CVD risk factors. Biological gradient (dose-response curve: most studies assessing 25(OHD levels and CVD risk found an inverse association exhibiting a linear biological gradient. Plausibility of biology: several plausible cellular-level causative mechanisms and biological pathways may lead from a low 25(OHD level to increased risk for CVD with mediators, such as dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Experimental evidence: some well-designed RCTs found increased CVD risk factors with decreasing 25(OHD levels. Analogy: the association between serum 25(OHD levels and CVD risk is analogous to that between 25(OHD levels and the risk of overall cancer, periodontal disease, multiple sclerosis and breast cancer. Conclusion: all relevant Hill criteria for a causal association in a biological system are satisfied to indicate a low 25(OHD level as a CVD risk factor.

  14. Causality and associative holography of time-and-space domain events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rebane, Aleksander

    2014-01-01

    We consider reference-free associative recall of time-and-space domain holograms of arbitrary non-stationary optical object amplitudes or events. We show that if the probe fragment correlates with the recorded event either in space or in time coordinates or in both, then the hologram faithfully reproduces those missing parts (sub-events) that occur simultaneously or later in time with respect to the probe fragment. However, if a missing sub-event occurred before the fragment used as associative probe, then the hologram will not play this information back due to the time arrow imposed by causality. (paper)

  15. Investigating causal associations between use of nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and cannabis: a two-sample bidirectional Mendelian randomization study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verweij, Karin J H; Treur, Jorien L; Vink, Jacqueline M

    2018-07-01

    Epidemiological studies consistently show co-occurrence of use of different addictive substances. Whether these associations are causal or due to overlapping underlying influences remains an important question in addiction research. Methodological advances have made it possible to use published genetic associations to infer causal relationships between phenotypes. In this exploratory study, we used Mendelian randomization (MR) to examine the causality of well-established associations between nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and cannabis use. Two-sample MR was employed to estimate bidirectional causal effects between four addictive substances: nicotine (smoking initiation and cigarettes smoked per day), caffeine (cups of coffee per day), alcohol (units per week) and cannabis (initiation). Based on existing genome-wide association results we selected genetic variants associated with the exposure measure as an instrument to estimate causal effects. Where possible we applied sensitivity analyses (MR-Egger and weighted median) more robust to horizontal pleiotropy. Most MR tests did not reveal causal associations. There was some weak evidence for a causal positive effect of genetically instrumented alcohol use on smoking initiation and of cigarettes per day on caffeine use, but these were not supported by the sensitivity analyses. There was also some suggestive evidence for a positive effect of alcohol use on caffeine use (only with MR-Egger) and smoking initiation on cannabis initiation (only with weighted median). None of the suggestive causal associations survived corrections for multiple testing. Two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses found little evidence for causal relationships between nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and cannabis use. © 2018 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  16. How (not) to interpret a non-causal association in sports injury science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hjerrild, Mette; Videbaek, Solvej; Theisen, Daniel; Malisoux, Laurent; Oestergaard Nielsen, Rasmus

    2018-05-16

    To discuss the interpretability of non-causal associations to sports injury development exemplified via the relationship between navicular drop (ND) and running-related injury (RRI) in novice runners using neutral shoes. 1-year prospective cohort study. Denmark. 926 novice runners, representing 1852 feet, were included. The outcome was "a musculoskeletal complaint of the lower extremity or back caused by running, which restricted the amount of running for at least a week". Fewer feet with small ND than those feet with a reference ND sustained injuries at 50 (risk difference (RD) = -4.1% [95%CI = -7.9%;-0.4%]) and 100 km (RD = -5.3% [95%CI = -9.9%;-0.7%]). Similarly, fewer feet with a large ND sustained injuries than the feet with a reference drop at 250 (RD = -7.6% [95%CI = -14.9%;-0.3%]) and 500 km (RD = -9.8% [95%CI = -19.1%;-0.4%]). Non-causal associations can help to identify sub-groups of athletes at an increased or decreased risk of sports injury. Based on the current results, those with a small or large navicular drop sustain fewer injuries than those with a reference drop. Importantly, navicular drop does not cause RRIs, but influences the relationship between training load and RRI. This illustrates that non-causal associations are unsuitable to respond to the question: Why do sports injury develop? Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Do causal concentration-response functions exist? A critical review of associational and causal relations between fine particulate matter and mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Louis Anthony Tony

    2017-08-01

    Concentration-response (C-R) functions relating concentrations of pollutants in ambient air to mortality risks or other adverse health effects provide the basis for many public health risk assessments, benefits estimates for clean air regulations, and recommendations for revisions to existing air quality standards. The assumption that C-R functions relating levels of exposure and levels of response estimated from historical data usefully predict how future changes in concentrations would change risks has seldom been carefully tested. This paper critically reviews literature on C-R functions for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and mortality risks. We find that most of them describe historical associations rather than valid causal models for predicting effects of interventions that change concentrations. The few papers that explicitly attempt to model causality rely on unverified modeling assumptions, casting doubt on their predictions about effects of interventions. A large literature on modern causal inference algorithms for observational data has been little used in C-R modeling. Applying these methods to publicly available data from Boston and the South Coast Air Quality Management District around Los Angeles shows that C-R functions estimated for one do not hold for the other. Changes in month-specific PM2.5 concentrations from one year to the next do not help to predict corresponding changes in average elderly mortality rates in either location. Thus, the assumption that estimated C-R relations predict effects of pollution-reducing interventions may not be true. Better causal modeling methods are needed to better predict how reducing air pollution would affect public health.

  18. Exploring causal associations between alcohol and coronary heart disease risk factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lawlor, Debbie A; Nordestgaard, Børge G; Benn, Marianne

    2013-01-01

    association with triglycerides [-14.9% (-25.6, -4.3)] in IV analyses; P = 0.006 and 0.01, respectively, for difference between the two. Alcohol was not associated with non-HDLc or glucose.ConclusionOur results show adverse effects of long-term alcohol consumption on BP and BMI. We also found novel evidence......AimsTo explore the causal effect of long-term alcohol consumption on coronary heart disease risk factors.Methods and resultsWe used variants in ADH1B and ADH1C genes as instrumental variables (IV) to estimate the causal effect of long-term alcohol consumption on body mass index (BMI), blood...... pressure (BP), lipids, fibrinogen, and glucose. Analyses were undertaken in 54 604 Danes (mean age 56 years). Both confounder-adjusted multivariable and IV analyses suggested that a greater alcohol consumption among those who drank any alcohol resulted in a higher BP [mean difference in SBP per doubling...

  19. Tool to assess causality of direct and indirect adverse events associated with therapeutic interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorzela, Liliane; Mior, Silvano; Boon, Heather; Gross, Anita; Yager, Jeromy; Carter, Rose; Vohra, Sunita

    2018-03-01

    To develop and test a tool to assess the causality of direct and indirect adverse events associated with therapeutic interventions. The intervention was one or more drugs and/or natural health products, a device, or practice (professional delivering the intervention). Through the assessment of causality of adverse events, we can learn about factors contributing to the harm and consider what modification may prevent its reoccurrence. Existing scales (WHO-UMC, Naranjo and Horn) were adapted to develop a tool (algorithm and table) to evaluate cases of serious harmful events reported through a national surveillance study. We also incorporated a novel approach that assesses indirect harm (caused by the delay in diagnosis/treatment) and the health provider delivering the intervention (practice). The tool was tested, revised and then implemented to assess all reported cases of serious events resulting from use of complementary therapies. The use of complementary therapies was the trigger to report the event. Each case was evaluated by two assessors, out of a panel of five, representing different health care professionals. The tool was used in assessment of eight serious adverse events. Each event was independently evaluated by two assessors. The algorithm facilitated assessment of a serious direct or indirect harm. Assessors agreed in the final score on seven of eight cases (weighted kappa coefficient of 0.75). A tool to support the assessment of causality of adverse events was developed and tested. We propose a novel method to assess direct and indirect harms related to product(s), device(s), practice or a combination of the previous. Further research will probably help evaluate this approach across different settings and interventions.

  20. The causal direction in the association between respiratory syncytial virus hospitalization and asthma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stensballe, Lone Graff; Simonsen, Jacob Brunbjerg; Thomsen, Simon Francis

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Earlier studies have reported an increased risk of asthma after respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hospitalization. Other studies found that asthmatic disposition and propensity to wheeze increase the risk of RSV hospitalization. OBJECTIVE: The current study examined the causal direction......; and asthma is associated with a long-term increased susceptibility for severe RSV disease, suggesting a host factor being responsible for the severe response to RSV infection. This suggests that severe RSV infection and asthma may share a common genetic predisposition and/or environmental exposure....... was increased as much as 6-fold to 8-fold during the first 2 months after RSV hospitalization but was no longer increased 1 year later. Asthma increased the risk of RSV hospitalization by 3-fold, and the risk was not time-dependent. Analyzing these associations on the basis of asthma defined from use of inhaled...

  1. Maximum Likelihood Joint Tracking and Association in Strong Clutter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonid I. Perlovsky

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We have developed a maximum likelihood formulation for a joint detection, tracking and association problem. An efficient non-combinatorial algorithm for this problem is developed in case of strong clutter for radar data. By using an iterative procedure of the dynamic logic process “from vague-to-crisp” explained in the paper, the new tracker overcomes the combinatorial complexity of tracking in highly-cluttered scenarios and results in an orders-of-magnitude improvement in signal-to-clutter ratio.

  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 approac...

  3. Helicobacter pylori infection and dementia: can actual data reinforce the hypothesis of a causal association?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adriani, A; Fagoonee, S; De Angelis, C; Altruda, F; Pellicano, R

    2014-09-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is involved in the development of several gastroduodenal diseases. Since the latest decade, several studies have reported on the link between chronic H. pylori infection and a variety of extragastric manifestations, including dementia. To identify the publications on the association between H. pylori and dementia, a MEDLINE search was conducted. Although case-control studies reported controversial data, a recent longitudinal population-based cohort study found that after 20 years of follow-up, 28.9% of H. pylori-positive versus 21.1% of H. pylori-negative subjects developed dementia. After correction for confounding factors, the infection was significantly associated with higher risk of developing dementia (P=0.04). Moreover, in another study evaluating the effect of H. pylori eradication on the progression of dementia in Alzheimer's disease patients with peptic ulcer, the cure of the bacterium was associated with a decreased risk of dementia progression compared to persistent infection. To date, defining H. pylori as a target for prevention or treatment of dementia remains a topic with much controversy but of essence, as any relationship would reduce, due to the cost-effectiveness of the therapy, a burden on the National Health Care budget. The need for extensive studies with appropriate epidemiological and clinical approaches is crucial to investigate a potential causal relationship.

  4. Is the Association Between Education and Fertility Postponement Causal? The Role of Family Background Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropf, Felix C; Mandemakers, Jornt J

    2017-02-01

    A large body of literature has demonstrated a positive relationship between education and age at first birth. However, this relationship may be partly spurious because of family background factors that cannot be controlled for in most research designs. We investigate the extent to which education is causally related to later age at first birth in a large sample of female twins from the United Kingdom (N = 2,752). We present novel estimates using within-identical twin and biometric models. Our findings show that one year of additional schooling is associated with about one-half year later age at first birth in ordinary least squares (OLS) models. This estimate reduced to only a 1.5-month later age at first birth for the within-identical twin model controlling for all shared family background factors (genetic and family environmental). Biometric analyses reveal that it is mainly influences of the family environment-not genetic factors-that cause spurious associations between education and age at first birth. Last, using data from the Office for National Statistics, we demonstrate that only 1.9 months of the 2.74 years of fertility postponement for birth cohorts 1944-1967 could be attributed to educational expansion based on these estimates. We conclude that the rise in educational attainment alone cannot explain differences in fertility timing between cohorts.

  5. Images of illness: how causal claims and racial associations influence public preferences toward diabetes research spending.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gollust, Sarah E; Lantz, Paula M; Ubel, Peter A

    2010-12-01

    Despite the salience of health disparities in media and policy discourse, little previous research has investigated if imagery associating an illness with a certain racial group influences public perceptions. This study evaluated the influence of the media's presentation of the causes of type 2 diabetes and its implicit racial associations on attitudes toward people with diabetes and preferences toward research spending. Survey participants who viewed an article on genetic causation or social determinants of diabetes were more likely to support increased government spending on research than those viewing an article with no causal language, while participants viewing an article on behavioral choices were more likely to attribute negative stereotypes to people with diabetes. Participants who viewed a photo of a black woman accompanying the article were less likely to endorse negative stereotypes than those viewing a photo of a white woman, but those who viewed a photo of a glucose-testing device expressed the lowest negative stereotypes. The effect of social determinants language was significantly different for blacks and whites, lowering stereotypes only among blacks. Emphasizing the behavioral causes of diabetes, as is common in media coverage, may perpetuate negative stereotypes. While drawing attention to the social determinants that shape these behaviors could mitigate stereotypes, this strategy is unlikely to influence the public uniformly.

  6. ICSNPathway: identify candidate causal SNPs and pathways from genome-wide association study by one analytical framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Kunlin; Chang, Suhua; Cui, Sijia; Guo, Liyuan; Zhang, Liuyan; Wang, Jing

    2011-07-01

    Genome-wide association study (GWAS) is widely utilized to identify genes involved in human complex disease or some other trait. One key challenge for GWAS data interpretation is to identify causal SNPs and provide profound evidence on how they affect the trait. Currently, researches are focusing on identification of candidate causal variants from the most significant SNPs of GWAS, while there is lack of support on biological mechanisms as represented by pathways. Although pathway-based analysis (PBA) has been designed to identify disease-related pathways by analyzing the full list of SNPs from GWAS, it does not emphasize on interpreting causal SNPs. To our knowledge, so far there is no web server available to solve the challenge for GWAS data interpretation within one analytical framework. ICSNPathway is developed to identify candidate causal SNPs and their corresponding candidate causal pathways from GWAS by integrating linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis, functional SNP annotation and PBA. ICSNPathway provides a feasible solution to bridge the gap between GWAS and disease mechanism study by generating hypothesis of SNP → gene → pathway(s). The ICSNPathway server is freely available at http://icsnpathway.psych.ac.cn/.

  7. An intronic LINE-1 insertion in MERTK is strongly associated with retinopathy in Swedish Vallhund dogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Everson

    Full Text Available The domestic dog segregates a significant number of inherited progressive retinal diseases, several of which mirror human retinal diseases and which are collectively termed progressive retinal atrophy (PRA. In 2014, a novel form of PRA was reported in the Swedish Vallhund breed, and the disease was mapped to canine chromosome 17. The causal mutation was not identified, but expression analyses of the retinas of affected Vallhunds demonstrated a 6-fold increased expression of the MERTK gene compared to unaffected dogs. Using 24 retinopathy cases and 97 controls with no clinical signs of retinopathy, we replicated the chromosome 17 association in Swedish Vallhunds from the UK and aimed to elucidate the causal variant underlying this association using whole genome sequencing (WGS of an affected dog. This revealed a 6-8 kb insertion in intron 1 of MERTK that was not present in WGS of 49 dogs of other breeds. Sequencing and BLASTN analysis of the inserted segment was consistent with the insertion comprising a full-length intact LINE-1 retroelement. Testing of the LINE-1 insertion for association with retinopathy in the UK set of 24 cases and 97 controls revealed a strong statistical association (P-value 6.0 x 10-11 that was subsequently replicated in the original Finnish study set (49 cases and 89 controls (P-value 4.3 x 10-19. In a pooled analysis of both studies (73 cases and 186 controls, the LINE-1 insertion was associated with a ~20-fold increased risk of retinopathy (odds ratio 23.41, 95% confidence intervals 10.99-49.86, P-value 1.3 x 10-27. Our study adds further support for regulatory disruption of MERTK in Swedish Vallhund retinopathy; however, further work is required to establish a functional overexpression model. Future work to characterise the mechanism by which this intronic mutation disrupts gene regulation will further improve the understanding of MERTK biology and its role in retinal function.

  8. Investigating the possible causal association of smoking with depression and anxiety using Mendelian randomisation meta-analysis: The CARTA consortium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.E. Taylor (Amy E.); M.E. Fluharty (Meg E.); J.H. Bjørngaard (Johan H.); M.E. Gabrielsen (Maiken Elvestad); F. Skorpen (Frank); R.E. Marioni (Riccardo); A. Campbell (Archie); J. Engmann (Jorgen); S.S. Mirza (Saira); A. Loukola (Anu); T. Laatikainen (Tiina); T. Partonen (Timo); M. Kaakinen (Marika); F. Ducci (Francesca); A. Cavadino (Alana); L.L.N. Husemoen (Lise Lotte); T.S. Ahluwalia (Tarunveer Singh); R.K. Jacobsen (Rikke Kart); T. Skaaby (Tea); J.F. Ebstrup (Jeanette Frost); E.L. Mortensen (Erik); C.C. Minica (Camelia C.); J.M. Vink (Jacqueline); G.A.H.M. Willemsen (Gonneke); P. Marques-Vidal (Pedro); C.E. Dale (Caroline E.); A. Amuzu (Antoinette); L.T. Lennon (Lucy T.); J. Lahti (Jari); A. Palotie (Aarno); K. Räikkönen (Katri); A. Wong (Andrew); L. Paternoster (Lavinia); A.P.-Y. Wong (Angelita Pui-Yee); L.J. Horwood (L. John); M. Murphy (Michael); E.C. Johnstone (Elaine C.); M.A. Kennedy (Martin A.); Z. Pausova (Zdenka); T. Paus (Tomáš); Y. Ben-Shlomo; C. Nohr (Christian); D. Kuh (Diana); M. Kivimaki (Mika); J.G. Eriksson (Johan G.); R. Morris (Richard); J.P. Casas (Juan); M. Preisig (Martin); D.I. Boomsma (Dorret); A. Linneberg (Allan); C. Power (Christopher); E. Hypponen (Elina); J. Veijola (Juha); M.-R. Jarvelin (Marjo-Riitta); T. Korhonen (Tellervo); H.W. Tiemeier (Henning); M. Kumari (Meena); D.J. Porteous (David J.); C. Hayward (Caroline); P.R. Romundstad (Pa˚l R.); G.D. Smith; M.R. Munafò (Marcus)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractObjectives: To investigate whether associations of smoking with depression and anxiety are likely to be causal, using a Mendelian randomisation approach. Design: Mendelian randomisation meta-analyses using a genetic variant (rs16969968/rs1051730) as a proxy for smoking heaviness, and

  9. Nonlinear association criterion, nonlinear Granger causality and related issues with applications to neuroimage studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Chenyang; Feng, Jianfeng

    2016-03-15

    Quantifying associations in neuroscience (and many other scientific disciplines) is often challenged by high-dimensionality, nonlinearity and noisy observations. Many classic methods have either poor power or poor scalability on data sets of the same or different scales such as genetical, physiological and image data. Based on the framework of reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces we proposed a new nonlinear association criteria (NAC) with an efficient numerical algorithm and p-value approximation scheme. We also presented mathematical justification that links the proposed method to related methods such as kernel generalized variance, kernel canonical correlation analysis and Hilbert-Schmidt independence criteria. NAC allows the detection of association between arbitrary input domain as long as a characteristic kernel is defined. A MATLAB package was provided to facilitate applications. Extensive simulation examples and four real world neuroscience examples including functional MRI causality, Calcium imaging and imaging genetic studies on autism [Brain, 138(5):13821393 (2015)] and alcohol addiction [PNAS, 112(30):E4085-E4093 (2015)] are used to benchmark NAC. It demonstrates the superior performance over the existing procedures we tested and also yields biologically significant results for the real world examples. NAC beats its linear counterparts when nonlinearity is presented in the data. It also shows more robustness against different experimental setups compared with its nonlinear counterparts. In this work we presented a new and robust statistical approach NAC for measuring associations. It could serve as an interesting alternative to the existing methods for datasets where nonlinearity and other confounding factors are present. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Causality in the association between P300 and alpha event-related desynchronization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiwei Peng

    Full Text Available Recent findings indicated that both P300 and alpha event-related desynchronization (α-ERD were associated, and similarly involved in cognitive brain functioning, e.g., attention allocation and memory updating. However, an explicit causal influence between the neural generators of P300 and α-ERD has not yet been investigated. In the present study, using an oddball task paradigm, we assessed the task effect (target vs. non-target on P300 and α-ERD elicited by stimuli of four sensory modalities, i.e., audition, vision, somatosensory, and pain, estimated their respective neural generators, and investigated the information flow among their neural generators using time-varying effective connectivity in the target condition. Across sensory modalities, the scalp topographies of P300 and α-ERD were similar and respectively maximal at parietal and occipital regions in the target condition. Source analysis revealed that P300 and α-ERD were mainly generated from posterior cingulate cortex and occipital lobe respectively. As revealed by time-varying effective connectivity, the cortical information was consistently flowed from α-ERD sources to P300 sources in the target condition for all four sensory modalities. All these findings showed that P300 in the target condition is modulated by the changes of α-ERD, which would be useful to explore neural mechanism of cognitive information processing in the human brain.

  11. Explaining Compound Generalization in Associative and Causal Learning Through Rational Principles of Dimensional Generalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Fabian A.; Gershman, Samuel J.; Niv, Yael

    2014-01-01

    How do we apply learning from one situation to a similar, but not identical, situation? The principles governing the extent to which animals and humans generalize what they have learned about certain stimuli to novel compounds containing those stimuli vary depending on a number of factors. Perhaps the best studied among these factors is the type of stimuli used to generate compounds. One prominent hypothesis is that different generalization principles apply depending on whether the stimuli in a compound are similar or dissimilar to each other. However, the results of many experiments cannot be explained by this hypothesis. Here we propose a rational Bayesian theory of compound generalization that uses the notion of consequential regions, first developed in the context of rational theories of multidimensional generalization, to explain the effects of stimulus factors on compound generalization. The model explains a large number of results from the compound generalization literature, including the influence of stimulus modality and spatial contiguity on the summation effect, the lack of influence of stimulus factors on summation with a recovered inhibitor, the effect of spatial position of stimuli on the blocking effect, the asymmetrical generalization decrement in overshadowing and external inhibition, and the conditions leading to a reliable external inhibition effect. By integrating rational theories of compound and dimensional generalization, our model provides the first comprehensive computational account of the effects of stimulus factors on compound generalization, including spatial and temporal contiguity between components, which have posed longstanding problems for rational theories of associative and causal learning. PMID:25090430

  12. Hometown associations and solidarities in Kurdish transnational villages<strong> strong>

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Connie Carøe

    2008-01-01

    The politization of transnational relations obscures and dichotomizes our perceptions of migrants and their development activities in the sending society. A current boost in hometown associations for a cluster of Kurdish villages in Turkey, should thus be connected to a more self-conscious transn......The politization of transnational relations obscures and dichotomizes our perceptions of migrants and their development activities in the sending society. A current boost in hometown associations for a cluster of Kurdish villages in Turkey, should thus be connected to a more self......-conscious transnational component in the village community, rather than to the polarization among migrants, producing on the one hand developers (of the hometown) and integration activists. Social remittances - ideas, norms and practices transferred by migrants to their sending society are not widely recognized...

  13. Illusory Paschen curves associated with strongly electronegative gases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McAllister, Iain Wilson

    1991-01-01

    Using analytical linear regression analysis, it is shown that, for a strongly electronegative gas, the (direct) breakdown voltage curve obtained with a moderately nonuniform field is effectively linear. For a strongly electronegative gas, breakdown voltage measurements made on a moderately...... nonuniform field test gap give rise to an apparently liner curve. The curve can be designated a Paschen curve, but the erroneous nature of this designation becomes apparent from a linear regression analysis of the experimental breakdown data...

  14. Repeated causal decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagmayer, York; Meder, Björn

    2013-01-01

    Many of our decisions refer to actions that have a causal impact on the external environment. Such actions may not only allow for the mere learning of expected values or utilities but also for acquiring knowledge about the causal structure of our world. We used a repeated decision-making paradigm to examine what kind of knowledge people acquire in such situations and how they use their knowledge to adapt to changes in the decision context. Our studies show that decision makers' behavior is strongly contingent on their causal beliefs and that people exploit their causal knowledge to assess the consequences of changes in the decision problem. A high consistency between hypotheses about causal structure, causally expected values, and actual choices was observed. The experiments show that (a) existing causal hypotheses guide the interpretation of decision feedback, (b) consequences of decisions are used to revise existing causal beliefs, and (c) decision makers use the experienced feedback to induce a causal model of the choice situation even when they have no initial causal hypotheses, which (d) enables them to adapt their choices to changes of the decision problem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Using multiple cause-of-death data to investigate associations and causality between conditions listed on the death certificate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redelings, Matthew D; Wise, Matthew; Sorvillo, Frank

    2007-07-01

    Death rarely results from only one cause, and it can be caused by a variety of factors. Multiple cause-of-death data files can list as many as 20 contributing causes of death in addition to the reported underlying cause of death. Analysis of multiple cause-of-death data can provide information on associations between causes of death, revealing common combinations of events or conditions which lead to death. Additionally, physicians report the causal train of events through which they believe that different conditions or events may have led to each other and ultimately caused death. In this paper, the authors discuss methods used in studying associations between reported causes of death and in investigating commonly reported causal pathways between events or conditions listed on the death certificate.

  16. Is Physical Activity Causally Associated With Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rommel, Anna-Sophie; Lichtenstein, Paul; Rydell, Mina; Kuja-Halkola, Ralf; Asherson, Philip; Kuntsi, Jonna; Larsson, Henrik

    2015-07-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) enhances cognition and may be a protective factor for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Yet the impact of PA on ADHD symptoms has been investigated only in a few undersized, nonrandomized, and retrospective studies. We examined the effect of PA during late adolescence on ADHD symptoms in early adulthood while controlling for unmeasured genetic and shared environmental confounding. The effect of PA at age 16 to 17 years (baseline) on ADHD symptoms at age 19 to 20 years (follow-up) was examined using a within-monozygotic (MZ) twins fixed-effects model in 232 MZ twin pairs born in Sweden between May 1985 and December 1986. Parents rated their children's DSM ADHD symptoms at baseline and follow-up. Participants' weekly energy expenditure (in metabolic equivalent task minutes per week) was based on self-reports at baseline of PA frequency, intensity, and duration. Greater weekly energy expenditure in adolescence was significantly associated with reduced ADHD symptom levels in early adulthood, even when controlling for unmeasured confounding (all genetic and environmental factors shared within MZ twin pairs) as well as ADHD symptoms and body mass index (BMI) at baseline, β = -0.21, p = .013 (95% CI = -0.38 to -0.05). Similar results were observed for the 2 ADHD subcomponents: hyperactivity/impulsivity, β = -0.21, p = .022 (95% CI = -0.39 to -0.03), and inattention, β = -0.19, p = .049 (95% CI = -0.36 to -0.0005). In line with a causal hypothesis, PA was inversely associated with ADHD symptoms, even after adjusting for unmeasured confounding. These findings suggest that PA in adolescence might decrease ADHD symptoms in early adulthood. However, given the size of the effect, the clinical value of this intervention needs to be explored further. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Neural Correlates of Causal Power Judgments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Dellarosa Cummins

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Causal inference is a fundamental component of cognition and perception. Probabilistic theories of causal judgment (most notably causal Bayes networks derive causal judgments using metrics that integrate contingency information. But human estimates typically diverge from these normative predictions. This is because human causal power judgments are typically strongly influenced by beliefs concerning underlying causal mechanisms, and because of the way knowledge is retrieved from human memory during the judgment process. Neuroimaging studies indicate that the brain distinguishes causal events from mere covariation, and between perceived and inferred causality. Areas involved in error prediction are also activated, implying automatic activation of possible exception cases during causal decision-making.

  18. Diabetes mellitus is strongly associated with tuberculosis in Indonesia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alisjahbana, B.; Crevel, R. van; Sahiratmadja, E.; Heijer, M. den; Maya, A.; Istriana, E.; Danusantoso, H.; Ottenhoff, T.H.; Nelwan, R.H.; Meer, J.W.M. van der

    2006-01-01

    SETTING: Diabetes mellitus is a known risk factor for tuberculosis (TB), but no studies have been reported from South-East Asia, which has a high burden of TB and a rapidly growing prevalence of diabetes. OBJECTIVE: To examine if and to what extent diabetes is associated with an increased risk of TB

  19. Hydrochlorothiazide use is strongly associated with risk of lip cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pottegård, A; Hallas, J; Olesen, M

    2017-01-01

    Background: The diuretic hydrochlorothiazide is amongst the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States and Western Europe, but there is suggestive evidence that hydrochlorothiazide use increases the risk of lip cancer. Objectives: To study the association between use of hydrochlorothia......Background: The diuretic hydrochlorothiazide is amongst the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States and Western Europe, but there is suggestive evidence that hydrochlorothiazide use increases the risk of lip cancer. Objectives: To study the association between use...... of hydrochlorothiazide and squamous cell carcinoma of the lip. Methods: We conducted a case-control study using Danish nationwide registry data. From the Cancer Registry (2004-2012), we identified 633 case patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lip and matched them to 63 067 population controls using a risk......-set sampling strategy. Hydrochlorothiazide use (1995-2012) was obtained from the Prescription Registry and defined according to cumulative use. Applying conditional logistic regression, we calculated odds ratios (ORs) for SCC lip cancer associated with hydrochlorothiazide use, adjusting for predefined...

  20. Strong association of HMB-45 expression with renal angiomyolipoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yaldiz, Mehmet; Kilinc, Niha; Ozdemir, Enver

    2004-01-01

    Angiomyolipoma (AML) is a benign neoplasm consisting of varying mixtures of smooth muscle, blood vessels and fat. Although, most of these tumors are easy to recognize, some may pose a diagnostic dilemma due to unusual histologic features. Recently, it was suggested that melanosome-associated protein (HMB-45) immunoreactivity may be used for diagnostic confirmation of several neoplasm. The aim of this study is to analyze the diagnostic efficacy of HMB-45 in patients with AML. This study was carried out at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey, during the period January 2000 to September 2003. HMB-45 immunoreactivity was analyzed in 6 patients with AML and in 34 patients with other renal and retroperitoneal pathologies, including 10 nephrectomized patients for non-neoplastic reasons by means of immunohistochemistry. Patients with AML were positive for HMB-45. Whereas, HMB-45 immunoreactivity was negative in all of the histologic specimens from the patients with renal cell carcinoma, retroperitoneal sarcomas, Wilms tumor, lipoma, leiomyoma, and nephrectomized kidneys of non-neoplastic reason. The association of AML with HMB-45 immunoreactivity was highly significant (p<0.001). Our findings suggest that HMB-45 may not be a melanocyte-restricted marker, and can be useful in differential diagnosis between AML and other tumors seen in kidney and retroperitoneal region. (author)

  1. Strong association of HMB-45 expression with renal angiomyolipoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaldiz, Mehmet; Kilinc, Nihal; Ozdemir, Enver

    2004-08-01

    Angiomyolipoma (AML) is a benign neoplasm consisting of varying mixtures of smooth muscle, blood vessels and fat. Although, most of these tumors are easy to recognize, some may pose a diagnostic dilemma due to unusual histologic features. Recently, it was suggested that melanosome-associated protein (HMB-45) immunoreactivity may be used for diagnostic confirmation of several neoplasm. The aim of this study is to analyze the diagnostic efficacy of HMB-45 in patients with AML. This study was carried out at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey, during the period January 2000 to September 2003. HMB-45 immunoreactivity was analyzed in 6 patients with AML and in 34 patients with other renal and retroperitoneal pathologies, including 10 nephrectomized patients for non-neoplastic reasons by means of immunohistochemistry. Patients with AML were positive for HMB-45. Whereas, HMB-45 immunoreactivity was negative in all of the histologic specimens from the patients with renal cell carcinoma, retroperitoneal sarcomas, Wilms' tumor, lipoma, leiomyoma, and nephrectomized kidneys of non-neoplastic reason. The association of AML with HMB-45 immunoreactivity was highly significant (pHMB-45 may not be a melanocyte-restricted marker, and can be useful in differential diagnosis between AML and other tumors seen in kidney and retroperitoneal region.

  2. On strongly J -clean rings associated with polynomial identity g ( x =0

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Haj seyyed javadi

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper‎, ‎we introduce the new notion of strongly $J $-clean rings associated with polynomial identity $g(x=0$‎, ‎as a generalization of strongly $ J $-clean rings‎. ‎We denote strongly $J $-clean rings associated with polynomial identity $g(x=0$ by strongly $ g(x $-$J $-clean rings‎. ‎Next‎, ‎we investigate some properties of strongly $ g(x $-$ J $-clean.

  3. Causal universe

    CERN Document Server

    Ellis, George FR; Pabjan, Tadeusz

    2013-01-01

    Written by philosophers, cosmologists, and physicists, this collection of essays deals with causality, which is a core issue for both science and philosophy. Readers will learn about different types of causality in complex systems and about new perspectives on this issue based on physical and cosmological considerations. In addition, the book includes essays pertaining to the problem of causality in ancient Greek philosophy, and to the problem of God's relation to the causal structures of nature viewed in the light of contemporary physics and cosmology.

  4. Postural disorders and spatial neglect in stroke patients: a strong association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérennou, Dominic

    2006-01-01

    In this paper we analyse the arguments for a strong association between spatial neglect and postural disorders and attempt to better understand the mechanisms which underlie that. We first provide a general overview of the available tools for a rational assessment of postural control in a clinical context. We then analyse the arguments in favour of a close relationship, although not necessarily causal, between spatial neglect and: 1) body orientation with respect to gravity (including verticality perception i.e. the visual vertical, the haptic vertical, and the postural vertical); 2) body stabilisation with respect to the base of support; 3) posturographic features of stroke patients; 4) and finally their postural disability in daily life. This second part of the paper is based both on the literature review and on results of our current research. Neglect patients show a dramatic postural disability, due both to problems in body orientation with respect to gravity and to problems in body stabilisation. It might be that these problems are partly caused by a neglect phenomenon bearing on graviceptive (somaesthetic > vestibular) and visual information serving postural control. This could correspond to a kind of postural neglect involving both the bodily and nonbodily domains of spatial neglect. The existence of distorsion(s) in the body scheme are also probably involved, especially to explain the weight-bearing asymmetry in standing, and probably an impaired multisegmental postural coordination leading to an impaired body stabilisation. The present paper explains why neglect patients show longer/worse recovery of postural-walking autonomy than other stroke patients.

  5. Causal and causally separable processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oreshkov, Ognyan; Giarmatzi, Christina

    2016-09-01

    The idea that events are equipped with a partial causal order is central to our understanding of physics in the tested regimes: given two pointlike events A and B, either A is in the causal past of B, B is in the causal past of A, or A and B are space-like separated. Operationally, the meaning of these order relations corresponds to constraints on the possible correlations between experiments performed in the vicinities of the respective events: if A is in the causal past of B, an experimenter at A could signal to an experimenter at B but not the other way around, while if A and B are space-like separated, no signaling is possible in either direction. In the context of a concrete physical theory, the correlations compatible with a given causal configuration may obey further constraints. For instance, space-like correlations in quantum mechanics arise from local measurements on joint quantum states, while time-like correlations are established via quantum channels. Similarly to other variables, however, the causal order of a set of events could be random, and little is understood about the constraints that causality implies in this case. A main difficulty concerns the fact that the order of events can now generally depend on the operations performed at the locations of these events, since, for instance, an operation at A could influence the order in which B and C occur in A’s future. So far, no formal theory of causality compatible with such dynamical causal order has been developed. Apart from being of fundamental interest in the context of inferring causal relations, such a theory is imperative for understanding recent suggestions that the causal order of events in quantum mechanics can be indefinite. Here, we develop such a theory in the general multipartite case. Starting from a background-independent definition of causality, we derive an iteratively formulated canonical decomposition of multipartite causal correlations. For a fixed number of settings and

  6. Causal and causally separable processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oreshkov, Ognyan; Giarmatzi, Christina

    2016-01-01

    The idea that events are equipped with a partial causal order is central to our understanding of physics in the tested regimes: given two pointlike events A and B , either A is in the causal past of B , B is in the causal past of A , or A and B are space-like separated. Operationally, the meaning of these order relations corresponds to constraints on the possible correlations between experiments performed in the vicinities of the respective events: if A is in the causal past of B , an experimenter at A could signal to an experimenter at B but not the other way around, while if A and B are space-like separated, no signaling is possible in either direction. In the context of a concrete physical theory, the correlations compatible with a given causal configuration may obey further constraints. For instance, space-like correlations in quantum mechanics arise from local measurements on joint quantum states, while time-like correlations are established via quantum channels. Similarly to other variables, however, the causal order of a set of events could be random, and little is understood about the constraints that causality implies in this case. A main difficulty concerns the fact that the order of events can now generally depend on the operations performed at the locations of these events, since, for instance, an operation at A could influence the order in which B and C occur in A ’s future. So far, no formal theory of causality compatible with such dynamical causal order has been developed. Apart from being of fundamental interest in the context of inferring causal relations, such a theory is imperative for understanding recent suggestions that the causal order of events in quantum mechanics can be indefinite. Here, we develop such a theory in the general multipartite case. Starting from a background-independent definition of causality, we derive an iteratively formulated canonical decomposition of multipartite causal correlations. For a fixed number of settings and

  7. Statistical Evaluation of Causal Factors Associated with Astronaut Shoulder Injury in Space Suits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Allison P; Newman, Dava J; Welsch, Roy E

    2015-07-01

    Shoulder injuries due to working inside the space suit are some of the most serious and debilitating injuries astronauts encounter. Space suit injuries occur primarily in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) underwater training facility due to accumulated musculoskeletal stress. We quantitatively explored the underlying causal mechanisms of injury. Logistic regression was used to identify relevant space suit components, training environment variables, and anthropometric dimensions related to an increased propensity for space-suited injury. Two groups of subjects were analyzed: those whose reported shoulder incident is attributable to the NBL or working in the space suit, and those whose shoulder incidence began in active duty, meaning working in the suit could be a contributing factor. For both groups, percent of training performed in the space suit planar hard upper torso (HUT) was the most important predictor variable for injury. Frequency of training and recovery between training were also significant metrics. The most relevant anthropometric dimensions were bideltoid breadth, expanded chest depth, and shoulder circumference. Finally, record of previous injury was found to be a relevant predictor for subsequent injury. The first statistical model correctly identifies 39% of injured subjects, while the second model correctly identifies 68% of injured subjects. A review of the literature suggests this is the first work to quantitatively evaluate the hypothesized causal mechanisms of all space-suited shoulder injuries. Although limited in predictive capability, each of the identified variables can be monitored and modified operationally to reduce future impacts on an astronaut's health.

  8. Causality in Europeanization Research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lynggaard, Kennet

    2012-01-01

    to develop discursive institutional analytical frameworks and something that comes close to the formulation of hypothesis on the effects of European Union (EU) policies and institutions on domestic change. Even if these efforts so far do not necessarily amount to substantive theories or claims of causality......Discourse analysis as a methodology is perhaps not readily associated with substantive causality claims. At the same time the study of discourses is very much the study of conceptions of causal relations among a set, or sets, of agents. Within Europeanization research we have seen endeavours......, it suggests that discourse analysis and the study of causality are by no means opposites. The study of Europeanization discourses may even be seen as an essential step in the move towards claims of causality in Europeanization research. This chapter deals with the question of how we may move from the study...

  9. The association between atopy and factors influencing folate metabolism: is low folate status causally related to the development of atopy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husemoen, LL; Toft, U.; Fenger, Mogens

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Deficiency of folate has been associated with several disorders characterized by enhanced activation of the cellular immune system (non-allergic th1 type immune response). Whether folate status is also associated with atopic disease (allergic th2 type immune response) is unknown. We....../CT individuals [odds ratio 1.76, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.19-2.60]. Additionally, gene-diet interaction effects were identified. Dietary markers were negatively associated with risk of atopy in persons with the TT genotype. Total homocysteine was not related to atopy (odds ratio per 5 mumol/l = 1.......12, 95% CI 0.98-1.29). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that an impaired folate metabolism may be causally related to the development of atopy....

  10. Identifying HIV associated neurocognitive disorder using large-scale Granger causality analysis on resting-state functional MRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    DSouza, Adora M.; Abidin, Anas Z.; Leistritz, Lutz; Wismüller, Axel

    2017-02-01

    We investigate the applicability of large-scale Granger Causality (lsGC) for extracting a measure of multivariate information flow between pairs of regional brain activities from resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) and test the effectiveness of these measures for predicting a disease state. Such pairwise multivariate measures of interaction provide high-dimensional representations of connectivity profiles for each subject and are used in a machine learning task to distinguish between healthy controls and individuals presenting with symptoms of HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND). Cognitive impairment in several domains can occur as a result of HIV infection of the central nervous system. The current paradigm for assessing such impairment is through neuropsychological testing. With fMRI data analysis, we aim at non-invasively capturing differences in brain connectivity patterns between healthy subjects and subjects presenting with symptoms of HAND. To classify the extracted interaction patterns among brain regions, we use a prototype-based learning algorithm called Generalized Matrix Learning Vector Quantization (GMLVQ). Our approach to characterize connectivity using lsGC followed by GMLVQ for subsequent classification yields good prediction results with an accuracy of 87% and an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of up to 0.90. We obtain a statistically significant improvement (p<0.01) over a conventional Granger causality approach (accuracy = 0.76, AUC = 0.74). High accuracy and AUC values using our multivariate method to connectivity analysis suggests that our approach is able to better capture changes in interaction patterns between different brain regions when compared to conventional Granger causality analysis known from the literature.

  11. Quasi-causal associations of physical activity and neighborhood walkability with body mass index: a twin study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Glen E; Cash, Stephanie Whisnant; Horn, Erin E; Turkheimer, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Physical activity, neighborhood walkability, and body mass index (BMI, kg/m(2)) associations were tested using quasi-experimental twin methods. We hypothesized that physical activity and walkability were independently associated with BMI within twin pairs, controlling for genetic and environmental background shared between them. Data were from 6376 (64% female; 58% identical) same-sex pairs, University of Washington Twin Registry, 2008-2013. Neighborhood walking, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and BMI were self-reported. Residential address was used to calculate walkability. Phenotypic (non-genetically informed) and biometric (genetically informed) regression was employed, controlling for age, sex, and race. Walking and MVPA were associated with BMI in phenotypic analyses; associations were attenuated but significant in biometric analyses (PsWalkability was not associated with BMI, however, was associated with walking (but not MVPA) in both phenotypic and biometric analyses (Pswalkability is not associated with BMI, it is associated with neighborhood walking (but not MVPA) accounting for shared background, suggesting a causal relationship between them. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Increasing the power to detect causal associations by combining genotypic and expression data in segregating populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Zhu

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available To dissect common human diseases such as obesity and diabetes, a systematic approach is needed to study how genes interact with one another, and with genetic and environmental factors, to determine clinical end points or disease phenotypes. Bayesian networks provide a convenient framework for extracting relationships from noisy data and are frequently applied to large-scale data to derive causal relationships among variables of interest. Given the complexity of molecular networks underlying common human disease traits, and the fact that biological networks can change depending on environmental conditions and genetic factors, large datasets, generally involving multiple perturbations (experiments, are required to reconstruct and reliably extract information from these networks. With limited resources, the balance of coverage of multiple perturbations and multiple subjects in a single perturbation needs to be considered in the experimental design. Increasing the number of experiments, or the number of subjects in an experiment, is an expensive and time-consuming way to improve network reconstruction. Integrating multiple types of data from existing subjects might be more efficient. For example, it has recently been demonstrated that combining genotypic and gene expression data in a segregating population leads to improved network reconstruction, which in turn may lead to better predictions of the effects of experimental perturbations on any given gene. Here we simulate data based on networks reconstructed from biological data collected in a segregating mouse population and quantify the improvement in network reconstruction achieved using genotypic and gene expression data, compared with reconstruction using gene expression data alone. We demonstrate that networks reconstructed using the combined genotypic and gene expression data achieve a level of reconstruction accuracy that exceeds networks reconstructed from expression data alone, and that

  13. Examining the causal association of fasting glucose with blood pressure in healthy children and adolescents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goharian, T S; Andersen, Lars Bo; Franks, P W

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine whether genetically raised fasting glucose (FG) levels are associated with blood pressure (BP) in healthy children and adolescents. We used 11 common genetic variants of FG discovered in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), including the rs560887 single...

  14. The association between autism and errors in early embryogenesis: what is the causal mechanism?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploeger, A.; Raijmakers, M.E.J.; van der Maas, H.L.J.; Galis, F.

    2010-01-01

    The association between embryonic errors and the development of autism has been recognized in the literature, but the mechanism underlying this association remains unknown. We propose that pleiotropic effects during a very early and specific stage of embryonic development—early organogenesis—can

  15. Perceived school safety is strongly associated with adolescent mental health problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijs, Miesje M; Bun, Clothilde J E; Tempelaar, Wanda M; de Wit, Niek J; Burger, Huibert; Plevier, Carolien M; Boks, Marco P M

    2014-02-01

    School environment is an important determinant of psychosocial function and may also be related to mental health. We therefore investigated whether perceived school safety, a simple measure of this environment, is related to mental health problems. In a population-based sample of 11,130 secondary school students, we analysed the relationship of perceived school safety with mental health problems using multiple logistic regression analyses to adjust for potential confounders. Mental health problems were defined using the clinical cut-off of the self-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. School safety showed an exposure-response relationship with mental health problems after adjustment for confounders. Odds ratios increased from 2.48 ("sometimes unsafe") to 8.05 ("very often unsafe"). The association was strongest in girls and young and middle-aged adolescents. Irrespective of the causal background of this association, school safety deserves attention either as a risk factor or as an indicator of mental health problems.

  16. Using Extreme Phenotype Sampling to Identify the Rare Causal Variants of Quantitative Traits in Association Studies

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Dalin; Lewinger, Juan Pablo; Gauderman, William J.; Murcray, Cassandra Elizabeth; Conti, David

    2011-01-01

    Variants identified in recent genome-wide association studies based on the common-disease common-variant hypothesis are far from fully explaining the hereditability of complex traits. Rare variants may, in part, explain some of the missing hereditability. Here, we explored the advantage of the extreme phenotype sampling in rare-variant analysis and refined this design framework for future large-scale association studies on quantitative traits. We first proposed a power calculation approach fo...

  17. Are markers of inflammation more strongly associated with risk for fatal than for nonfatal vascular events?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Sattar, Naveed

    2009-06-23

    Circulating inflammatory markers may more strongly relate to risk of fatal versus nonfatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, but robust prospective evidence is lacking. We tested whether interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), and fibrinogen more strongly associate with fatal compared to nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke.

  18. Identifying temporal and causal contributions of neural processes underlying the Implicit Association Test (IAT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chad Edward Forbes

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The Implicit Association Test (IAT is a popular behavioral measure that assesses the associative strength between outgroup members and stereotypical and counterstereotypical traits. Less is known, however, about the degree to which the IAT reflects automatic processing. Two studies examined automatic processing contributions to a gender-IAT using a data driven, social neuroscience approach. Performance on congruent (e.g., categorizing male names with synonyms of strength and incongruent (e.g., categorizing female names with synonyms of strength IAT blocks were separately analyzed using EEG (event-related potentials, or ERPs, and coherence; Study 1 and lesion (Study 2 methodologies. Compared to incongruent blocks, performance on congruent IAT blocks was associated with more positive ERPs that manifested in frontal and occipital regions at automatic processing speeds, occipital regions at more controlled processing speeds and was compromised by volume loss in the anterior temporal lobe, insula and medial PFC. Performance on incongruent blocks was associated with volume loss in supplementary motor areas, cingulate gyrus and a region in medial PFC similar to that found for congruent blocks. Greater coherence was found between frontal and occipital regions to the extent individuals exhibited more bias. This suggests there are separable neural contributions to congruent and incongruent blocks of the IAT but there is also a surprising amount of overlap. Given the temporal and regional neural distinctions, these results provide converging evidence that stereotypic associative strength assessed by the IAT indexes automatic processing to a degree.

  19. Association of Crohn’s Disease and Celiac Disease: Causal link or only coincidence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tolga Duzenli

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Crohn’s disease (CD is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects any part of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly terminal ileum and proximal colon; and Celiac Disease (CeD is immuno-mediated systemic disease caused by gluten and similar prolamins in genetically susceptible individuals. Concomitant occurrence of CD and CeD is rare and there are limited literature data regarding the association of CeD to CD. Although, recent findings propose shared mechanisms, genetics and functional pathways. Herein, we report a case that has co-occurrence of CD and CeD and rewiew the literature of the association between these two diseases. [Dis Mol Med 2016; 4(4.000: 77-80

  20. Hyperthyroidism and venous thrombosis: a casual or causal association? A systematic literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchini, Massimo; Lippi, Giuseppe; Targher, Giovanni

    2011-08-01

    A kaleidoscope of coagulation disorders have been reported in patients with thyroid dysfunctions. Globally, these disorders involve both primary and secondary hemostasis and range from subclinical laboratory abnormalities to, more rarely, life-threatening hemorrhages or thrombotic events. While overt hypothyroidism appears to be associated with a bleeding tendency, hyperthyroidism emerged to have an increased risk of thrombotic events. In particular, a number of case reports have documented acute venous thrombosis complications in patients with overt hyperthyroidism, especially at cerebral sites. Nevertheless, further observational and intervention studies might be needed to provide a more definitive information on the clinical relevance of this association, along with the potential implication for prevention and treatment of coagulation-fibrinolytic abnormalities in patients with thyroid dysfunction.

  1. Causal inference in public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Thomas A; Goodman, Steven N; Hernán, Miguel A; Samet, Jonathan M

    2013-01-01

    Causal inference has a central role in public health; the determination that an association is causal indicates the possibility for intervention. We review and comment on the long-used guidelines for interpreting evidence as supporting a causal association and contrast them with the potential outcomes framework that encourages thinking in terms of causes that are interventions. We argue that in public health this framework is more suitable, providing an estimate of an action's consequences rather than the less precise notion of a risk factor's causal effect. A variety of modern statistical methods adopt this approach. When an intervention cannot be specified, causal relations can still exist, but how to intervene to change the outcome will be unclear. In application, the often-complex structure of causal processes needs to be acknowledged and appropriate data collected to study them. These newer approaches need to be brought to bear on the increasingly complex public health challenges of our globalized world.

  2. Microbiota dysbiosis in select human cancers: Evidence of association and causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jie; Domingue, Jada C; Sears, Cynthia L

    2017-08-01

    The human microbiota is a complex ecosystem of diverse microorganisms consisting of bacteria, viruses, and fungi residing predominantly in epidermal and mucosal habitats across the body, such as skin, oral cavity, lung, intestine and vagina. These symbiotic communities in health, or dysbiotic communities in disease, display tremendous interaction with the local environment and systemic responses, playing a critical role in the host's nutrition, immunity, metabolism and diseases including cancers. While the profiling of normal microbiota in healthy populations is useful and necessary, more recent studies have focused on the microbiota associated with disease, particularly cancers. In this paper, we review current evidence on the role of the human microbiota in four cancer types (colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer) proposed as affected by both the oral and gut microbiota, and provide a perspective on current gaps in the knowledge of the microbiota and cancer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Mendelian randomization study of B-type natriuretic peptide and type 2 diabetes: evidence of causal association from population studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Pfister

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Genetic and epidemiological evidence suggests an inverse association between B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP levels in blood and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D, but the prospective association of BNP with T2D is uncertain, and it is unclear whether the association is confounded.We analysed the association between levels of the N-terminal fragment of pro-BNP (NT-pro-BNP in blood and risk of incident T2D in a prospective case-cohort study and genotyped the variant rs198389 within the BNP locus in three T2D case-control studies. We combined our results with existing data in a meta-analysis of 11 case-control studies. Using a Mendelian randomization approach, we compared the observed association between rs198389 and T2D to that expected from the NT-pro-BNP level to T2D association and the NT-pro-BNP difference per C allele of rs198389. In participants of our case-cohort study who were free of T2D and cardiovascular disease at baseline, we observed a 21% (95% CI 3%-36% decreased risk of incident T2D per one standard deviation (SD higher log-transformed NT-pro-BNP levels in analysis adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, smoking, family history of T2D, history of hypertension, and levels of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The association between rs198389 and T2D observed in case-control studies (odds ratio = 0.94 per C allele, 95% CI 0.91-0.97 was similar to that expected (0.96, 0.93-0.98 based on the pooled estimate for the log-NT-pro-BNP level to T2D association derived from a meta-analysis of our study and published data (hazard ratio = 0.82 per SD, 0.74-0.90 and the difference in NT-pro-BNP levels (0.22 SD, 0.15-0.29 per C allele of rs198389. No significant associations were observed between the rs198389 genotype and potential confounders.Our results provide evidence for a potential causal role of the BNP system in the aetiology of T2D. Further studies

  4. Causal reasoning versus associative learning: A useful dichotomy or a strawman battle in comparative psychology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanus, Daniel

    2016-08-01

    The debate about whether or not one could/should ascribe reasoning abilities to animals has deep historical roots and seems very up-to-date in the light of the immense body of new empirical data originating from various species and research paradigms. Associative learning (AL) seems to be a ubiquitous low-level contender for any cognitive interpretation of animal behavior, mostly because of the assumed mechanistic simplicity and phylogenetic prevalence. However, the implicit assumption that AL is simple and therefore the most parsimonious mechanism to describe seemingly complex behavior can and must be questioned on various grounds. Using recent empirical findings with chimpanzees as an example, I argue that at times inferential reasoning might be the most likely candidate to account for performance differences between experimental and control conditions. Finally, a general conclusion drawn from the current debate(s) in the field of comparative psychology could be that a dichotomist battle of 2 conceptual camps-each of which is lacking a clear and homogeneous theoretical framework-is a scientific deadlock. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and hypothyroidism - merely concurrence or causal association?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuczyński, Wojciech; Gabryelska, Agata; Mokros, Łukasz; Białasiewicz, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) ranges from 4 to 7% in men and from 2 to 5% in women. Its deleterious consequences such as traffic accidents, cardiovascular complications increasing morbidity and mortality, make it a major health problem. Apart from obesity (a major risk factor for OSAHS), hypothyroid patients are prone to reveal this phenotype. Although hypothyroidism seems an acknowledged risk factor for OSAHS, some authors report the lack of clinically relevant association. The argument partly depends on the increased prevalence of hypothyroidism in OSAHS patients, but the epidemiological data is limited and somehow inconsistent; even less is known about sub-clinical hypothyroidism in OSAHS patients. Even if frequency of overt and sub-clinical hypothyroidism in OSAHS patients is comparable to the general population, screening for it seems beneficial, as hormone replacement therapy may improve sleep disordered breathing. Unfortunately, this favorable outcome was found only in a few studies with limited number of patients with hypothyroidism. Yet, despite the lack of international guidelines and no large multicentre studies on the topic available, we think that TSH screening might prove beneficial in vast majority of OSAHS patients.

  6. Lack of causal association between spontaneous intracranial hypotension and cranial cerebrospinal fluid leaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schievink, Wouter I; Schwartz, Marc S; Maya, M Marcel; Moser, Franklin G; Rozen, Todd D

    2012-04-01

    Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is an important cause of headaches and an underlying spinal CSF leak can be demonstrated in most patients. Whether CSF leaks at the level of the skull base can cause spontaneous intracranial hypotension remains a matter of controversy. The authors' aim was to examine the frequency of skull base CSF leaks as the cause of spontaneous intracranial hypotension. Demographic, clinical, and radiological data were collected from a consecutive group of patients evaluated for spontaneous intracranial hypotension during a 9-year period. Among 273 patients who met the diagnostic criteria for spontaneous intracranial hypotension and 42 who did not, not a single instance of CSF leak at the skull base was encountered. Clear nasal drainage was reported by 41 patients, but a diagnosis of CSF rhinorrhea could not be established. Four patients underwent exploratory surgery for presumed CSF rhinorrhea. In addition, the authors treated 3 patients who had a postoperative CSF leak at the skull base following the resection of a cerebellopontine angle tumor and developed orthostatic headaches; spinal imaging, however, demonstrated the presence of a spinal source of CSF leakage in all 3 patients. There is no evidence for an association between spontaneous intracranial hypotension and CSF leaks at the level of the skull base. Moreover, the authors' study suggests that a spinal source for CSF leakage should even be suspected in patients with orthostatic headaches who have a documented skull base CSF leak.

  7. Strong but variable associations between social dominance and clutch sex ratio in a colonial corvid

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salomons, H. M.; Dijkstra, C.; Verhulst, S.

    2008-01-01

    We studied primary sex ratio of clutches in relation to social dominance for 6 years in a colony of free-living jackdaws, a small corvid. Social dominance was strongly associated with clutch sex ratio, with the difference in clutch sex ratio between the most and least dominant pairs being 30-40%. To

  8. Causal and synthetic associations of variants in the SERPINA gene cluster with alpha1-antitrypsin serum levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gian Andri Thun

    Full Text Available Several infrequent genetic polymorphisms in the SERPINA1 gene are known to substantially reduce concentration of alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT in the blood. Since low AAT serum levels fail to protect pulmonary tissue from enzymatic degradation, these polymorphisms also increase the risk for early onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD. The role of more common SERPINA1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in respiratory health remains poorly understood. We present here an agnostic investigation of genetic determinants of circulating AAT levels in a general population sample by performing a genome-wide association study (GWAS in 1392 individuals of the SAPALDIA cohort. Five common SNPs, defined by showing minor allele frequencies (MAFs >5%, reached genome-wide significance, all located in the SERPINA gene cluster at 14q32.13. The top-ranking genotyped SNP rs4905179 was associated with an estimated effect of β = -0.068 g/L per minor allele (P = 1.20*10(-12. But denser SERPINA1 locus genotyping in 5569 participants with subsequent stepwise conditional analysis, as well as exon-sequencing in a subsample (N = 410, suggested that AAT serum level is causally determined at this locus by rare (MAF<1% and low-frequent (MAF 1-5% variants only, in particular by the well-documented protein inhibitor S and Z (PI S, PI Z variants. Replication of the association of rs4905179 with AAT serum levels in the Copenhagen City Heart Study (N = 8273 was successful (P<0.0001, as was the replication of its synthetic nature (the effect disappeared after adjusting for PI S and Z, P = 0.57. Extending the analysis to lung function revealed a more complex situation. Only in individuals with severely compromised pulmonary health (N = 397, associations of common SNPs at this locus with lung function were driven by rarer PI S or Z variants. Overall, our meta-analysis of lung function in ever-smokers does not support a functional role of common SNPs in the SERPINA gene

  9. Hyperthyroid and Hypothyroid Status Was Strongly Associated with Gout and Weakly Associated with Hyperuricaemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    See, Lai-Chu; Kuo, Chang-Fu; Yu, Kuang-Hui; Luo, Shue-Fen; Chou, I-Jun; Ko, Yu-Shien; Chiou, Meng-Jiun; Liu, Jia-Rou

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this study was to estimate the risk of hyperuricaemia and gout in people with hypothyroid or hyperthyroid status. Methods This study analyzed data from individuals who participated in health screening programs at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in northern Taiwan (2000–2010). Participants were categorized as having euthyroid, hypothyroid, or hyperthyroid status according to their thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to calculate the odds ratios (95% CI) for hyperuricaemia and gout in participants with thyroid dysfunction compared to euthyroid participants. Results A total of 87,813 (euthyroid, 83,502; hypothyroid, 1,460; hyperthyroid, 2,851) participants were included. The prevalence of hyperuricaemia was higher in hyperthyroid subjects (19.4%) than in euthyroid subjects (17.8%) but not in hypothyroid subjects (19.3%). The prevalence of gout was significantly higher in both hypothyroid (6.0%) and hyperthyroid (5.3%) subjects than in euthyroid subjects (4.3%). In men, hypothyroid or hyperthyroid status was not associated with hyperuricaemia. However, hypothyroid or hyperthyroid status was associated with ORs (95% CI) of 1.47 (1.10–1.97) and 1.37 (1.10–1.69), respectively, for gout. In women, hypothyroid status was not associated with hyperuricaemia or gout. However, hyperthyroid status was associated with ORs (95% CI) of 1.42 (1.24–1.62) for hyperuricaemia and 2.13 (1.58–2.87) for gout. Conclusions Both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid status were significantly associated with gout and weakly associated with hyperuricaemia. A thyroid function test for gout patients may by warranted. PMID:25486420

  10. Assessment of causal associations between illness and criminal acts in those who are acquitted by reason of insanity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skeie, Christian Aarup; Rasmussen, Kirsten

    2015-02-24

    The court proceedings after the terrorist attacks on 22 July 2011 reignited the debate on the justification for having a rule that regulates the insanity defence exclusively on the basis of a medical condition – the medical principle. The psychological principle represents an alternative that requires a causal relationship between the psychosis and the acts committed. In this article we investigate rulings made by the courts of appeal where the accused have been found legally insane at the time of the act, and elucidate the extent to which a causal relationship between the illness and the act appears to be in evidence. Data have been retrieved from rulings by the courts of appeal published at lovdata.no, which include anonymised rulings. Searches were made for cases under Section 39 (verdict of special sanctions) and Section 44 (acquittal by reason of insanity) of the General Civil Penal Code. Court rulings in which a possible causal relationship could be considered were included. The included rulings were carefully assessed with regard to whether a causal relationship existed between the mental disorder of the accused at the time and the criminal act. The search returned a total of 373 rulings, of which 75 were included. The vast majority of the charges referred to serious crimes. Diagnoses under ICD-10 category codes F20-29 (schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders) were the most frequently occurring type. In 17 of the 75 rulings (23%), it was judged that no causal relationship between the illness and the act existed. In 25 of 26 cases that involved homicide, a causal relationship between the illness and the act was judged to be evident. The data may indicate that the medical principle results in impunity in a considerable number of rulings where the illness of the accused apparently has had no effect on the acts committed.

  11. Understanding causal associations between self-rated health and personal relationships in older adults: A review of evidence from longitudinal studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craigs, Cheryl L; Twiddy, Maureen; Parker, Stuart G; West, Robert M

    2014-01-01

    As we age we experience many life changes in our health, personal relationships, work, or home life which can impact on other aspects of our life. There is compelling evidence that how we feel about our health influences, or is influenced by, the personal relationships we experience with friends and relatives. Currently the direction this association takes is unclear. To assess the level of published evidence available on causal links between self-rated health and personal relationships in older adults. MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO searches from inception to June 2012 and hand searches of publication lists, reference lists and citations were used to identify primary studies utilizing longitudinal data to investigate self-rated health and personal relationships in older adults. Thirty-one articles were identified. Only three articles employed methods suitable to explore causal associations between changes in self-rated health and changes in personal relationships. Two of these articles suggested that widowhood leads to a reduction in self-rated health in the short term, while the remaining article suggested a causal relationship between self-rated health and negative emotional support from family or friends, but this was complex and mediated by self-esteem and sense of control. While there is an abundance of longitudinal aging cohorts available which can be used to investigate self-rated health and personal relationships over time the potential for these databases to be used to investigate causal associations is currently not being recognized. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Are markers of inflammation more strongly associated with risk for fatal than for nonfatal vascular events?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveed Sattar

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Circulating inflammatory markers may more strongly relate to risk of fatal versus nonfatal cardiovascular disease (CVD events, but robust prospective evidence is lacking. We tested whether interleukin (IL-6, C-reactive protein (CRP, and fibrinogen more strongly associate with fatal compared to nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI and stroke. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER, baseline inflammatory markers in up to 5,680 men and women aged 70-82 y were related to risk for endpoints; nonfatal CVD (i.e., nonfatal MI and nonfatal stroke [n = 672], fatal CVD (n = 190, death from other CV causes (n = 38, and non-CVD mortality (n = 300, over 3.2-y follow-up. Elevations in baseline IL-6 levels were significantly (p = 0.0009; competing risks model analysis more strongly associated with fatal CVD (hazard ratio [HR] for 1 log unit increase in IL-6 1.75, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.44-2.12 than with risk of nonfatal CVD (1.17, 95% CI 1.04-1.31, in analyses adjusted for treatment allocation. The findings were consistent in a fully adjusted model. These broad trends were similar for CRP and, to a lesser extent, for fibrinogen. The results were also similar in placebo and statin recipients (i.e., no interaction. The C-statistic for fatal CVD using traditional risk factors was significantly (+0.017; p<0.0001 improved by inclusion of IL-6 but not so for nonfatal CVD events (p = 0.20. CONCLUSIONS: In PROSPER, inflammatory markers, in particular IL-6 and CRP, are more strongly associated with risk of fatal vascular events than nonfatal vascular events. These novel observations may have important implications for better understanding aetiology of CVD mortality, and have potential clinical relevance.

  13. Assessing the Causality Factors in the Association between (Abdominal Obesity and Physical Activity among the Newfoundland Population–-A Mendelian Randomization Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Barning

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A total of 1,263 adults from Newfoundland and Labrador were studied in the research. Body mass index (BMI and percent trunk fat (PTF were analyzed as biomarkers for obesity. The Mendelian randomization (MR approach with two single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the fat-mass and obesity (FTO gene as instruments was employed to assess the causal effect. In both genders, increasing physical activity significantly reduced BMI and PTF when adjusted for age and the FTO gene. The effect of physical activity was stronger on PTF than BMI. Direct observational analyses showed significant increase in BMI/PTF when physical activity decreased. A similar association in MR analyses was not significant. The association between physical activity and BMI/PTF could be due to reversed causality or common confounding factors. Our study provides insights into the causal contributions of obesity to physical activity in adults. Health intervention strategies to increase physical activity among adults should include some other plans such as improving diet for reducing obesity.

  14. Causality Assessment of Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunction Associated with Intranasal Fluticasone Propionate: Application of the Bradford Hill Criteria

    OpenAIRE

    Muganurmath, Chandrashekhar S.; Curry, Amy L.; Schindzielorz, Andrew H.

    2018-01-01

    Causality assessment is crucial to post-marketing pharmacovigilance and helps optimize safe and appropriate use of medicines by patients in the real world. Self-reported olfactory and gustatory dysfunction are common in the general population as well as in patients with allergic rhinitis and nasal polyposis. Intranasal corticosteroids, including intranasal fluticasone propionate (INFP), are amongst the most effective drugs indicated in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and nasal polyposis. W...

  15. Abdominal obesity is strongly associated to blood pressure in young Mexicans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urquidez Romero, Rene; Murguía Romero, Miguel; Esparza Romero, Julián; Díaz Torres, Beatriz Araceli; Rodríguez Tadeo, Alejandra; Medrano Donlucas, Gabriel; Ramos Jiménez, Arnulfo; Wall Medrano, Abraham; Gallardo Ortíz, Itzell A; Tapia Pancardo, Diana C Tapia-Pancardo C; Méndez Cruz, A René; Jiménez Flores, J Rafael; Villalobos Molina, Rafael

    2017-03-30

    The objective of this study was to determine associations between abdominal obesity (AOb) and the other components of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in young Mexicans in a cross-sectional survey completed during a 4 year period. This cross-sectional study reports on components and prevalence of MetS by using Alberti et al. (16) criteria, as well as association between AOb and elevated blood pressure (BP) of 2,993 Mexican university students, ages 17 to 25 years (66% women) from central and northern Mexico, over a 4-year survey (2010-2013). The most prevalent MetS components in the total sample were low HDL-C concentration (43.6%) and AOb (41.1%). MetS prevalence was 11.8%, more men than women were classified with MetS (14.3% vs. 10.5%, p < 0.01). BP was the MetS component with the lowest prevalence (8.6%). A strong association between AOb and altered BP with in both men and women was found (OR 4.3, IC95% 2.5-7.4). Even BP was the component with the lowest prevalence, AOb was more strongly associated with it. This fact, could explain the prevalence of hypertension among young Mexican adults.

  16. Identification and functional characterization of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders with large-scale Granger causality analysis on resting-state functional MRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chockanathan, Udaysankar; DSouza, Adora M.; Abidin, Anas Z.; Schifitto, Giovanni; Wismüller, Axel

    2018-02-01

    Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI), coupled with advanced multivariate time-series analysis methods such as Granger causality, is a promising tool for the development of novel functional connectivity biomarkers of neurologic and psychiatric disease. Recently large-scale Granger causality (lsGC) has been proposed as an alternative to conventional Granger causality (cGC) that extends the scope of robust Granger causal analyses to high-dimensional systems such as the human brain. In this study, lsGC and cGC were comparatively evaluated on their ability to capture neurologic damage associated with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Functional brain network models were constructed from rs-fMRI data collected from a cohort of HIV+ and HIV- subjects. Graph theoretic properties of the resulting networks were then used to train a support vector machine (SVM) model to predict clinically relevant parameters, such as HIV status and neuropsychometric (NP) scores. For the HIV+/- classification task, lsGC, which yielded a peak area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.83, significantly outperformed cGC, which yielded a peak AUC of 0.61, at all parameter settings tested. For the NP score regression task, lsGC, with a minimum mean squared error (MSE) of 0.75, significantly outperformed cGC, with a minimum MSE of 0.84 (p < 0.001, one-tailed paired t-test). These results show that, at optimal parameter settings, lsGC is better able to capture functional brain connectivity correlates of HAND than cGC. However, given the substantial variation in the performance of the two methods at different parameter settings, particularly for the regression task, improved parameter selection criteria are necessary and constitute an area for future research.

  17. Periodontitis in coronary heart disease patients: strong association between bleeding on probing and systemic biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokhari, Syed Akhtar H; Khan, Ayyaz A; Butt, Arshad K; Hanif, Mohammad; Izhar, Mateen; Tatakis, Dimitris N; Ashfaq, Mohammad

    2014-11-01

    Few studies have examined the relationship of individual periodontal parameters with individual systemic biomarkers. This study assessed the possible association between specific clinical parameters of periodontitis and systemic biomarkers of coronary heart disease risk in coronary heart disease patients with periodontitis. Angiographically proven coronary heart disease patients with periodontitis (n = 317), aged >30 years and without other systemic illness were examined. Periodontal clinical parameters of bleeding on probing (BOP), probing depth (PD), and clinical attachment level (CAL) and systemic levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen (FIB) and white blood cells (WBC) were noted and analyzed to identify associations through linear and stepwise multiple regression analyses. Unadjusted linear regression showed significant associations between periodontal and systemic parameters; the strongest association (r = 0.629; p periodontal and systemic inflammation marker, respectively. Stepwise regression analysis models revealed that BOP was a predictor of systemic CRP levels (p periodontal parameter significantly associated with each systemic parameter (CRP, FIB, and WBC). In coronary heart disease patients with periodontitis, BOP is strongly associated with systemic CRP levels; this association possibly reflects the potential significance of the local periodontal inflammatory burden for systemic inflammation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Visual evoked potentials show strong positive association with intracranial pressure in patients with cryptococcal meningitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Adriano da Cunha Silva Vieira

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective : To verify the relationship between intracranial pressure and flash visual evoked potentials (F-VEP in patients with cryptococcal meningitis. Method The sample included adults diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis admitted at a reference hospital for infectious diseases. The patients were subjected to F-VEP tests shortly before lumbar puncture. The Pearson’s linear correlation coefficient was calculated and the linear regression analysis was performed. Results : Eighteen individuals were subjected to a total of 69 lumbar punctures preceded by F-VEP tests. At the first lumbar puncture performed in each patient, N2 latency exhibited a strong positive correlation with intracranial pressure (r = 0.83; CI = 0.60 - 0.94; p < 0.0001. The direction of this relationship was maintained in subsequent punctures. Conclusion : The intracranial pressure measured by spinal tap manometry showed strong positive association with the N2 latency F-VEP in patients with cryptococcal meningitis.

  19. Causally nonseparable processes admitting a causal model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feix, Adrien; Araújo, Mateus; Brukner, Caslav

    2016-01-01

    A recent framework of quantum theory with no global causal order predicts the existence of ‘causally nonseparable’ processes. Some of these processes produce correlations incompatible with any causal order (they violate so-called ‘causal inequalities’ analogous to Bell inequalities ) while others do not (they admit a ‘causal model’ analogous to a local model ). Here we show for the first time that bipartite causally nonseparable processes with a causal model exist, and give evidence that they have no clear physical interpretation. We also provide an algorithm to generate processes of this kind and show that they have nonzero measure in the set of all processes. We demonstrate the existence of processes which stop violating causal inequalities but are still causally nonseparable when mixed with a certain amount of ‘white noise’. This is reminiscent of the behavior of Werner states in the context of entanglement and nonlocality. Finally, we provide numerical evidence for the existence of causally nonseparable processes which have a causal model even when extended with an entangled state shared among the parties. (paper)

  20. Wind speed and direction shears with associated vertical motion during strong surface winds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, M. B.; Camp, D. W.

    1984-01-01

    Strong surface winds recorded at the NASA 150-Meter Ground Winds Tower facility at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, are analyzed to present occurrences representative of wind shear and vertical motion known to be hazardous to the ascent and descent of conventional aircraft and the Space Shuttle. Graphical (percentage frequency distributions) and mathematical (maximum, mean, standard deviation) descriptions of wind speed and direction shears and associated updrafts and downdrafts are included as functions of six vertical layers and one horizontal distance for twenty 5-second intervals of parameters sampled simultaneously at the rate of ten per second during a period of high surface winds.

  1. Strong association between house characteristics and malaria vectors in Sri Lanka

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konradsen, Flemming; Amerasinghe, Priyanie; van der Hoek, Wim

    2003-01-01

    . The type of house construction and the exact location of all houses were determined. In a multivariate analysis, distance of less than 750 meters between a house and the main vector-breeding site was strongly associated with the presence of Anopheles culicifacies in the house (odds ratio [OR] 4.8, 95......The objective of this study was to determine whether house characteristics could be used to further refine the residual insecticide-spraying program in Sri Lanka. Indoor-resting mosquito densities were estimated in 473 houses based on fortnightly collections over a two-and-a-half-year period...

  2. Thin idealization and causal attributions mediate the association between culture and obesity stereotypes: An examination of Chinese and American adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaczynski, Paul A; Felmban, Wejdan S

    2018-05-28

    Few studies have examined age or cultural differences in the stereotypes adolescents have of persons with obesity. The present research explored the hypotheses that American adolescents have more negative obesity stereotypes than Chinese adolescents and that the effects of culture are mediated by weight attributions and thin idealization. Participants (N = 335; 181 female; M age = 14.83 years, SD = 1.57 years) completed measures of thin idealization and causal attributions and made generalizations from and attributions of stereotypical personality characteristics to obese figures. Not only did stereotypes differ between countries, but generalizations of negative characteristics from obese figures increased with age. In addition, American adolescents more firmly endorsed the 'thin ideal' and were more likely to attribute obesity to internal causes that Chinese adolescents. As anticipated, between-country differences in stereotyping were mediated by thin idealization and causal attributions. Findings are discussed in terms of the 'doctrine of the mean', social identity theory, and dual-process theories. Statement of Contribution The development of obesity stereotypes has been the subject of a number of recent studies. Although scarce, research on adolescents' obesity stereotypes indicates that the strength of these stereotypes increases with age and that these increases are mediated by thin idealization and causal attributions. The current research adds to this growing literature that differences between Chinese adolescents' and American adolescents' obesity stereotypes - in terms of the assignment of stereotypical traits to people with obesity and the generalization of negative traits from an individual person with obesity to people with obesity as a group - are mediated by thin idealization and attributions about obesity's causes. The research also indicates that (1) age differences in obesity stereotyping vary as a function of the method used to measure

  3. Short leukocyte telomere length is associated with obesity in American Indians: the Strong Heart Family study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shufeng; Yeh, Fawn; Lin, Jue; Matsuguchi, Tet; Blackburn, Elizabeth; Lee, Elisa T; Howard, Barbara V; Zhao, Jinying

    2014-05-01

    Shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) has been associated with a wide range of age-related disorders including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. Obesity is an important risk factor for CVD and diabetes. The association of LTL with obesity is not well understood. This study for the first time examines the association of LTL with obesity indices including body mass index, waist circumference, percent body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio in 3,256 American Indians (14-93 years old, 60% women) participating in the Strong Heart Family Study. Association of LTL with each adiposity index was examined using multivariate generalized linear mixed model, adjusting for chronological age, sex, study center, education, lifestyle (smoking, alcohol consumption, and total energy intake), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, hypertension and diabetes. Results show that obese participants had significantly shorter LTL than non-obese individuals (age-adjusted P=0.0002). Multivariate analyses demonstrate that LTL was significantly and inversely associated with all of the studied obesity parameters. Our results may shed light on the potential role of biological aging in pathogenesis of obesity and its comorbidities.

  4. Associated genetic syndromes and extracardiac malformations strongly influence outcomes of fetuses with congenital heart diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensemlali, Myriam; Bajolle, Fanny; Ladouceur, Magalie; Fermont, Laurent; Lévy, Marilyne; Le Bidois, Jérôme; Salomon, Laurent J; Bonnet, Damien

    2016-05-01

    Congenital heart disease (CHD) is often associated with extracardiac malformations (ECMs) and genetic syndromes. To determine the effect of cytogenetic anomalies and/or ECMs associated with CHD on parental decision to choose termination of pregnancy (TOP) or compassionate care (CC), as well as on the outcome of children born alive. This 10-year retrospective study included all prenatally diagnosed cases of CHD in a single tertiary referral centre. From January 2002 to December 2011, 2036 consecutive cases of fetal CHD (798 TOPs and 1238 live births, including 59 with postnatal CC) were included. CHD was associated with a known cytogenetic anomaly in 9.8% of cases and a major ECM in 11.7% of cases. The proportion of prenatally identified associated cytogenetic anomalies was significantly lower in the live-birth group than in the TOP plus CC group (4.2% vs 17.5%; P<0.001); this was also true for ECMs (8.1% vs 16.7%; P<0.001). The mortality rate was higher in the group with an associated cytogenetic anomaly or ECM (29.1%) than in cases with isolated CHD; a 2.4-fold increase in the death rate was observed (95% confidence interval 1.34-4.38; P=0.003). These associations remained significant after multivariable analysis, including the severity of the CHD (uni- or biventricular physiology). Prenatal diagnosis of a known cytogenetic anomaly or major ECM strongly influences parental decision to choose TOP or postnatal CC. Genetic syndromes and ECMs are associated with a higher mortality rate, independent of the complexity of the CHD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. Strong association between in-migration and HIV prevalence in urban sub-Saharan Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voeten, Hélène A C M; Vissers, Debby C J; Gregson, Simon; Zaba, Basia; White, Richard G; de Vlas, Sake J; Habbema, J Dik F

    2010-04-01

    Enormous variation exists in HIV prevalence between countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The contribution of migration to the spread of HIV has long been recognized, but its effect at the population level has never been assessed. In this ecological analysis, we explore how much variation in HIV prevalence in urban sub-Saharan Africa is explained by in-migration. We performed a linear regression to analyze the association between the proportion of recent in-migrants and HIV prevalence for men and women in urban areas, using 60 data points from 28 sub-Saharan African countries between 1987 and 2005. We found a strong association between recent in-migration and HIV prevalence for women (Pearson R = 57%, P Africa (R = 50%, P = 0.003). For both genders, the association was strongest between 1985 and 1994, slightly weaker between 1995 and 1999, and nonexistent as from 2000. The overall association for both men and women was not confounded by the developmental indicators GNI per capita, income inequalities, or adult literacy. Migration explains much of the variation in HIV spread in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa, especially before the year 2000, after which HIV prevalences started to level off in many countries. Our findings suggest that migration is an important factor in the spread of HIV, especially in rapidly increasing epidemics. This may be of relevance to the current HIV epidemics in China and India.

  6. Counterfactual overdetermination vs. the causal exclusion problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparber, Georg

    2005-01-01

    This paper aims to show that a counterfactual approach to causation is not sufficient to provide a solution to the causal exclusion problem in the form of systematic overdetermination. Taking into account the truthmakers of causal counterfactuals provides a strong argument in favour of the identity of causes in situations of translevel, causation.

  7. Esophageal Motor Disorders Are a Strong and Independant Associated Factor of Barrett’s Esophagus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazin, Camille; Benezech, Alban; Alessandrini, Marine; Grimaud, Jean-Charles; Vitton, Veronique

    2018-01-01

    Background/Aims Esophageal motor disorder (EMD) has been shown to be associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, the association of EMD with a Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is controversial. Our objective was to evaluate whether the presence of EMD was an independent factor associated with BE. Methods A retrospective case-control study was conducted in GERD patients who all had oeso-gastroduodenal endoscopy and high-resolution esophageal manometry. The clinical data collected was known or potential risk factors for BE: male gender, smoking and alcohol consumption, age, body mass index, presence of hiatal hernia, frequency, and age of GERD. EMD were classified according to the Chicago classification into: ineffective motor syndrome, fragmented peristalsis and absence of peristalsis, lower esophageal sphincter hypotonia. Results Two hundred and one patients (101 in the GERD + BE group and 100 in the GERD without BE) were included. In univariate analysis, male gender, alcohol consumption, presence of hiatal hernia, and EMD appeared to be associated with the presence of BE. In a multivariate analysis, 3 independent factors were identified: the presence of EMD (odds ratio [OR], 3.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.71–9.28; P = 0.001), the presence of hiatal hernia (OR, 5.60; 95% CI, 2.45–12.76; P motor syndrome and lower esophageal sphincter hypotonia) is a strong independent associated factor of BE. Searching systematically for an EMD in patients suffering from GERD could be a new strategy to organize the endoscopic follow-up. PMID:29605977

  8. Esophageal Motor Disorders Are a Strong and Independant Associated Factor of Barrett's Esophagus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazin, Camille; Benezech, Alban; Alessandrini, Marine; Grimaud, Jean-Charles; Vitton, Veronique

    2018-04-30

    Esophageal motor disorder (EMD) has been shown to be associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, the association of EMD with a Barrett's esophagus (BE) is controversial. Our objective was to evaluate whether the presence of EMD was an independent factor associated with BE. A retrospective case-control study was conducted in GERD patients who all had oeso-gastroduodenal endoscopy and high-resolution esophageal manometry. The clinical data collected was known or potential risk factors for BE: male gender, smoking and alcohol consumption, age, body mass index, presence of hiatal hernia, frequency, and age of GERD. EMD were classified according to the Chicago classification into: ineffective motor syndrome, fragmented peristalsis and absence of peristalsis, lower esophageal sphincter hypotonia. Two hundred and one patients (101 in the GERD + BE group and 100 in the GERD without BE) were included. In univariate analysis, male gender, alcohol consumption, presence of hiatal hernia, and EMD appeared to be associated with the presence of BE. In a multivariate analysis, 3 independent factors were identified: the presence of EMD (odds ratio [OR], 3.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.71-9.28; P = 0.001), the presence of hiatal hernia (OR, 5.60; 95% CI, 2.45-12.76; P < 0.001), Helicobacter pylori infection (OR, 0.08; 95% CI, 0.01-0.84; P = 0.035). The presence of EMD (particularly ineffective motor syndrome and lower esophageal sphincter hypotonia) is a strong independent associated factor of BE. Searching systematically for an EMD in patients suffering from GERD could be a new strategy to organize the endoscopic follow-up.

  9. Causal reasoning in physics

    CERN Document Server

    Frisch, Mathias

    2014-01-01

    Much has been written on the role of causal notions and causal reasoning in the so-called 'special sciences' and in common sense. But does causal reasoning also play a role in physics? Mathias Frisch argues that, contrary to what influential philosophical arguments purport to show, the answer is yes. Time-asymmetric causal structures are as integral a part of the representational toolkit of physics as a theory's dynamical equations. Frisch develops his argument partly through a critique of anti-causal arguments and partly through a detailed examination of actual examples of causal notions in physics, including causal principles invoked in linear response theory and in representations of radiation phenomena. Offering a new perspective on the nature of scientific theories and causal reasoning, this book will be of interest to professional philosophers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the role of causal thinking in science.

  10. Theories of Causality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Robert

    2010-03-01

    There are a wide range of views on causality. To some (e.g. Karl Popper) causality is superfluous. Bertrand Russell said ``In advanced science the word cause never occurs. Causality is a relic of a bygone age.'' At the other extreme Rafael Sorkin and L. Bombelli suggest that space and time do not exist but are only an approximation to a reality that is simply a discrete ordered set, a ``causal set.'' For them causality IS reality. Others, like Judea Pearl and Nancy Cartwright are seaking to build a complex fundamental theory of causality (Causality, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000) Or perhaps a theory of causality is simply the theory of functions. This is more or less my take on causality.

  11. Tobacco smoking is causally associated with antipsychotic medication use and schizophrenia, but not with antidepressant medication use or depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wium-Andersen, Marie Kim; Ørsted, David Dynnes; Nordestgaard, Børge Grønne

    2015-01-01

    compared with non-carriers (CC). Furthermore, in ever-smokers homozygotes had increased risk of antipsychotic medication with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.16 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.31] compared with non-carriers, whereas in never-smokers the corresponding OR was 1.07 (0.87-1.31) (P-interaction: 0......-old individuals from the Danish general population; 23,282 were never-smokers and 40,014 ever-smokers. For schizophrenia, we compared our results with those in the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. RESULTS: In smokers, heterozygotes (CT) and homozygotes (TT) for rs1051730 genotype had higher smoking intensity...... OR for schizophrenia was 1.06 (1.04-1.08) in ever- and never-smokers combined. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that tobacco smoking could influence the development of psychotic conditions causally, whereas an influence on depression seems unlikely....

  12. Causality in Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Puente Águeda

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Causality is a fundamental notion in every field of science. Since the times of Aristotle, causal relationships have been a matter of study as a way to generate knowledge and provide for explanations. In this paper I review the notion of causality through different scientific areas such as physics, biology, engineering, etc. In the scientific area, causality is usually seen as a precise relation: the same cause provokes always the same effect. But in the everyday world, the links between cause and effect are frequently imprecise or imperfect in nature. Fuzzy logic offers an adequate framework for dealing with imperfect causality, so a few notions of fuzzy causality are introduced.

  13. Exposure to Traffic-related Air Pollution During Pregnancy and Term Low Birth Weight: Estimation of Causal Associations in a Semiparametric Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padula, Amy M.; Mortimer, Kathleen; Hubbard, Alan; Lurmann, Frederick; Jerrett, Michael; Tager, Ira B.

    2012-01-01

    Traffic-related air pollution is recognized as an important contributor to health problems. Epidemiologic analyses suggest that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollutants may be associated with adverse birth outcomes; however, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the relation is causal. The Study of Air Pollution, Genetics and Early Life Events comprises all births to women living in 4 counties in California's San Joaquin Valley during the years 2000–2006. The probability of low birth weight among full-term infants in the population was estimated using machine learning and targeted maximum likelihood estimation for each quartile of traffic exposure during pregnancy. If everyone lived near high-volume freeways (approximated as the fourth quartile of traffic density), the estimated probability of term low birth weight would be 2.27% (95% confidence interval: 2.16, 2.38) as compared with 2.02% (95% confidence interval: 1.90, 2.12) if everyone lived near smaller local roads (first quartile of traffic density). Assessment of potentially causal associations, in the absence of arbitrary model assumptions applied to the data, should result in relatively unbiased estimates. The current results support findings from previous studies that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollution may adversely affect birth weight among full-term infants. PMID:23045474

  14. Mendelian randomization studies do not support a causal role for reduced circulating adiponectin levels in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Yaghootkar (Hanieh); C. Lamina (Claudia); R.A. Scott (Robert); Z. Dastani (Zari); M.-F. Hivert (Marie-France); L.L. Warren (Liling); A. Stancáková (Alena); S.G. Buxbaum (Sarah); L.-P. Lyytikäinen (Leo-Pekka); P. Henneman (Peter); Y. Wu (Ying); C.Y.Y. Cheung (Chloe); J.S. Pankow (James); A.U. Jackson (Anne); S. Gustafsson (Stefan); J.H. Zhao (Jing Hua); C. Ballantyne (Christie); W. Xie (Weijia); R.N. Bergman (Richard); M. Boehnke (Michael); F. El Bouazzaoui (Fatiha); F.S. Collins (Francis); S.H. Dunn (Sandra); J. Dupuis (Josée); N.G. Forouhi (Nita); C.J. Gillson (Christopher); A.T. Hattersley (Andrew); J. Hong (Jaeyoung); M. Kähönen (Mika); J. Kuusisto (Johanna); L. Kedenko (Lyudmyla); F. Kronenberg (Florian); A. Doria (Andrea); T.L. Assimes (Themistocles); E. Ferrannini (Ele); T. Hansen (Torben); K. Hao (Ke); H. Häring (Hans); J.W. Knowles (Joshua); C.M. Lindgren (Cecilia); J.J. Nolan (John); J. Paananen (Jussi); O. Pedersen (Oluf); T. Quertermous (Thomas); U. Smith (Ulf); T. Lehtimäki (Terho); C.-T. Liu (Ching-Ti); R.J.F. Loos (Ruth); M.I. McCarthy (Mark); A.D. Morris (Andrew); R.S. Vasan (Ramachandran Srini); T.D. Spector (Timothy); T.M. Teslovich (Tanya); J. Tuomilehto (Jaakko); J.A.P. Willems van Dijk (Ko); J. Viikari (Jorma); N. Zhu (Na); C. Langenberg (Claudia); E. Ingelsson (Erik); R.K. Semple (Robert); A. Sinaiko (Alan); C.N.A. Palmer (Colin); M. Walker (Mark); K.S.L. Lam (Karen); B. Paulweber (Bernhard); K.L. Mohlke (Karen); C.M. van Duijn (Cornelia); O. Raitakari (Olli); A. Bidulescu (Aurelian); N.J. Wareham (Nick); M. Laakso (Markku); D. Waterworth (Dawn); D.A. Lawlor (Debbie); J.B. Meigs (James); J.B. Richards (Brent); T.M. Frayling (Timothy)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractAdiponectin is strongly inversely associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, but its causal role remains controversial. We used a Mendelian randomization approach to test the hypothesis that adiponectin causally influences insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We used

  15. Mendelian Randomisation Studies Do Not Support a Causal Role for Reduced Circulating Adiponectin Levels in Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yaghootkar, Hanieh; Lamina, Claudia; Scott, Robert A

    2013-01-01

    Adiponectin is strongly inversely associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes but its causal role remains controversial. We used a Mendelian randomisation approach to test the hypothesis that adiponectin causally influences insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We used genetic varian...

  16. Association of diabetes and cancer mortality in American Indians: the Strong Heart Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Lyle G; García-Esquinas, Esther; Yeh, Jeun-Liang; Yeh, Fawn; Zhang, Ying; Lee, Elisa T; Howard, Barbara V; Farley, John H; Welty, Thomas K; Rhoades, Dorothy A; Rhoades, Everett R; Umans, Jason G; Navas-Acien, Ana

    2015-11-01

    The metabolic abnormalities that accompany diabetes mellitus are associated with an increased risk of many cancers. These associations, however, have not been well studied in American Indian populations, which experience a high prevalence of diabetes. The Strong Heart Study is a population-based, prospective cohort study with extensive characterization of diabetes status. Among a total cohort of 4,419 participants who were followed for up to 20 years, 430 cancer deaths were identified. After adjusting for sex, age, education, smoking status, drinking status, and body mass index, participants with diabetes at baseline showed an increased risk of gastric (HR 4.09; 95% CI 1.42-11.79), hepatocellular (HR 2.94; 95% CI 1.17-7.40), and prostate cancer mortality (HR 3.10; 95% CI 1.22-7.94). Further adjustment for arsenic exposure showed a significantly increased risk of all-cause cancer mortality with diabetes (HR 1.27; 95% CI 1.03-1.58). Insulin resistance among participants without diabetes at baseline was associated with hepatocellular cancer mortality (HR 4.70; 95% CI 1.55-14.26). Diabetes mellitus, and/or insulin resistance among those without diabetes, is a risk factor for gastric, hepatocellular, and prostate cancer in these American Indian communities, although relatively small sample size suggests cautious interpretation. Additional research is needed to evaluate the role of diabetes and obesity on cancer incidence in American Indian communities as well as the importance of diabetes prevention and control in reducing the burden of cancer incidence and mortality in the study population.

  17. Rapid growth and childhood obesity are strongly associated with lysoPC(14:0).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rzehak, Peter; Hellmuth, Christian; Uhl, Olaf; Kirchberg, Franca F; Peissner, Wolfgang; Harder, Ulrike; Grote, Veit; Weber, Martina; Xhonneux, Annick; Langhendries, Jean-Paul; Ferre, Natalia; Closa-Monasterolo, Ricardo; Verduci, Elvira; Riva, Enrica; Socha, Piotr; Gruszfeld, Dariusz; Koletzko, Berthold

    2014-01-01

    Despite the growing interest in the early-origins-of-later-disease hypothesis, little is known about the metabolic underpinnings linking infant weight gain and childhood obesity. To discover biomarkers reflective of weight change in the first 6 months and overweight/obesity at age 6 years via a targeted metabolomics approach. This analysis comprised 726 infants from a European multicenter randomized trial (Childhood Obesity Programme, CHOP) for whom plasma blood samples at age 6 months and anthropometric data up to the age of 6 years were available. 'Rapid growth' was defined as a positive difference in weight within the first 6 months of life standardized to WHO growth standards. Weight change was regressed on each of 168 metabolites (acylcarnitines, lysophosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins, and amino acids). Metabolites significant after Bonferroni's correction were tested as predictors of later overweight/obesity. Among the overall 19 significant metabolites, 4 were associated with rapid growth and 15 were associated with a less-than-ideal weight change. After adjusting for feeding group, only the lysophosphatidylcholine LPCaC14:0 remained significantly associated with rapid weight gain (β = 0.18). Only LPCaC14:0 at age 6 months was predictive of overweight/obesity at age 6 years (OR 1.33; 95% CI 1.04-1.69). LPCa14:0 is strongly related to rapid growth in infancy and childhood overweight/obesity. This suggests that LPCaC14:0 levels may represent a metabolically programmed effect of infant weight gain on the later obesity risk. However, these results require confirmation by independent cohorts. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Self-Reported Visual Perceptual Abnormalities Are Strongly Associated with Core Clinical Features in Psychotic Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian P. Keane

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundPast studies using the Bonn Scale for the Assessment of Basic Symptoms (hereafter, Bonn Scale have shown that self-reported perceptual/cognitive disturbances reveal which persons have or will soon develop schizophrenia. Here, we focused specifically on the clinical value of self-reported visual perceptual abnormalities (VPAs since they are underexplored and have been associated with suicidal ideation, negative symptoms, and objective visual dysfunction.MethodUsing the 17 Bonn Scale vision items, we cross-sectionally investigated lifetime occurrence of VPAs in 21 first-episode psychosis and 22 chronic schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder (SZ/SA patients. Relationships were probed between VPAs and illness duration, symptom severity, current functioning, premorbid functioning, diagnosis, and age of onset.ResultsIncreased VPAs were associated with: earlier age of onset; more delusions, hallucinations, bizarre behavior, and depressive symptoms; and worse premorbid social functioning, especially in the childhood and early adolescent phases. SZ/SA participants endorsed more VPAs as compared to those with schizophreniform or psychotic disorder-NOS, especially in the perception of color, bodies, faces, object movement, and double/reversed vision. The range of self-reported VPAs was strikingly similar between first-episode and chronic patients and did not depend on the type or amount of antipsychotic medication. As a comparative benchmark, lifetime occurrence of visual hallucinations did not depend on diagnosis and was linked only to poor premorbid social functioning.ConclusionA brief 17-item interview derived from the Bonn Scale is strongly associated with core clinical features in schizophrenia. VPAs hold promise for clarifying diagnosis, predicting outcome, and guiding neurocognitive investigations.

  19. Genome-wide association analysis and replication of coronary artery disease in South Korea suggests a causal variant common to diverse populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Eun Young; Jang, Yangsoo; Shin, Eun Soon; Jang, Hye Yoon; Yoo, Yeon-Kyeong; Kim, Sook; Jang, Ji Hyun; Lee, Ji Yeon; Yun, Min Hye; Park, Min Young; Chae, Jey Sook; Lim, Jin Woo; Shin, Dong Jik; Park, Sungha; Lee, Jong Ho; Han, Bok Ghee; Rae, Kim Hyung; Cardon, Lon R; Morris, Andrew P; Lee, Jong Eun; Clarke, Geraldine M

    2010-01-01

    Background Recent genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified and replicated several genetic loci associated with the risk of development of coronary artery disease (CAD) in samples from populations of Caucasian and Asian descent. However, only chromosome 9p21 has been confirmed as a major susceptibility locus conferring risk for development of CAD across multiple ethnic groups. The authors aimed to find evidence of further similarities and differences in genetic risk of CAD between Korean and other populations. Methods The authors performed a GWA study comprising 230 cases and 290 controls from a Korean population typed on 490 032 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A total of 3148 SNPs were taken forward for genotyping in a subsequent replication study using an independent sample of 1172 cases and 1087 controls from the same population. Results The association previously observed on chromosome 9p21 was independently replicated (p=3.08e–07). Within this region, the same risk haplotype was observed in samples from both Korea and of Western European descent, suggesting that the causal mutation carried on this background occurred on a single ancestral allele. Other than 9p21, the authors were unable to replicate any of the previously reported signals for association with CAD. Furthermore, no evidence of association was found at chromosome 1q41 for risk of myocardial infarction, previously identified as conferring risk in a Japanese population. Conclusion A common causal variant is likely to be responsible for risk of CAD in Korean and Western European populations at chromosome 9p21.3. Further investigations are required to confirm non-replication of any other cross-race genetic risk factors. PMID:27325954

  20. Reasoning with Causal Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehder, Bob

    2017-01-01

    This article assesses how people reason with categories whose features are related in causal cycles. Whereas models based on causal graphical models (CGMs) have enjoyed success modeling category-based judgments as well as a number of other cognitive phenomena, CGMs are only able to represent causal structures that are acyclic. A number of new…

  1. Strong and consistent natural selection associated with armour reduction in sticklebacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LE Rouzic, Arnaud; Østbye, Kjartan; Klepaker, Tom O; Hansen, Thomas F; Bernatchez, Louis; Schluter, Dolph; Vøllestad, L Asbjørn

    2011-06-01

    Measuring the strength of natural selection is tremendously important in evolutionary biology, but remains a challenging task. In this work, we analyse the characteristics of selection for a morphological change (lateral-plate reduction) in the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. Adaptation to freshwater, leading with the reduction or loss of the bony lateral armour, has occurred in parallel on numerous occasions in this species. Completely-plated and low-plated sticklebacks were introduced into a pond, and the phenotypic changes were tracked for 20 years. Fish from the last generation were genotyped for the Ectodysplasin-A (Eda) locus, the major gene involved in armour development. We found a strong fitness advantage for the freshwater-type fish (on average, 20% fitness advantage for the freshwater morph, and 92% for the freshwater genotype). The trend is best explained by assuming that this fitness advantage is maximum at the beginning of the invasion and decreases with time. Such fitness differences provide a quantifiable example of rapid selection-driven phenotypic evolution associated with environmental change in a natural population. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Streptomyces clavuligerus shows a strong association between TCA cycle intermediate accumulation and clavulanic acid biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Malule, Howard; Junne, Stefan; Nicolás Cruz-Bournazou, Mariano; Neubauer, Peter; Ríos-Estepa, Rigoberto

    2018-05-01

    Clavulanic acid (CA) is produced by Streptomyces clavuligerus (S. clavuligerus) as a secondary metabolite. Knowledge about the carbon flux distribution along the various routes that supply CA precursors would certainly provide insights about metabolic performance. In order to evaluate metabolic patterns and the possible accumulation of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates during CA biosynthesis, batch and subsequent continuous cultures with steadily declining feed rates were performed with glycerol as the main substrate. The data were used to in silico explore the metabolic capabilities and the accumulation of metabolic intermediates in S. clavuligerus. While clavulanic acid accumulated at glycerol excess, it steadily decreased at declining dilution rates; CA synthesis stopped when glycerol became the limiting substrate. A strong association of succinate, oxaloacetate, malate, and acetate accumulation with CA production in S. clavuligerus was observed, and flux balance analysis (FBA) was used to describe the carbon flux distribution in the network. This combined experimental and numerical approach also identified bottlenecks during the synthesis of CA in a batch and subsequent continuous cultivation and demonstrated the importance of this type of methodologies for a more advanced understanding of metabolism; this potentially derives valuable insights for future successful metabolic engineering studies in S. clavuligerus.

  3. Strong social relationships are associated with decreased longevity in a facultatively social mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumstein, Daniel T; Williams, Dana M; Lim, Alexandra N; Kroeger, Svenja; Martin, Julien G A

    2018-01-31

    Humans in strong social relationships are more likely to live longer because social relationships may buffer stressors and thus have protective effects. However, a shortcoming of human studies is that they often rely on self-reporting of these relationships. By contrast, observational studies of non-human animals permit detailed analyses of the specific nature of social relationships. Thus, discoveries that some social animals live longer and healthier lives if they are involved in social grooming, forage together or have more affiliative associates emphasizes the potential importance of social relationships on health and longevity. Previous studies have focused on the impact of social metrics on longevity in obligately social species. However, if sociality indeed has a key role in longevity, we might expect that affiliative relationships should also influence longevity in less social species. We focused on socially flexible yellow-bellied marmots ( Marmota flaviventer ) and asked whether female longevity covaries with the specific nature of social relationships. We quantified social relationships with social network statistics that were based on affiliative interactions, and then estimated the correlation between longevity and sociality using bivariate models. We found a significant negative phenotypic correlation between affiliative social relationship strength and longevity; marmots with greater degree, closeness and those with a greater negative average shortest path length died at younger ages. We conclude that sociality plays an important role in longevity, but how it does so may depend on whether a species is obligately or facultatively social. © 2018 The Author(s).

  4. The Bradford Hill considerations on causality: a counterfactual perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Höfler Michael

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Bradford Hill's considerations published in 1965 had an enormous influence on attempts to separate causal from non-causal explanations of observed associations. These considerations were often applied as a checklist of criteria, although they were by no means intended to be used in this way by Hill himself. Hill, however, avoided defining explicitly what he meant by "causal effect". This paper provides a fresh point of view on Hill's considerations from the perspective of counterfactual causality. I argue that counterfactual arguments strongly contribute to the question of when to apply the Hill considerations. Some of the considerations, however, involve many counterfactuals in a broader causal system, and their heuristic value decreases as the complexity of a system increases; the danger of misapplying them can be high. The impacts of these insights for study design and data analysis are discussed. The key analysis tool to assess the applicability of Hill's considerations is multiple bias modelling (Bayesian methods and Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis; these methods should be used much more frequently.

  5. Strong association of epidermal growth factor receptor status with breast cancer FDG uptake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Joohee; Moon, Seung Hwan; Hyun, Seung Hyup; Cho, Young Seok; Choi, Joon Young; Kim, Byung-Tae; Lee, Kyung-Han [Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Eun Jeong [Seoul Medical Center, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Seokhwi [Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2017-08-15

    Imaging tumor FDG uptake could complement breast cancer biomarkers of risk and treatment response. Although breast cancer FDG uptake is reputedly influenced by major biomarker states, the role of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression remains largely unexplored. This is a retrospective study that included 499 patients with primary breast cancer at initial presentation. Tumor FDG uptake was measured on pretreatment PET/CT as maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), and biomarkers were assessed by immunohistochemistry of tumor tissue. Regression analysis was performed for predictors of high tumor FDG uptake (SUVmax ≥ 8.6). SUVmax was higher in ER- (36.5%; 11.2 ± 6.0 vs. 8.3 ± 5.3), PR- (42.3%; 10.9 ± 6.0 vs. 8.2 ± 5.2), and triple-negative tumors (19.8%; 12.0 ± 6.9 vs. 8.7 ± 5.2; all p < 0.0001). EGFR expression (28.5%) was more frequent in ER-, PR-, triple-negative, cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6) + and mutant P53 (mP53) + tumors (all p < 0.0001). EGFR+ was associated with higher SUVmax among all tumors (11.9 ± 6.0 vs. 8.3 ± 5.3), ER- tumors (p < 0.0001), PR- and + tumors (p < 0.0001 and 0.027), hormone receptor- and + tumors (p < 0.0001 and 0.004), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)- and + tumors (p < 0.0001 and 0.006), non-triple negative tumors (p < 0.0001), CK5/6- and + tumors (p = 0.021 and <0.0001), and mP53- and + tumors (p < 0.0001 and 0.008). Tumors had high FDG uptake in 73.2% of EGFR+ and 40.6% of EGFR- tumors. On regression analysis, significant multivariate predictors of high tumor FDG uptake were large size, EGFR+ and CK5/6+ for the entire subjects, and EGFR+ and CK5/6+ for ER- and hormone receptor negative subgroups. High FDG uptake was able to sub-stratify EGFR+ tumors that were more likely to be ER- and CK5/6+, and EGFR- tumors more likely to be mP53 +. Primary breast tumor FDG uptake is strongly influenced by EGFR status beyond that by other major biomarkers including hormone receptor and HER2 status, and EGFR

  6. Causal imprinting in causal structure learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Eric G; Ahn, Woo-Kyoung

    2012-11-01

    Suppose one observes a correlation between two events, B and C, and infers that B causes C. Later one discovers that event A explains away the correlation between B and C. Normatively, one should now dismiss or weaken the belief that B causes C. Nonetheless, participants in the current study who observed a positive contingency between B and C followed by evidence that B and C were independent given A, persisted in believing that B causes C. The authors term this difficulty in revising initially learned causal structures "causal imprinting." Throughout four experiments, causal imprinting was obtained using multiple dependent measures and control conditions. A Bayesian analysis showed that causal imprinting may be normative under some conditions, but causal imprinting also occurred in the current study when it was clearly non-normative. It is suggested that causal imprinting occurs due to the influence of prior knowledge on how reasoners interpret later evidence. Consistent with this view, when participants first viewed the evidence showing that B and C are independent given A, later evidence with only B and C did not lead to the belief that B causes C. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Antimicrobial drug use in food-producing animals and associated human health risks: what, and how strong, is the evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoelzer, Karin; Wong, Nora; Thomas, Joe; Talkington, Kathy; Jungman, Elizabeth; Coukell, Allan

    2017-07-04

    Antimicrobial resistance is a public health threat. Because antimicrobial consumption in food-producing animals contributes to the problem, policies restricting the inappropriate or unnecessary agricultural use of antimicrobial drugs are important. However, this link between agricultural antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance has remained contested by some, with potentially disruptive effects on efforts to move towards the judicious or prudent use of these drugs. The goal of this review is to systematically evaluate the types of evidence available for each step in the causal pathway from antimicrobial use on farms to human public health risk, and to evaluate the strength of evidence within a 'Grades of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation'(GRADE) framework. The review clearly demonstrates that there is compelling scientific evidence available to support each step in the causal pathway, from antimicrobial use on farms to a public health burden caused by infections with resistant pathogens. Importantly, the pathogen, antimicrobial drug and treatment regimen, and general setting (e.g., feed type) can have significant impacts on how quickly resistance emerges or spreads, for how long resistance may persist after antimicrobial exposures cease, and what public health impacts may be associated with antimicrobial use on farms. Therefore an exact quantification of the public health burden attributable to antimicrobial drug use in animal agriculture compared to other sources remains challenging. Even though more research is needed to close existing data gaps, obtain a better understanding of how antimicrobial drugs are actually used on farms or feedlots, and quantify the risk associated with antimicrobial use in animal agriculture, these findings reinforce the need to act now and restrict antibiotic use in animal agriculture to those instances necessary to ensure the health and well-being of the animals.

  8. Comparing lagged linear correlation, lagged regression, Granger causality, and vector autoregression for uncovering associations in EHR data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Matthew E; Albers, David J; Hripcsak, George

    2016-01-01

    Time series analysis methods have been shown to reveal clinical and biological associations in data collected in the electronic health record. We wish to develop reliable high-throughput methods for identifying adverse drug effects that are easy to implement and produce readily interpretable results. To move toward this goal, we used univariate and multivariate lagged regression models to investigate associations between twenty pairs of drug orders and laboratory measurements. Multivariate lagged regression models exhibited higher sensitivity and specificity than univariate lagged regression in the 20 examples, and incorporating autoregressive terms for labs and drugs produced more robust signals in cases of known associations among the 20 example pairings. Moreover, including inpatient admission terms in the model attenuated the signals for some cases of unlikely associations, demonstrating how multivariate lagged regression models' explicit handling of context-based variables can provide a simple way to probe for health-care processes that confound analyses of EHR data.

  9. HIV prevalence is strongly associated with geographical variations in male circumcision and foreskin cutting in Papua New Guinea: an ecological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLaren, David J; McBride, W John H; Kelly, Gerard C; Muller, Reinhold; Tommbe, Rachael; Kaldor, John M; Vallely, Andrew J

    2015-11-01

    To examine the correlation between HIV prevalence and male circumcision and other foreskin cutting practices across the four regions of Papua New Guinea (PNG). An ecological substudy using unique data from an interdisciplinary research programme to evaluate the acceptability, sociocultural context and public health impact of male circumcision for HIV prevention in PNG. Published data describing (a) self-reported circumcision status by region from the 'Acceptability and Feasibility of Male Circumcision for HIV prevention in PNG' study and (b) HIV prevalence by region from PNG National Department of Health were used to correlate male circumcision and other foreskin cutting practices and HIV prevalence. Maps were constructed to visually represent variations across the four regions of PNG. Regions of PNG with the highest HIV prevalence had the lowest prevalence of male circumcision and other forms of foreskin cutting and vice versa. Male circumcision and dorsal longitudinal cuts were strongly associated with HIV prevalence and able to explain 99% of the observed geographical variability in HIV prevalence in PNG (pPNG appears to be closely correlated with the regional distribution of male circumcision and dorsal longitudinal foreskin cuts. Further research is warranted to investigate causality of this correlation as well as the potential of dorsal longitudinal cuts to confer protection against HIV acquisition in heterosexual men. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  10. Causal Associations of Adiposity and Body Fat Distribution With Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke Subtypes, and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Caroline E; Fatemifar, Ghazaleh; Palmer, Tom M; White, Jon; Prieto-Merino, David; Zabaneh, Delilah; Engmann, Jorgen E L; Shah, Tina; Wong, Andrew; Warren, Helen R; McLachlan, Stela; Trompet, Stella; Moldovan, Max; Morris, Richard W; Sofat, Reecha; Kumari, Meena; Hyppönen, Elina; Jefferis, Barbara J; Gaunt, Tom R; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav; Zhou, Ang; Gentry-Maharaj, Aleksandra; Ryan, Andy; Mutsert, Renée de; Noordam, Raymond; Caulfield, Mark J; Jukema, J Wouter; Worrall, Bradford B; Munroe, Patricia B; Menon, Usha; Power, Chris; Kuh, Diana; Lawlor, Debbie A; Humphries, Steve E; Mook-Kanamori, Dennis O; Sattar, Naveed; Kivimaki, Mika; Price, Jacqueline F; Davey Smith, George; Dudbridge, Frank; Hingorani, Aroon D; Holmes, Michael V; Casas, Juan P

    2017-06-13

    The implications of different adiposity measures on cardiovascular disease etiology remain unclear. In this article, we quantify and contrast causal associations of central adiposity (waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index [WHRadjBMI]) and general adiposity (body mass index [BMI]) with cardiometabolic disease. Ninety-seven independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms for BMI and 49 single-nucleotide polymorphisms for WHRadjBMI were used to conduct Mendelian randomization analyses in 14 prospective studies supplemented with coronary heart disease (CHD) data from CARDIoGRAMplusC4D (Coronary Artery Disease Genome-wide Replication and Meta-analysis [CARDIoGRAM] plus The Coronary Artery Disease [C4D] Genetics; combined total 66 842 cases), stroke from METASTROKE (12 389 ischemic stroke cases), type 2 diabetes mellitus from DIAGRAM (Diabetes Genetics Replication and Meta-analysis; 34 840 cases), and lipids from GLGC (Global Lipids Genetic Consortium; 213 500 participants) consortia. Primary outcomes were CHD, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and major stroke subtypes; secondary analyses included 18 cardiometabolic traits. Each one standard deviation (SD) higher WHRadjBMI (1 SD≈0.08 U) associated with a 48% excess risk of CHD (odds ratio [OR] for CHD, 1.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.28-1.71), similar to findings for BMI (1 SD≈4.6 kg/m 2 ; OR for CHD, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.22-1.52). Only WHRadjBMI increased risk of ischemic stroke (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.03-1.70). For type 2 diabetes mellitus, both measures had large effects: OR, 1.82 (95% CI, 1.38-2.42) and OR, 1.98 (95% CI, 1.41-2.78) per 1 SD higher WHRadjBMI and BMI, respectively. Both WHRadjBMI and BMI were associated with higher left ventricular hypertrophy, glycemic traits, interleukin 6, and circulating lipids. WHRadjBMI was also associated with higher carotid intima-media thickness (39%; 95% CI, 9%-77% per 1 SD). Both general and central adiposity have causal effects on CHD and type 2 diabetes mellitus

  11. Working with MRI: An investigation of occupational exposure to strong static magnetic fields and associated symptoms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaap, K.

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) makes use of electromagnetic fields in the non-ionizing radiation frequency ranges. One of them is a continuously present strong static magnetic field (SMF), which extends up to several meters around the scanner. Each time an MRI worker performs tasks near the

  12. High procedure volume is strongly associated with improved survival after lung cancer surgery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lüchtenborg, Margreet; Riaz, Sharma P; Coupland, Victoria H

    2013-01-01

    Studies have reported an association between hospital volume and survival for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We explored this association in England, accounting for case mix and propensity to resect....

  13. Strong selective sweeps associated with ampliconic regions in great ape X chromosomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nam, Kiwoong; Munch, Kasper; Hobolth, Asger

    2014-01-01

    The unique inheritance pattern of X chromosomes makes them preferential targets of adaptive evolution. We here investigate natural selection on the X chromosome in all species of great apes. We find that diversity is more strongly reduced around genes on the X compared with autosomes...... with ampliconic sequences we propose that intra-genomic conflict between the X and the Y chromosomes is a major driver of X chromosome evolution....

  14. The Gambler’s Fallacy Is Associated with Weak Affective Decision Making but Strong Cognitive Ability

    OpenAIRE

    Xue, Gui; He, Qinghua; Lei, Xuemei; Chen, Chunhui; Liu, Yuyun; Chen, Chuansheng; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dong, Qi; Bechara, Antoine

    2012-01-01

    Humans demonstrate an inherent bias towards making maladaptive decisions, as shown by a phenomenon known as the gambler's fallacy (GF). The GF has been traditionally considered as a heuristic bias supported by the fast and automatic intuition system, which can be overcome by the reasoning system. The present study examined an intriguing hypothesis, based on emerging evidence from neuroscience research, that the GF might be attributed to a weak affective but strong cognitive decision making me...

  15. Repeated Causal Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagmayer, York; Meder, Bjorn

    2013-01-01

    Many of our decisions refer to actions that have a causal impact on the external environment. Such actions may not only allow for the mere learning of expected values or utilities but also for acquiring knowledge about the causal structure of our world. We used a repeated decision-making paradigm to examine what kind of knowledge people acquire in…

  16. Viscous causal cosmologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Novello, M.; Salim, J.M.; Torres, J.; Oliveira, H.P. de

    1989-01-01

    A set of spatially homogeneous and isotropic cosmological geometries generated by a class of non-perfect is investigated fluids. The irreversibility if this system is studied in the context of causal thermodynamics which provides a useful mechanism to conform to the non-violation of the causal principle. (author) [pt

  17. Causal Analysis After Haavelmo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heckman, James; Pinto, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    Haavelmo's seminal 1943 and 1944 papers are the first rigorous treatment of causality. In them, he distinguished the definition of causal parameters from their identification. He showed that causal parameters are defined using hypothetical models that assign variation to some of the inputs determining outcomes while holding all other inputs fixed. He thus formalized and made operational Marshall's (1890) ceteris paribus analysis. We embed Haavelmo's framework into the recursive framework of Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) used in one influential recent approach to causality (Pearl, 2000) and in the related literature on Bayesian nets (Lauritzen, 1996). We compare the simplicity of an analysis of causality based on Haavelmo's methodology with the complex and nonintuitive approach used in the causal literature of DAGs—the “do-calculus” of Pearl (2009). We discuss the severe limitations of DAGs and in particular of the do-calculus of Pearl in securing identification of economic models. We extend our framework to consider models for simultaneous causality, a central contribution of Haavelmo. In general cases, DAGs cannot be used to analyze models for simultaneous causality, but Haavelmo's approach naturally generalizes to cover them. PMID:25729123

  18. Causality in Classical Electrodynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Craig

    2012-01-01

    Causality in electrodynamics is a subject of some confusion, especially regarding the application of Faraday's law and the Ampere-Maxwell law. This has led to the suggestion that we should not teach students that electric and magnetic fields can cause each other, but rather focus on charges and currents as the causal agents. In this paper I argue…

  19. Agency, time and causality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eWidlok

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive Scientists interested in causal cognition increasingly search for evidence from non-WEIRD people but find only very few cross-cultural studies that specifically target causal cognition. This article suggests how information about causality can be retrieved from ethnographic monographs, specifically from ethnographies that discuss agency and concepts of time. Many apparent cultural differences with regard to causal cognition dissolve when cultural extensions of agency and personhood to non-humans are taken into account. At the same time considerable variability remains when we include notions of time, linearity and sequence. The article focuses on ethnographic case studies from Africa but provides a more general perspective on the role of ethnography in research on the diversity and universality of causal cognition.

  20. Non-Causal Computation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ämin Baumeler

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Computation models such as circuits describe sequences of computation steps that are carried out one after the other. In other words, algorithm design is traditionally subject to the restriction imposed by a fixed causal order. We address a novel computing paradigm beyond quantum computing, replacing this assumption by mere logical consistency: We study non-causal circuits, where a fixed time structure within a gate is locally assumed whilst the global causal structure between the gates is dropped. We present examples of logically consistent non-causal circuits outperforming all causal ones; they imply that suppressing loops entirely is more restrictive than just avoiding the contradictions they can give rise to. That fact is already known for correlations as well as for communication, and we here extend it to computation.

  1. Familial Longevity Is Associated With Higher TSH Secretion and Strong TSH-fT3 Relationship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Steffy W; Roelfsema, Ferdinand; van der Spoel, Evie

    2015-01-01

    and in their partners, ultradian and circadian rhythmicity of TSH, temporal relationship, and feedback and forward interplay between TSH and TH. METHODS: We collected blood samples every 10 minutes for 24 hours for TSH and TH profiles. We used a deconvolution analysis to estimate basal (nonpulsatile), pulsatile......, and other secretion parameters to characterize ultradian rhythmicity and locally weighted polynomial regression of TSH to assess circadian rhythmicity. A cross-correlation analysis was used to investigate the temporal relationship between TSH and TH and cross-approximate entropy to assess feedback...... TSH secretion and a strong temporal relationship between TSH and free T3 but not with differences in ultradian or circadian TSH rhythmicity or feedback and forward interplay between TSH and TH....

  2. Strong antitumor activities of IgG3 antibodies to a human melanoma-associated ganglioside

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hellstroem, I.; Brankovan, V.; Hellstroem, K.E.

    1985-01-01

    Three mouse monoclonal IgG3 antibodies, 2B2, IF4, and MG-21, recognize a G/sub D3/ ganglioside antigen that is expressed at the cell surface of most human melanomas. All three antibodies mediate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) in vitro when tested with human lymphocytes or effector cells in a 2-hr or 4-hr 51 Cr-release test, and one antibody, MG-21, also gives strong complement-dependent cytotoxicity with human serum. Antibody 2B2, which gives ADDC also in the presence of mouse lymphocytes, inhibited the outgrowth of a human melanoma in nude mice, but antibody IF4, which showed no ADCC with mouse lymphocyte effectors, did not

  3. The gambler's fallacy is associated with weak affective decision making but strong cognitive ability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gui Xue

    Full Text Available Humans demonstrate an inherent bias towards making maladaptive decisions, as shown by a phenomenon known as the gambler's fallacy (GF. The GF has been traditionally considered as a heuristic bias supported by the fast and automatic intuition system, which can be overcome by the reasoning system. The present study examined an intriguing hypothesis, based on emerging evidence from neuroscience research, that the GF might be attributed to a weak affective but strong cognitive decision making mechanism. With data from a large sample of college students, we found that individuals' use of the GF strategy was positively correlated with their general intelligence and executive function, such as working memory and conflict resolution, but negatively correlated with their affective decision making capacities, as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task. Our result provides a novel insight into the mechanisms underlying the GF, which highlights the significant role of affective mechanisms in adaptive decision-making.

  4. Cystic neutrophilic granulomatous mastitis: an underappreciated pattern strongly associated with gram-positive bacilli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renshaw, Andrew A; Derhagopian, Robert P; Gould, Edwin W

    2011-09-01

    Although granulomatous lobular mastitis is associated with gram-positive bacilli such as Corynebacterium, this association is not well known. We report 3 cases of mastitis caused by gram-positive bacilli. All 3 abscesses were suppurative with distinct enlarged cystic spaces in which rare gram-positive bacilli were identified. Two cases were also granulomatous. Cultures in all 3 cases were negative. All 3 patients recovered after biopsy and tetracycline-based therapy. Infection in the breast by gram-positive bacilli is associated with a distinct histologic pattern, including cystic spaces in the setting of neutrophilic/granulomatous inflammation that can be recognized and should prompt careful search for the organism within enlarged vacuoles.

  5. Causality and headache triggers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Dana P.; Smitherman, Todd A.; Martin, Vincent T.; Penzien, Donald B.; Houle, Timothy T.

    2013-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to explore the conditions necessary to assign causal status to headache triggers. Background The term “headache trigger” is commonly used to label any stimulus that is assumed to cause headaches. However, the assumptions required for determining if a given stimulus in fact has a causal-type relationship in eliciting headaches have not been explicated. Methods A synthesis and application of Rubin’s Causal Model is applied to the context of headache causes. From this application the conditions necessary to infer that one event (trigger) causes another (headache) are outlined using basic assumptions and examples from relevant literature. Results Although many conditions must be satisfied for a causal attribution, three basic assumptions are identified for determining causality in headache triggers: 1) constancy of the sufferer; 2) constancy of the trigger effect; and 3) constancy of the trigger presentation. A valid evaluation of a potential trigger’s effect can only be undertaken once these three basic assumptions are satisfied during formal or informal studies of headache triggers. Conclusions Evaluating these assumptions is extremely difficult or infeasible in clinical practice, and satisfying them during natural experimentation is unlikely. Researchers, practitioners, and headache sufferers are encouraged to avoid natural experimentation to determine the causal effects of headache triggers. Instead, formal experimental designs or retrospective diary studies using advanced statistical modeling techniques provide the best approaches to satisfy the required assumptions and inform causal statements about headache triggers. PMID:23534872

  6. Causality re-established.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ariano, Giacomo Mauro

    2018-07-13

    Causality has never gained the status of a 'law' or 'principle' in physics. Some recent literature has even popularized the false idea that causality is a notion that should be banned from theory. Such misconception relies on an alleged universality of the reversibility of the laws of physics, based either on the determinism of classical theory, or on the multiverse interpretation of quantum theory, in both cases motivated by mere interpretational requirements for realism of the theory. Here, I will show that a properly defined unambiguous notion of causality is a theorem of quantum theory, which is also a falsifiable proposition of the theory. Such a notion of causality appeared in the literature within the framework of operational probabilistic theories. It is a genuinely theoretical notion, corresponding to establishing a definite partial order among events, in the same way as we do by using the future causal cone on Minkowski space. The notion of causality is logically completely independent of the misidentified concept of 'determinism', and, being a consequence of quantum theory, is ubiquitous in physics. In addition, as classical theory can be regarded as a restriction of quantum theory, causality holds also in the classical case, although the determinism of the theory trivializes it. I then conclude by arguing that causality naturally establishes an arrow of time. This implies that the scenario of the 'block Universe' and the connected 'past hypothesis' are incompatible with causality, and thus with quantum theory: they are both doomed to remain mere interpretations and, as such, are not falsifiable, similar to the hypothesis of 'super-determinism'.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Foundations of quantum mechanics and their impact on contemporary society'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  7. Heterozygosity and fitness: No strong association in Great Lakes populations of the zebra mussel, Dreissena Polymorpha (Pallas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, K.M.; Feder, J.L.; Horvath, T.G.; Lamberti, G.A.

    2000-01-01

    A number of studies have found positive associations between allozyme heterozygosity and fitness surrogates (e.g., body size and growth rate) for marine molluscs. We investigated whether similar relationships exist for freshwater populations of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha. Only one significant correlation between multi-locus heterozygosity and shell length was observed for a total of 22 D. polymorpha populations surveyed from midwestern U.S.A. lakes and streams, and the result was not significant on a table-wide basis. Meta-analysis revealed a significant common correlation coefficient (effect magnitude) between multi-locus heterozygosity and shell length across all 22 sites (rc = 0.052, P = 0.019, 1557 df). However, the variance in shell length explained by multi-locus heterozygosity was small (rc2 = 0.0027), implying a weak causal relationship if any. Also, we saw no relationship between heterozygosity and growth rate in a one-year field enclosure experiment. A significant heterozygosity-shell length correlation previously reported for a zebra mussel population at Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio, may have been the product of unique population dynamics, rather than natural selection. Similar demographic considerations may contribute to inconsistencies in heterozygosity-fitness correlations seen for other molluscs.

  8. A COMPREHENSIVE VIEW OF A STRONGLY LENSED PLANCK-ASSOCIATED SUBMILLIMETER GALAXY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu Hai; Cooray, A. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697 (United States); Jullo, E. [Observatoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille-Provence, 38 rue Frederic Joliot-Curie, F-13388 Marseille (France); Bussmann, R. S. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Ivison, R. J. [UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ (United Kingdom); Perez-Fournon, I. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), E-38200 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Djorgovski, S. G.; Scoville, N.; Yan, L.; Riechers, D. A.; Bradford, M. [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Aguirre, J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Auld, R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA (United Kingdom); Baes, M. [Sterrenkundig Observatorium, Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281 S9, B-9000 Gent (Belgium); Baker, A. J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 136 Frelinghuysen Rd., Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States); Cava, A. [Departamento de Astrofisica, Facultad de CC. Fisicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid (Spain); Clements, D. L. [Astrophysics Group, Imperial College London, Blackett Laboratory, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Dannerbauer, H. [Institut fuer Astronomie, Universitaet Wien, Tuerkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1160 Wien (Austria); Dariush, A. [Physics Department, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); De Zotti, G., E-mail: haif@uci.edu [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell' Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padova (Italy); and others

    2012-07-10

    We present high-resolution maps of stars, dust, and molecular gas in a strongly lensed submillimeter galaxy (SMG) at z = 3.259. HATLAS J114637.9-001132 is selected from the Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) as a strong lens candidate mainly based on its unusually high 500 {mu}m flux density ({approx}300 mJy). It is the only high-redshift Planck detection in the 130 deg{sup 2} H-ATLAS Phase-I area. Keck Adaptive Optics images reveal a quadruply imaged galaxy in the K band while the Submillimeter Array and the Jansky Very Large Array show doubly imaged 880 {mu}m and CO(1{yields}0) sources, indicating differentiated distributions of the various components in the galaxy. In the source plane, the stars reside in three major kpc-scale clumps extended over {approx}1.6 kpc, the dust in a compact ({approx}1 kpc) region {approx}3 kpc north of the stars, and the cold molecular gas in an extended ({approx}7 kpc) disk {approx}5 kpc northeast of the stars. The emissions from the stars, dust, and gas are magnified by {approx}17, {approx}8, and {approx}7 times, respectively, by four lensing galaxies at z {approx} 1. Intrinsically, the lensed galaxy is a warm (T{sub dust} {approx} 40-65 K), hyper-luminous (L{sub IR} {approx} 1.7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 13} L{sub Sun }; star formation rate (SFR) {approx}2000 M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}), gas-rich (M{sub gas}/M{sub baryon} {approx} 70%), young (M{sub stellar}/SFR {approx} 20 Myr), and short-lived (M{sub gas}/SFR {approx} 40 Myr) starburst. With physical properties similar to unlensed z > 2 SMGs, HATLAS J114637.9-001132 offers a detailed view of a typical SMG through a powerful cosmic microscope.

  9. Is the Number of Different MRI Findings More Strongly Associated with Low Back Pain Than Single MRI Findings?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hancock, Mark J; Kjaer, Per; Kent, Peter

    2017-01-01

    STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis using 2 different data sets OBJECTIVE.: To investigate if the number of different MRI findings present is more strongly associated with low back pain (LBP) than single MRI findings. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Most previous studies have....... The outcome for the cross-sectional study was presence of LBP during the last year. The outcome for the longitudinal study was days to recurrence of activity limiting LBP. In both data sets we created an aggregate score of the number of different MRI findings present in each individual and assessed...... investigated the associations between single MRI findings and back pain rather than investigating combinations of MRI findings. If different individuals have different pathoanatomic sources contributing to their pain, then combinations of MRI findings may be more strongly associated with LBP. METHODS...

  10. Associations Between Participant Ratings of PREP for Strong Bonds and Marital Outcomes 1 Year Postintervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Elizabeth S; Post, Kristina M; Markman, Howard J; Rhoades, Galena K; Stanley, Scott M

    2017-07-01

    After completing a relationship education program, collecting participant evaluations of the program is common practice. These are generally used as an index of "consumer satisfaction" with the program, with implications for feasibility and quality. Rarely have these ratings been used as predictors of changes in marital quality, although such feedback may be the only data providers collect or have immediate access to when considering the success of their efforts. To better understand the utility of such ratings to predict outcomes, we evaluated links between participant ratings and changes in self-reported marital satisfaction and communication scores one year later for a sample of 191 Army couples who had participated in a relationship education program delivered by Army chaplains (PREP for Strong Bonds). Overall ratings of general satisfaction with the program and the leader did not predict changes in marital outcomes one year later, whereas higher ratings of how much was learned, program helpfulness, increased similarity in outlook regarding Army life, and helpfulness of communication skills training predicted greater change in communication skills one year later. Higher ratings of items reflecting intent to invest more time in the relationship, and increased confidence in constructive communication and working as a team with the spouse predicted greater increases in both marital satisfaction and communication skills one year later. The constructs of intention and confidence (akin to perceived behavioral control) suggest that the Theory of Planned Behavior may be particularly useful when considering which Army couples will show ongoing benefit after relationship education.

  11. Entanglement, holography and causal diamonds

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Jan; Haehl, Felix M.; Heller, Michal P.; Myers, Robert C.

    2016-08-01

    We argue that the degrees of freedom in a d-dimensional CFT can be reorganized in an insightful way by studying observables on the moduli space of causal diamonds (or equivalently, the space of pairs of timelike separated points). This 2 d-dimensional space naturally captures some of the fundamental nonlocality and causal structure inherent in the entanglement of CFT states. For any primary CFT operator, we construct an observable on this space, which is defined by smearing the associated one-point function over causal diamonds. Known examples of such quantities are the entanglement entropy of vacuum excitations and its higher spin generalizations. We show that in holographic CFTs, these observables are given by suitably defined integrals of dual bulk fields over the corresponding Ryu-Takayanagi minimal surfaces. Furthermore, we explain connections to the operator product expansion and the first law of entanglemententropy from this unifying point of view. We demonstrate that for small perturbations of the vacuum, our observables obey linear two-derivative equations of motion on the space of causal diamonds. In two dimensions, the latter is given by a product of two copies of a two-dimensional de Sitter space. For a class of universal states, we show that the entanglement entropy and its spin-three generalization obey nonlinear equations of motion with local interactions on this moduli space, which can be identified with Liouville and Toda equations, respectively. This suggests the possibility of extending the definition of our new observables beyond the linear level more generally and in such a way that they give rise to new dynamically interacting theories on the moduli space of causal diamonds. Various challenges one has to face in order to implement this idea are discussed.

  12. Entanglement, holography and causal diamonds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boer, Jan de [Institute of Physics, Universiteit van Amsterdam,Science Park 904, 1090 GL Amsterdam (Netherlands); Haehl, Felix M. [Centre for Particle Theory & Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University,South Road, Durham DH1 3LE (United Kingdom); Heller, Michal P.; Myers, Robert C. [Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics,31 Caroline Street North, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 2Y5 (Canada)

    2016-08-29

    We argue that the degrees of freedom in a d-dimensional CFT can be re-organized in an insightful way by studying observables on the moduli space of causal diamonds (or equivalently, the space of pairs of timelike separated points). This 2d-dimensional space naturally captures some of the fundamental nonlocality and causal structure inherent in the entanglement of CFT states. For any primary CFT operator, we construct an observable on this space, which is defined by smearing the associated one-point function over causal diamonds. Known examples of such quantities are the entanglement entropy of vacuum excitations and its higher spin generalizations. We show that in holographic CFTs, these observables are given by suitably defined integrals of dual bulk fields over the corresponding Ryu-Takayanagi minimal surfaces. Furthermore, we explain connections to the operator product expansion and the first law of entanglement entropy from this unifying point of view. We demonstrate that for small perturbations of the vacuum, our observables obey linear two-derivative equations of motion on the space of causal diamonds. In two dimensions, the latter is given by a product of two copies of a two-dimensional de Sitter space. For a class of universal states, we show that the entanglement entropy and its spin-three generalization obey nonlinear equations of motion with local interactions on this moduli space, which can be identified with Liouville and Toda equations, respectively. This suggests the possibility of extending the definition of our new observables beyond the linear level more generally and in such a way that they give rise to new dynamically interacting theories on the moduli space of causal diamonds. Various challenges one has to face in order to implement this idea are discussed.

  13. Neighborhood deprivation is strongly associated with participation in a population-based health check

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bender, Anne Mette; Kawachi, Ichiro; Jørgensen, Torben

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: We sought to examine whether neighborhood deprivation is associated with participation in a large population-based health check. Such analyses will help answer the question whether health checks, which are designed to meet the needs of residents in deprived neighborhoods, may increase...... participation and prove to be more effective in preventing disease. In Europe, no study has previously looked at the association between neighborhood deprivation and participation in a population-based health check. METHODS: The study population comprised 12,768 persons invited for a health check including...... screening for ischemic heart disease and lifestyle counseling. The study population was randomly drawn from a population of 179,097 persons living in 73 neighborhoods in Denmark. Data on neighborhood deprivation (percentage with basic education, with low income and not in work) and individual socioeconomic...

  14. Mutations in serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 1 are strongly associated with chronic pancreatitis

    OpenAIRE

    Drenth, J P H; te Morsche, R; Jansen, J B M J

    2002-01-01

    Background: Although chronic pancreatitis is associated with risk factors such as alcoholism, hyperparathyroidism, and hypertriglyceridaemia, little is known of the actual aetiology of the disease. It is thought that inappropriate activation of trypsinogen causes pancreatitis, and indeed in cases of hereditary pancreatitis mutations of cationic trypsinogen (PRSS1) have been described. As serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 1 (SPINK1) is a potent natural inhibitor of pancreatic trypsin activi...

  15. Heavy Smoking Is More Strongly Associated with General Unhealthy Lifestyle than Obesity and Underweight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Tina; Rohrmann, Sabine; Bopp, Matthias; Faeh, David

    2016-01-01

    Smoking and obesity are major causes of non-communicable diseases. We investigated the associations of heavy smoking, obesity, and underweight with general lifestyle to infer which of these risk groups has the most unfavourable lifestyle. We used data from the population-based cross-sectional Swiss Health Survey (5 rounds 1992-2012), comprising 85,575 individuals aged≥18 years. Height, weight, smoking, diet, alcohol intake and physical activity were self-reported. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to analyse differences in lifestyle between the combinations of body mass index (BMI) category and smoking status. Compared to normal-weight never smokers (reference), individuals who were normal-weight, obese, or underweight and smoked heavily at the same time had a poorer general lifestyle. The lifestyle of obese and underweight never smokers differed less from reference. Regardless of BMI category, in heavy smoking men and women the fruit and vegetable consumption was lower (e.g. obese heavy smoking men: relative risk ratio (RRR) 1.69 [95% confidence interval 1.30;2.21]) and high alcohol intake was more common (e.g. normal-weight heavy smoking women 5.51 [3.71;8.20]). In both sexes, physical inactivity was observed more often in heavy smokers and obese or underweight (e.g. underweight never smoking 1.29 [1.08;1.54] and heavy smoking women 2.02 [1.33;3.08]). A decrease of smoking prevalence was observed over time in normal-weight, but not in obese individuals. Unhealthy general lifestyle was associated with both heavy smoking and BMI extremes, but we observed a stronger association for heavy smoking. Future smoking prevention measures should pay attention to improvement of general lifestyle and co-occurrence with obesity and underweight.

  16. Neonatal thalamic hemorrhage is strongly associated with electrical status epilepticus in slow wave sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersbergen, Karina J; de Vries, Linda S; Leijten, Frans S S; Braun, Kees P J; Nievelstein, Rutger A J; Groenendaal, Floris; Benders, Manon J N L; Jansen, Floor E

    2013-04-01

    Thalamic hemorrhage has been associated with neonatal cerebral sinovenous thrombosis (CSVT), especially when the straight sinus is involved, and often presents with neonatal seizures. Early thalamic injury has previously been shown to predispose to epilepsy and electrical status epilepticus in slow wave sleep (ESES). The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of sleep-induced epileptic electroencephalography (EEG) abnormalities and postneonatal epilepsy after neonatal thalamic hemorrhage associated with CSVT, in the absence of more widespread cerebral damage. Between 2003 and 2008 15 neonates were diagnosed with a thalamic hemorrhage due to suspected or proven CSVT. Neurodevelopment and the history of seizures were assessed at follow-up in the outpatient clinic in all 14 survivors (age 2-9 years). Whole-night or sleep-deprived EEG recordings were obtained to assess the prevalence of interictal epileptiform activity (EA) and calculate a sleep-induced spike and wave index (SWI). Three children were diagnosed with classic ESES (SWI >85%). Two children had ESES spectrum disorder (SWI between 50% and 85%), and in two children significant sleep-induced epileptiform activity (SIEA) was noted (SWI between 25% and 50%). Two other children were diagnosed with focal epilepsy, in the absence of sleep-induced epileptiform EEG abnormalities. Five children (age 2-7 years) had normal EEG recordings at follow-up. Deficits in neurodevelopment were seen significantly more often in children with ESES, ESES spectrum, or SIEA. Neonates with thalamic hemorrhage associated with straight sinus thrombosis, without evidence of more widespread cerebral damage, are at high risk of developing ESES (spectrum) disorder (35%), SIEA (14%), or focal epilepsy (14%). Electrographic abnormalities may already be present prior to recognition of cognitive deficits. Early diagnosis may guide parents and caregivers, and subsequent treatment may improve neurodevelopmental outcome. Routine

  17. Heavy Smoking Is More Strongly Associated with General Unhealthy Lifestyle than Obesity and Underweight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tina Lohse

    Full Text Available Smoking and obesity are major causes of non-communicable diseases. We investigated the associations of heavy smoking, obesity, and underweight with general lifestyle to infer which of these risk groups has the most unfavourable lifestyle.We used data from the population-based cross-sectional Swiss Health Survey (5 rounds 1992-2012, comprising 85,575 individuals aged≥18 years. Height, weight, smoking, diet, alcohol intake and physical activity were self-reported. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to analyse differences in lifestyle between the combinations of body mass index (BMI category and smoking status.Compared to normal-weight never smokers (reference, individuals who were normal-weight, obese, or underweight and smoked heavily at the same time had a poorer general lifestyle. The lifestyle of obese and underweight never smokers differed less from reference. Regardless of BMI category, in heavy smoking men and women the fruit and vegetable consumption was lower (e.g. obese heavy smoking men: relative risk ratio (RRR 1.69 [95% confidence interval 1.30;2.21] and high alcohol intake was more common (e.g. normal-weight heavy smoking women 5.51 [3.71;8.20]. In both sexes, physical inactivity was observed more often in heavy smokers and obese or underweight (e.g. underweight never smoking 1.29 [1.08;1.54] and heavy smoking women 2.02 [1.33;3.08]. A decrease of smoking prevalence was observed over time in normal-weight, but not in obese individuals.Unhealthy general lifestyle was associated with both heavy smoking and BMI extremes, but we observed a stronger association for heavy smoking. Future smoking prevention measures should pay attention to improvement of general lifestyle and co-occurrence with obesity and underweight.

  18. Domains of Pyrococcus furiosus L-asparaginase fold sequentially and assemble through strong intersubunit associative forces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Dushyant K; Tomar, Rachana; Dhoke, Reema R; Srivastava, Ankit; Kundu, Bishwajit

    2015-05-01

    Here, we report the folding and assembly of a Pyrococcus furiosus-derived protein, L-asparaginase (PfA). PfA functions as a homodimer, with each monomer made of distinct N- and C-terminal domains. The purified individual domains as well as single Trp mutant of each domain were subjected to chemical denaturation/renaturation and probed by combination of spectroscopic, chromatographic, quenching and scattering techniques. We found that the N-domain acts like a folding scaffold and assists the folding of remaining polypeptide. The domains displayed sequential folding with the N-domain having higher thermodynamic stability. We report that the extreme thermal stability of PfA is due to the presence of high intersubunit associative forces supported by extensive H-bonding and ionic interactions network. Our results proved that folding cooperativity in a thermophilic, multisubunit protein is dictated by concomitant folding and association of constituent domains directly into a native quaternary structure. This report gives an account of the factors responsible for folding and stability of a therapeutically and industrially important protein.

  19. Tachyons and causal paradoxes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maund, J.B.

    1979-01-01

    Although the existence of tachyons is not ruled out by special relativity, it appears that causal paradoxes will arise if there are tachyons. The usual solutions to these paradoxes employ some form of the reinterpretation principle. In this paper it is argued first that, the principle is incoherent, second, that even if it is not, some causal paradoxes remain, and third, the most plausible ''solution,'' which appeals to boundary conditions of the universe, will conflict with special relativity

  20. Dynamics and causality constraints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sousa, Manoelito M. de

    2001-04-01

    The physical meaning and the geometrical interpretation of causality implementation in classical field theories are discussed. Causality in field theory are kinematical constraints dynamically implemented via solutions of the field equation, but in a limit of zero-distance from the field sources part of these constraints carries a dynamical content that explains old problems of classical electrodynamics away with deep implications to the nature of physicals interactions. (author)

  1. Strong inverse association between physical fitness and overweight in adolescents: a large school-based survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Auguste Robert

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies examining the relationship between physical fitness and obesity in children have had mixed results despite their interrelationship making intuitive sense. We examined the relationship between physical fitness and overweight and obesity in a large sample of adolescents in the Republic of Seychelles (Indian Ocean, African region. Methods All students of four grades of all secondary schools performed nine physical fitness tests. These tests assessed agility, strength and endurance, and included the multistage shuttle run, a validated measure of maximal oxygen uptake. Weight and height were measured, body mass index (BMI calculated, and "overweight" and "obesity" were defined based on the criteria of the International Obesity Task Force. We defined "lean" weight as age- and sex-specific BMI th percentile. Age- and sex-specific percentiles for each fitness test were calculated. "Good" performance was defined as a result ≥75th percentile. Results Data were available in 2203 boys and 2143 girls from a total of 4599 eligible students aged 12–15 years. The prevalence of overweight (including obesity was 11.2% (95% confidence interval: 9.9–12.4 in boys and 17.5% (15.9–19.1 in girls. For 7 of the 9 tests, the relationship between BMI and fitness score, as assessed by locally weighted regression, was characterized by a marked inverse J shape. Students with normal body weight achieved "good" performance markedly more often than overweight or obese students on 7 of the 9 tests of fitness and more often than lean children. For example, good performance for the multistage shuttle run was achieved by 25.6% (SE: 2.1 of lean students, 29.6% (0.8 of normal weight students, 7.9% (1.3 of overweight students and 1.2% (0.9 of obese students. Conclusion This cross-sectional study shows a strong inverse relationship between fitness and excess body weight in adolescents. Improving fitness in adolescents, likely through increasing

  2. Strong shock wave and areal mass oscillations associated with impulsive loading of planar laser targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velikovich, A.L.; Schmitt, A.J.; Metzler, N.; Gardner, J.H.

    2003-01-01

    When a rippled surface of a planar target is irradiated with a short (subnanosecond) laser pulse, the shock wave launched into the target and the mass distribution of the shocked plasma will oscillate. These oscillations are found to be surprisingly strong compared, for example, to the case when the laser radiation is not turned off but rather keeps pushing the shock wave into the target. Being stronger than the areal mass oscillations due to ablative Richtmyer-Meshkov instability and feedout in planar targets, which have recently been observed at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) [Aglitskiy et al., Phys. Plasmas 9, 2264 (2002)], these oscillations should therefore be directly observable with the same diagnostic technique. Irradiation of a target with a short laser pulse represents a particular case of an impulsive loading, a fast release of finite energy in a thin layer near the surface of a target. Renewed interest to the impulsive loading in the area of direct-drive laser fusion is due to the recent proposals of using a short pulse prior to the drive pulse to make the target more resistant to laser imprint and Rayleigh-Taylor growth. Impulsive loading produces a shock wave that propagates into the target and is immediately followed by an expansion wave, which gradually reduces the shock strength. If the irradiated surface is rippled, then, while the shock wave propagates through the target, its modulation amplitude grows, exceeding the initial ripple amplitude by a factor of 2 or more. The oscillating areal mass reaches the peak values that exceed the initial mass modulation amplitude (density times ripple height) by a factor of 5-7 or more, and reverses its phase several times after the laser pulse is over. The oscillatory growth is more pronounced in fluids with higher shock compressibility and is probably related to the Vishniac's instability of a blast wave. Frequency of the oscillations is determined by the speed of sound in the shocked material, and

  3. A causal link between prediction errors, dopamine neurons and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Elizabeth E; Keiflin, Ronald; Boivin, Josiah R; Witten, Ilana B; Deisseroth, Karl; Janak, Patricia H

    2013-07-01

    Situations in which rewards are unexpectedly obtained or withheld represent opportunities for new learning. Often, this learning includes identifying cues that predict reward availability. Unexpected rewards strongly activate midbrain dopamine neurons. This phasic signal is proposed to support learning about antecedent cues by signaling discrepancies between actual and expected outcomes, termed a reward prediction error. However, it is unknown whether dopamine neuron prediction error signaling and cue-reward learning are causally linked. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated dopamine neuron activity in rats in two behavioral procedures, associative blocking and extinction, that illustrate the essential function of prediction errors in learning. We observed that optogenetic activation of dopamine neurons concurrent with reward delivery, mimicking a prediction error, was sufficient to cause long-lasting increases in cue-elicited reward-seeking behavior. Our findings establish a causal role for temporally precise dopamine neuron signaling in cue-reward learning, bridging a critical gap between experimental evidence and influential theoretical frameworks.

  4. Causal Rasch models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Jackson Stenner

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Rasch’s unidimensional models for measurement show how to connect object measures (e.g., reader abilities, measurement mechanisms (e.g., machine-generated cloze reading items, and observational outcomes (e.g., counts correct on reading instruments. Substantive theory shows what interventions or manipulations to the measurement mechanism can be traded off against a change to the object measure to hold the observed outcome constant. A Rasch model integrated with a substantive theory dictates the form and substance of permissible interventions. Rasch analysis, absent construct theory and an associated specification equation, is a black box in which understanding may be more illusory than not. Finally, the quantitative hypothesis can be tested by comparing theory-based trade-off relations with observed trade-off relations. Only quantitative variables (as measured support such trade-offs. Note that to test the quantitative hypothesis requires more than manipulation of the algebraic equivalencies in the Rasch model or descriptively fitting data to the model. A causal Rasch model involves experimental intervention/manipulation on either reader ability or text complexity or a conjoint intervention on both simultaneously to yield a successful prediction of the resultant observed outcome (count correct. We conjecture that when this type of manipulation is introduced for individual reader text encounters and model predictions are consistent with observations, the quantitative hypothesis is sustained.

  5. Causal Rasch models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenner, A Jackson; Fisher, William P; Stone, Mark H; Burdick, Donald S

    2013-01-01

    Rasch's unidimensional models for measurement show how to connect object measures (e.g., reader abilities), measurement mechanisms (e.g., machine-generated cloze reading items), and observational outcomes (e.g., counts correct on reading instruments). Substantive theory shows what interventions or manipulations to the measurement mechanism can be traded off against a change to the object measure to hold the observed outcome constant. A Rasch model integrated with a substantive theory dictates the form and substance of permissible interventions. Rasch analysis, absent construct theory and an associated specification equation, is a black box in which understanding may be more illusory than not. Finally, the quantitative hypothesis can be tested by comparing theory-based trade-off relations with observed trade-off relations. Only quantitative variables (as measured) support such trade-offs. Note that to test the quantitative hypothesis requires more than manipulation of the algebraic equivalencies in the Rasch model or descriptively fitting data to the model. A causal Rasch model involves experimental intervention/manipulation on either reader ability or text complexity or a conjoint intervention on both simultaneously to yield a successful prediction of the resultant observed outcome (count correct). We conjecture that when this type of manipulation is introduced for individual reader text encounters and model predictions are consistent with observations, the quantitative hypothesis is sustained.

  6. Causal Rasch models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenner, A. Jackson; Fisher, William P.; Stone, Mark H.; Burdick, Donald S.

    2013-01-01

    Rasch's unidimensional models for measurement show how to connect object measures (e.g., reader abilities), measurement mechanisms (e.g., machine-generated cloze reading items), and observational outcomes (e.g., counts correct on reading instruments). Substantive theory shows what interventions or manipulations to the measurement mechanism can be traded off against a change to the object measure to hold the observed outcome constant. A Rasch model integrated with a substantive theory dictates the form and substance of permissible interventions. Rasch analysis, absent construct theory and an associated specification equation, is a black box in which understanding may be more illusory than not. Finally, the quantitative hypothesis can be tested by comparing theory-based trade-off relations with observed trade-off relations. Only quantitative variables (as measured) support such trade-offs. Note that to test the quantitative hypothesis requires more than manipulation of the algebraic equivalencies in the Rasch model or descriptively fitting data to the model. A causal Rasch model involves experimental intervention/manipulation on either reader ability or text complexity or a conjoint intervention on both simultaneously to yield a successful prediction of the resultant observed outcome (count correct). We conjecture that when this type of manipulation is introduced for individual reader text encounters and model predictions are consistent with observations, the quantitative hypothesis is sustained. PMID:23986726

  7. Causal aspects of diffraction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crawford, G.N.

    1981-01-01

    The analysis is directed at a causal description of photon diffraction, which is explained in terms of a wave exerting real forces and providing actual guidance to each quantum of energy. An undulatory PSI wave is associated with each photon, and this wave is assumed to imply more than an informative probability function, so that it actually carries real energy, in much the same way as does an electro-magnetic wave. Whether or not it may be in some way related to the electromagnetic wave is left as a matter of on-going concern. A novel application of the concept of a minimum energy configuration is utilized; that is, a system of energy quanta seeks out relative positions and orientations of least mutual energy, much as an electron seeks its Bohr radius as a position of least mutual energy. Thus the concept implies more a guiding interaction of the PSI waves than an interfering cancellation of these waves. Similar concepts have been suggested by L. de Broglie and D. Bohm

  8. ["Karoshi" and causal relationships].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamajima, N

    1992-08-01

    This paper aims to introduce a measure for use by physicians for stating the degree of probable causal relationship for "Karoshi", ie, a sudden death from cerebrovascular diseases or ischemic heart diseases under occupational stresses, as well as to give a brief description for legal procedures associated with worker's compensation and civil trial in Japan. It is a well-used measure in epidemiology, "attributable risk percent (AR%)", which can be applied to describe the extent of contribution to "Karoshi" of the excess occupational burdens the deceased worker was forced to bear. Although several standards such as average occupational burdens for the worker, average occupational burdens for an ordinary worker, burdens in a nonoccupational life, and a complete rest, might be considered for the AR% estimation, the average occupational burdens for an ordinary worker should normally be utilized as a standard for worker's compensation. The adoption of AR% could be helpful for courts to make a consistent judgement whether "Karoshi" cases are compensatable or not.

  9. Adiponectin-resistin index and its strong association with acute coronary syndrome in South Indian men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Prerna; Sridhar, M G; Rajappa, Medha; Balachander, J; Kadhiravan, Tamilarasu

    2014-11-01

    India has the highest burden of acute coronary syndromes worldwide. Apart from certain lipid alterations that have been established to be definite risk factors, low level of adiponectin, high levels of resistin, and IL-6 have been shown to be risk factors for cardiovascular events. Insulin resistance is also a significant predictor of poor outcome in patients admitted with ACS. 69 male patients with ACS and 70 age-matched healthy males were recruited in the study. Insulin, total adiponectin, resistin, and IL-6 levels were assayed in all study subjects. Indices of insulin resistance and novel adipokine indices were calculated using standard formulae. Multiple logistic regression analysis was done to find out the best predictor of ACS. Resistin, IL-6, insulin resistance indices, AR index, and IRAR index were found to be significantly higher, while insulin sensitivity indices and total adiponectin were found to be lower in cases, as compared with controls (p < 0.001). Insulin resistance was found to be higher in the admission sample, when compared to the fasting sample in patients with ACS (p = 0.01). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, HOMA-IR and AR index were found to be significantly associated with ACS. AR index was the best independent predictor of ACS, with the highest odds ratio (AR index: adjusted OR 17.528, p < 0.0001 versus HOMA-IR: adjusted OR 1.146, p = 0.001). The present results implicate that adipokines are significantly associated with pathogenesis of ACS, warranting adequate and early appropriate treatment to reverse this metabolic dysregulation. In our study, AR index was the best predictor of ACS. Hence, the novel AR index might be useful in routine clinical practice for screening persons with increased risk of future development of ACS.

  10. Surgeon Experience is Strongly Associated with Biochemical Recurrence after Radical Prostatectomy for all Preoperative Risk Categories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Eric A; Bianco, Fernando J; Serio, Angel M; Eastham, James A; Kattan, Michael W; Pontes, J. Edson; Vickers, Andrew J; Scardino, Peter T

    2013-01-01

    Background We have previously demonstrated that there is a learning curve for open radical prostatectomy. In this study we sought to determine whether the effects of the learning curve are modified by patient risk as defined by preoperative tumor characteristics. Methods The study included 7,683 eligible prostate cancer patients treated with open radical prostatectomy by one of 72 surgeons. Surgeon experience was coded as the total prior number of radical prostatectomies conducted by the surgeon prior to a patient’s surgery. Multivariable survival-time regression models were used to evaluate the association between surgeon experience and biochemical recurrence, separately for each preoperative risk group. Results We saw no evidence that patient risk affects the learning curve: there was a statistically significant association between biochemical recurrence and surgeon experience in all analyses. The absolute risk difference for a patient receiving treatment from a surgeon with 10 compared to 250 prior radical prostatectomies was 6.6% (95% C.I. 3.4%, 10.3%), 12.0% (6.9%, 18.2%) and 9.7% (1.2%, 18.2%) for patients at low, medium and high preoperative risk patients. Recurrence-free probability for patients with low risk disease approached 100% for the most experienced surgeons Conclusions Cancer control after radical prostatectomy improves with increasing surgeon experience irrespective of patient risk. Excellent rates of cancer control for patients with low risk disease treated by the most experienced surgeons suggests that the primary reason such patients recur is inadequate surgical technique. The results have significant implications for clinical care. PMID:18423716

  11. Prostate Cancer Patient Characteristics Associated With a Strong Preference to Preserve Sexual Function and Receipt of Active Surveillance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broughman, James R; Basak, Ramsankar; Nielsen, Matthew E; Reeve, Bryce B; Usinger, Deborah S; Spearman, Kiayni C; Godley, Paul A; Chen, Ronald C

    2018-04-01

    Men with early-stage prostate cancer have multiple options that have similar oncologic efficacy but vary in terms of their impact on quality of life. In low-risk cancer, active surveillance is the option that best preserves patients' sexual function, but it is unknown if patient preference affects treatment selection. Our objectives were to identify patient characteristics associated with a strong preference to preserve sexual function and to determine whether patient preference and baseline sexual function level are associated with receipt of active surveillance in low-risk cancer. In this population-based cohort of men with localized prostate cancer, baseline patient-reported sexual function was assessed using a validated instrument. Patients were also asked whether preservation of sexual function was very, somewhat, or not important. Prostate cancer disease characteristics and treatments received were abstracted from medical records. A modified Poisson regression model with robust standard errors was used to compute adjusted risk ratio (aRR) estimates. All statistical tests were two-sided. Among 1194 men, 52.6% indicated a strong preference for preserving sexual function. Older men were less likely to have a strong preference (aRR = 0.98 per year, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.97 to 0.99), while men with normal sexual function were more likely (vs poor function, aRR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.39 to 1.82). Among 568 men with low-risk cancer, there was no clear association between baseline sexual function or strong preference to preserve function with receipt of active surveillance. However, strong preference may differnetially impact those with intermediate baseline function vs poor function (Pinteraction = .02). Treatment choice may not always align with patients' preferences. These findings demonstrate opportunities to improve delivery of patient-centered care in early prostate cancer.

  12. Repeat interruptions in spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 expansions are strongly associated with epileptic seizures

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Karen N.; Liu, Jilin; Landrian, Ivette; Zeng, Desmond; Raskin, Salmo; Moscovich, Mariana; Gatto, Emilia M.; Ochoa, Adriana; Teive, Hélio A. G.; Rasmussen, Astrid; Ashizawa, Tetsuo

    2014-01-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10), an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder, is the result of a non-coding, pentanucleotide repeat expansion within intron 9 of the Ataxin 10 gene. SCA10 patients present with pure cerebellar ataxia; yet, some families also have a high incidence of epilepsy. SCA10 expansions containing penta- and heptanucleotide interruption motifs, termed “ATCCT interruptions,” experience large contractions during germline transmission, particularly in paternal lineages. At the same time, these alleles confer an earlier age at onset which contradicts traditional rules of genetic anticipation in repeat expansions. Previously, ATCCT interruptions have been associated with a higher prevalence of epileptic seizures in one Mexican-American SCA10 family. In a large cohort of SCA10 families, we analyzed whether ATCCT interruptions confers a greater risk for developing seizures in these families. Notably, we find that the presence of repeat interruptions within the SCA10 expansion confers a 6.3-fold increase in the risk of an SCA10 patient developing epilepsy (6.2-fold when considering patients of Mexican ancestry only) and a 13.7-fold increase in having a positive family history of epilepsy (10.5-fold when considering patients of Mexican ancestry only). We conclude that the presence of repeat interruptions in SCA10 repeat expansion indicates a significant risk for the epilepsy phenotype and should be considered during genetic counseling. PMID:24318420

  13. Guilt is more strongly associated with suicidal ideation among military personnel with direct combat exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Craig J; Ray-Sannerud, Bobbie; Morrow, Chad E; Etienne, Neysa

    2013-05-15

    Suicide rates in the U.S. military have been rising rapidly in the past decade. Research suggests guilt is a significant predictor of suicidal ideation among military personnel, and may be especially pronounced among those who have been exposure to combat-related traumas. The current study explored the interactive effect of direct combat exposure and guilt on suicidal ideation in a clinical sample of military personnel. Ninety-seven active duty U.S. Air Force personnel receiving outpatient mental health treatment at two military clinics completed self-report symptom measures of guilt, depression, hopelessness, perceived burdensomeness, posttraumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideation. Generalized multiple regression analyses indicated a significant interaction of guilt and direct combat exposure (B=.124, SE=.053, p=.020), suggesting a stronger relationship of guilt with suicidal ideation among participants who had direct combat exposure as compared to those who had not. The interactions of direct combat exposure with depression (B=.004, SE=.040, p=.926), PTSD symptoms (B=.016, SE=.018, p=.382), perceived burdensomeness (B=.159, SE=.152, p=.300) and hopelessness (B=.069, SE=.036, p=.057) were nonsignificant. Although guilt is associated with more severe suicidal ideation in general among military personnel, it is especially pronounced among those who have had direct combat exposure. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Causal attributions in parents of babies with a cleft lip and/or palate and their association with psychological well-being.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Jonathan; O'Leary, Catherine; Weinman, John

    2009-07-01

    This study aimed to assess causal attributions of parents of babies with a cleft lip and/or palate. Evidence from causal attribution theory and attribution studies in other medical conditions led to the hypothesis that parents who make internal attributions (self-blame) will have poorer psychological well-being. A cross-sectional survey. Postal questionnaires were sent to parents of children under the care of the South Thames Cleft Service at Guy's Hospital. PARTICIPANTS were recruited if they had a baby between 12 and 24 months old with a cleft lip and/or palate. Of 204 parents, 42 responded. A semistructured questionnaire about causal beliefs was completed alongside validated questionnaires measuring anxiety, depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale). Causal attributions were grouped according to type (environmental, chance, self-blame, and no belief) and loci (external or internal). The most common attribution made was to external factors (54.4%), followed by no causal attribution (38.1%). Parents making an internal (self-blaming) attribution (16.7%) had significantly (p self-blamed; although, depression scores were not significantly higher.

  15. Joint association of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor variants with abdominal obesity in American Indians: the Strong Heart Family Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yun; Yang, Jingyun; Yeh, Fawn; Cole, Shelley A; Haack, Karin; Lee, Elisa T; Howard, Barbara V; Zhao, Jinying

    2014-01-01

    Cigarette smoke is a strong risk factor for obesity and cardiovascular disease. The effect of genetic variants involved in nicotine metabolism on obesity or body composition has not been well studied. Though many genetic variants have previously been associated with adiposity or body fat distribution, a single variant usually confers a minimal individual risk. The goal of this study is to evaluate the joint association of multiple variants involved in cigarette smoke or nicotine dependence with obesity-related phenotypes in American Indians. To achieve this goal, we genotyped 61 tagSNPs in seven genes encoding nicotine acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in 3,665 American Indians participating in the Strong Heart Family Study. Single SNP association with obesity-related traits was tested using family-based association, adjusting for traditional risk factors including smoking. Joint association of all SNPs in the seven nAChRs genes were examined by gene-family analysis based on weighted truncated product method (TPM). Multiple testing was controlled by false discovery rate (FDR). Results demonstrate that multiple SNPs showed weak individual association with one or more measures of obesity, but none survived correction for multiple testing. However, gene-family analysis revealed significant associations with waist circumference (p = 0.0001) and waist-to-hip ratio (p = 0.0001), but not body mass index (p = 0.20) and percent body fat (p = 0.29), indicating that genetic variants are jointly associated with abdominal, but not general, obesity among American Indians. The observed combined genetic effect is independent of cigarette smoking per se. In conclusion, multiple variants in the nAChR gene family are jointly associated with abdominal obesity in American Indians, independent of general obesity and cigarette smoking per se.

  16. <strong>Pervasive strong>technology> in the strong>classroom>

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Lasse Juel; Majgaard, Gunver

    2010-01-01

    This paper discusses learning potentials of pervasive technology when used in the classroom setting. Explicitly this paper uses the research and development project “Octopus” as its point of departure and as the foundation for reflections on how learning takes place in intelligent contexts. We...... propose that pervasive and tangible media like the Octopus reshapes learning not only by utilizing the body as the epicenter for experiences, but also by changing the traditional temporal and vertical learning design (vertical refers to temporal gab between learned knowledge and applied knowledge......) normally associated with the traditional school system. Initial analyses on the research project “Octopus” indicate that the temporal and vertical learning patterns are replaced by spatial and simultaneous learning design. We suggest that this change signals a fundamental approach and at the same time...

  17. Causality discovery technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, M.; Ertl, T.; Jirotka, M.; Trefethen, A.; Schmidt, A.; Coecke, B.; Bañares-Alcántara, R.

    2012-11-01

    Causality is the fabric of our dynamic world. We all make frequent attempts to reason causation relationships of everyday events (e.g., what was the cause of my headache, or what has upset Alice?). We attempt to manage causality all the time through planning and scheduling. The greatest scientific discoveries are usually about causality (e.g., Newton found the cause for an apple to fall, and Darwin discovered natural selection). Meanwhile, we continue to seek a comprehensive understanding about the causes of numerous complex phenomena, such as social divisions, economic crisis, global warming, home-grown terrorism, etc. Humans analyse and reason causality based on observation, experimentation and acquired a priori knowledge. Today's technologies enable us to make observations and carry out experiments in an unprecedented scale that has created data mountains everywhere. Whereas there are exciting opportunities to discover new causation relationships, there are also unparalleled challenges to benefit from such data mountains. In this article, we present a case for developing a new piece of ICT, called Causality Discovery Technology. We reason about the necessity, feasibility and potential impact of such a technology.

  18. A quantum causal discovery algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giarmatzi, Christina; Costa, Fabio

    2018-03-01

    Finding a causal model for a set of classical variables is now a well-established task—but what about the quantum equivalent? Even the notion of a quantum causal model is controversial. Here, we present a causal discovery algorithm for quantum systems. The input to the algorithm is a process matrix describing correlations between quantum events. Its output consists of different levels of information about the underlying causal model. Our algorithm determines whether the process is causally ordered by grouping the events into causally ordered non-signaling sets. It detects if all relevant common causes are included in the process, which we label Markovian, or alternatively if some causal relations are mediated through some external memory. For a Markovian process, it outputs a causal model, namely the causal relations and the corresponding mechanisms, represented as quantum states and channels. Our algorithm opens the route to more general quantum causal discovery methods.

  19. Strong adherence to a healthy dietary pattern is associated with better semen quality, especially in men with poor semen quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oostingh, Elsje C; Steegers-Theunissen, Régine P M; de Vries, Jeanne H M; Laven, Joop S E; Koster, Maria P H

    2017-04-01

    To study associations between periconceptional dietary patterns and semen quality parameters. Prospective periconception cohort study. Tertiary hospital. One hundred and twenty-nine male partners of pregnant women who participated in the Rotterdam Periconception Cohort (Predict study). None. Semen quality parameters-ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count, progressive motility, immotile sperm, and total motile sperm count (TMSC). Men included in our study were on average 35 (±6 standard deviation) years old and had a body mass index of 26.4 ± 4 kg/m 2 . Two dietary patterns were identified using principle component analysis, which were labeled as "healthy" and "unhealthy." An increase of one factor score (stated as β) represented an increase of 1 standard deviation. Sperm concentration (β = 0.278; 95% CI, 0.112-0.444), total sperm count (β = 1.369; 95% CI, 0.244-2.495), progressive motility (β = 4.305; 95% CI, 0.675-7.936), and TMSC (β = 0.319; 95% CI, 0.113-0.526) were all positively associated with a strong adherence to the healthy dietary pattern. Subgroup analysis showed that these associations were mainly present in men with a TMSC strong adherence to the unhealthy dietary pattern. The positive associations between strong adherence to a healthy dietary pattern and semen parameters in men with poor semen quality support the importance of preconceptional tailored nutritional counseling and coaching of couples who are trying to conceive. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. THE CAUSAL ANALYSIS / DIAGNOSIS DECISION ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    CADDIS is an on-line decision support system that helps investigators in the regions, states and tribes find, access, organize, use and share information to produce causal evaluations in aquatic systems. It is based on the US EPA's Stressor Identification process which is a formal method for identifying causes of impairments in aquatic systems. CADDIS 2007 increases access to relevant information useful for causal analysis and provides methods and tools that practitioners can use to analyze their own data. The new Candidate Cause section provides overviews of commonly encountered causes of impairments to aquatic systems: metals, sediments, nutrients, flow alteration, temperature, ionic strength, and low dissolved oxygen. CADDIS includes new Conceptual Models that illustrate the relationships from sources to stressors to biological effects. An Interactive Conceptual Model for phosphorus links the diagram with supporting literature citations. The new Analyzing Data section helps practitioners analyze their data sets and interpret and use those results as evidence within the USEPA causal assessment process. Downloadable tools include a graphical user interface statistical package (CADStat), and programs for use with the freeware R statistical package, and a Microsoft Excel template. These tools can be used to quantify associations between causes and biological impairments using innovative methods such as species-sensitivity distributions, biological inferenc

  1. Obesity and infection: reciprocal causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hainer, V; Zamrazilová, H; Kunešová, M; Bendlová, B; Aldhoon-Hainerová, I

    2015-01-01

    Associations between different infectious agents and obesity have been reported in humans for over thirty years. In many cases, as in nosocomial infections, this relationship reflects the greater susceptibility of obese individuals to infection due to impaired immunity. In such cases, the infection is not related to obesity as a causal factor but represents a complication of obesity. In contrast, several infections have been suggested as potential causal factors in human obesity. However, evidence of a causal linkage to human obesity has only been provided for adenovirus 36 (Adv36). This virus activates lipogenic and proinflammatory pathways in adipose tissue, improves insulin sensitivity, lipid profile and hepatic steatosis. The E4orf1 gene of Adv36 exerts insulin senzitizing effects, but is devoid of its pro-inflammatory modalities. The development of a vaccine to prevent Adv36-induced obesity or the use of E4orf1 as a ligand for novel antidiabetic drugs could open new horizons in the prophylaxis and treatment of obesity and diabetes. More experimental and clinical studies are needed to elucidate the mutual relations between infection and obesity, identify additional infectious agents causing human obesity, as well as define the conditions that predispose obese individuals to specific infections.

  2. Causal symmetric spaces

    CERN Document Server

    Olafsson, Gestur; Helgason, Sigurdur

    1996-01-01

    This book is intended to introduce researchers and graduate students to the concepts of causal symmetric spaces. To date, results of recent studies considered standard by specialists have not been widely published. This book seeks to bring this information to students and researchers in geometry and analysis on causal symmetric spaces.Includes the newest results in harmonic analysis including Spherical functions on ordered symmetric space and the holmorphic discrete series and Hardy spaces on compactly casual symmetric spacesDeals with the infinitesimal situation, coverings of symmetric spaces, classification of causal symmetric pairs and invariant cone fieldsPresents basic geometric properties of semi-simple symmetric spacesIncludes appendices on Lie algebras and Lie groups, Bounded symmetric domains (Cayley transforms), Antiholomorphic Involutions on Bounded Domains and Para-Hermitian Symmetric Spaces

  3. Causal inference in econometrics

    CERN Document Server

    Kreinovich, Vladik; Sriboonchitta, Songsak

    2016-01-01

    This book is devoted to the analysis of causal inference which is one of the most difficult tasks in data analysis: when two phenomena are observed to be related, it is often difficult to decide whether one of them causally influences the other one, or whether these two phenomena have a common cause. This analysis is the main focus of this volume. To get a good understanding of the causal inference, it is important to have models of economic phenomena which are as accurate as possible. Because of this need, this volume also contains papers that use non-traditional economic models, such as fuzzy models and models obtained by using neural networks and data mining techniques. It also contains papers that apply different econometric models to analyze real-life economic dependencies.

  4. Tropospheric mid-latitude geopotential wave characteristics associated with strong wind events in the North Atlantic/European region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Simon; Simmonds, Ian; Leckebusch, Gregor C.

    2015-04-01

    The variability of strong synoptic scale wind events in the mid-latitudes have long been linked to baroclinic wave activity in the mid troposphere. Previous studies have also shown that greater amplitudes of planetary waves in the mid troposphere are likely to increase the occurrence of regional extremes in temperature and precipitation. In this study we examine whether characteristics of planetary and synoptic mid-latitude waves show systematic anomalies in the North Atlantic/ European region which can be related to the occurrence of a strong surface wind event. We will mainly focus on two questions: 1) Do amplitudes for waves with different wave lengths show a systematic anomaly when a strong wind event occurs? 2) Can phases of the individual wave components be detected that favour strong wind events? In order to decompose the mid-tropospheric flow into longitudinal waves we employ the fast Fourier transform to the meridional mean of the geopotential height in 500hPa between 35° and 60°N for i) the entire latitude belt and ii) for a North Atlantic/European sector (36°W to 36°E). Our definition of strong wind events is based on the Storm Severity Index (SSI) alongside a wind tracking algorithm identifying areas of exceedances of the local 98th percentile of the 10m wind speed. First results using ERA-Interim Reanalysis from 1979 - 2014 for the extended winter season (ONDJFM) for the 50 most intense strong wind systems with respect to the SSI reveal a greater amplitude for all investigated wave numbers. Especially waves with wave lengths below 2000km show an increase of about 25% of the daily standard deviation on average. The distribution of wave phases for the different wave numbers with respect to the location of a strong wind event shows a less homogenous picture. There is however a high proportion of events that can be associated with phases around 3π/4 and 5π/4 of waves with lengths of around 6000km, equivalent to wave number 5 on a planetary scale

  5. Psychobehavioural Factors Are More Strongly Associated with Successful Weight Management Than Predetermined Satiety Effect or Other Characteristics of Diet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leila Karhunen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate factors associated with weight management, especially whether satiety value of food as a part of a weight-maintenance diet would affect self-regulation of food intake and weight management. Altogether 82 obese subjects completed the study consisting of weight-loss and weight-maintenance (WM periods. During the WM, subjects were randomized into higher- and lower-satiety food groups. No differences were observed in the changes in body weight, energy intake, or eating behaviour between the groups, even despite the different macronutrient compositions of the diets. However, when regarding all study subjects, success in WM was most strongly associated with a greater increase in the flexible control of eating and experience of greater easiness of WM and control of food intake and a greater decrease in uncontrollable eating and psychological distress. Psychobehavioural factors seem to be more strongly associated with successful weight management than the predetermined satiety effect or other characteristics of the diet.

  6. Cystatin C Is Not Causally Related to Coronary Artery Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Svensson-Färbom

    Full Text Available Strong and independent associations between plasma concentration of cystatin C and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD suggests causal involvement of cystatin C.The aim of our study was to assess whether there is a causal relationship between plasma concentration of cystatin C and risk of coronary artery disease (CAD using a Mendelian Randomization approach.We estimated the strength of association of plasma cystatin C on CAD risk and the strength of association of the strongest GWAS derived cystatin C SNP (rs13038305 on plasma cystatin C in the population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDC and thereafter the association between rs13038305 and CAD in the MDC (3200 cases of CAD and 24418 controls and CARDIOGRAM (22233 cases of CAD and 64762 controls.Each standard deviation (SD increment of plasma cystatin C was associated with increased risk of CAD (OR = 1.20, 95% CI 1.07-1.34 after full adjustment. Each copy of the major allele of rs13038305 was associated with 0.34 SD higher plasma concentration of cystatin C (P98% to detect a significant relationship between rs13038305 and CAD in MDC and CARDIOGRAM pooled. The odds ratio for CAD (per copy of the major rs13038305 allele was 1.00 (0.94-1.07; P = 0.92 in MDC, 0.99 (0.96-1.03; P = 0.84 in CARDIOGRAM and 1.00 (0.97-1.03; P = 0.83 in MDC and CARDIOGRAM pooled.Genetic elevation of plasma cystatin C is not related to altered risk of CAD, suggesting that there is no causal relationship between plasma cystatin C and CAD. Rather, the association between cystatin C and CAD appears to be due to the association of eGFR and CAD.

  7. Smoking and caffeine consumption: a genetic analysis of their association

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treur, J.L.; Taylor, A.E.; Ware, J.J.; Nivard, M.G.; Neale, M.C.; McMahon, G.; Hottenga, J.J.; Baselmans, B.M.L.; Boomsma, D.I.; Munafò, M.; Vink, J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Smoking and caffeine consumption show a strong positive correlation, but the mechanism underlying this association is unclear. Explanations include shared genetic/environmental factors or causal effects. This study employed three methods to investigate the association between smoking and caffeine.

  8. Causal pathways between substance use disorders and personality pathology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verheul, R.; van den Brink, W.

    2005-01-01

    A high co-occurrence between personality and substance use disorders suggests causal relationships between these conditions. Most empirical evidence strongly supports causal pathways in which (pathological) personality traits contribute to the development of a substance use disorder (i.e., primary

  9. Displaced rocks, strong motion, and the mechanics of shallow faulting associated with the 1999 Hector Mine, California, earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, Andrew J.; Ross, Stephanie L.; Stenner, Heidi D.

    2002-01-01

    The paucity of strong-motion stations near the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake makes it impossible to make instrumental studies of key questions about near-fault strong-motion patterns associated with this event. However, observations of displaced rocks allow a qualitative investigation of these problems. By observing the slope of the desert surface and the frictional coefficient between these rocks and the desert surface, we estimate the minimum horizontal acceleration needed to displace the rocks. Combining this information with observations of how many rocks were displaced in different areas near the fault, we infer the level of shaking. Given current empirical shaking attenuation relationships, the number of rocks that moved is slightly lower than expected; this implies that slightly lower than expected shaking occurred during the Hector Mine earthquake. Perhaps more importantly, stretches of the fault with 4 m of total displacement at the surface displaced few nearby rocks on 15?? slopes, suggesting that the horizontal accelerations were below 0.2g within meters of the fault scarp. This low level of shaking suggests that the shallow parts of this rupture did not produce strong accelerations. Finally, we did not observe an increased incidence of displaced rocks along the fault zone itself. This suggests that, despite observations of fault-zone-trapped waves generated by aftershocks of the Hector Mine earthquake, such waves were not an important factor in controlling peak ground acceleration during the mainshock.

  10. Maximally causal quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roy, S.M.

    1998-01-01

    We present a new causal quantum mechanics in one and two dimensions developed recently at TIFR by this author and V. Singh. In this theory both position and momentum for a system point have Hamiltonian evolution in such a way that the ensemble of system points leads to position and momentum probability densities agreeing exactly with ordinary quantum mechanics. (author)

  11. Causality in demand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Max; Jensen, Frank; Setälä, Jari

    2011-01-01

    to fish demand. On the German market for farmed trout and substitutes, it is found that supply sources, i.e. aquaculture and fishery, are not the only determinant of causality. Storing, tightness of management and aggregation level of integrated markets might also be important. The methodological...

  12. Causality and Free Will

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hvorecký, Juraj

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 19, Supp.2 (2012), s. 64-69 ISSN 1335-0668 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP401/12/0833 Institutional support: RVO:67985955 Keywords : conciousness * free will * determinism * causality Subject RIV: AA - Philosophy ; Religion

  13. Explaining through causal mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biesbroek, Robbert; Dupuis, Johann; Wellstead, Adam

    2017-01-01

    This paper synthesizes and builds on recent critiques of the resilience literature; namely that the field has largely been unsuccessful in capturing the complexity of governance processes, in particular cause–effects relationships. We demonstrate that absence of a causal model is reflected in the

  14. Is maternal nutrition knowledge more strongly associated with the diets of mothers or their school-aged children?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Lauren; Campbell, Karen; Abbott, Gavin; Crawford, David; Ball, Kylie

    2012-08-01

    Maternal nutrition knowledge has frequently been identified as an important target for nutrition promotion interventions. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether maternal nutrition knowledge is more strongly associated with the mother's own diet or that of her child. Cross-sectional multivariate linear regression with interactions analyses of survey data. Socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Victoria, Australia. Five hundred and twenty-three mothers and their children who participated in the Resilience for Eating and Physical Activity Despite Inequality (READI) study, a cross-sectional survey study conducted in 2009 among women and their children residing in socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In adjusted models, for three (vegetable, chocolate/lollies and soft drink consumption) out of the seven dietary outcomes assessed, there was a significant association between maternal nutrition knowledge and maternal diet, whereas for the children's diets none of the seven outcomes were associated with maternal nutrition knowledge. Statistical comparison of regression coefficients showed no difference between the maternal nutrition knowledge-maternal diet association and the maternal nutrition knowledge-child diet association. Promoting maternal nutrition knowledge may represent an important avenue for improving diet in mothers from socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods, but more information is needed on how and when this knowledge is translated to benefits for their children's diet.

  15. Psychobehavioural Factors Are More Strongly Associated with Successful Weight Management Than Predetermined Satiety Effect or Other Characteristics of Diet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karhunen, Leila; Lyly, Marika; Lapveteläinen, Anja

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate factors associated with weight management, especially whether satiety value of food as a part of a weight-maintenance diet would affect self-regulation of food intake and weight management. Altogether 82 obese subjects completed the study consisting of weight....... However, when regarding all study subjects, success in WM was most strongly associated with a greater increase in the flexible control of eating and experience of greater easiness of WM and control of food intake and a greater decrease in uncontrollable eating and psychological distress. Psychobehavioural......-loss and weight-maintenance (WM) periods. During theWM, subjects were randomized into higher- and lower-satiety food groups. No differences were observed in the changes in body weight, energy intake, or eating behaviour between the groups, even despite the different macronutrient compositions of the diets...

  16. The causal link between energy and output growth: Evidence from Markov switching Granger causality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kandemir Kocaaslan, Ozge

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we empirically investigate the causal link between energy consumption and economic growth employing a Markov switching Granger causality analysis. We carry out our investigation using annual U.S. real GDP, total final energy consumption and total primary energy consumption data which cover the period between 1968 and 2010. We find that there are significant changes in the causal relation between energy consumption and economic growth over the sample period under investigation. Our results show that total final energy consumption and total primary energy consumption have significant predictive content for real economic activity in the U.S. economy. Furthermore, the causality running from energy consumption to output growth seems to be strongly apparent particularly during the periods of economic downturn and energy crisis. We also document that output growth has predictive power in explaining total energy consumption. Furthermore, the power of output growth in predicting total energy consumption is found to diminish after the mid of 1980s. - Highlights: • Total energy consumption has predictive content for real economic activity. • The causality from energy to output growth is apparent in the periods of recession. • The causality from energy to output growth is strong in the periods of energy crisis. • Output growth has predictive power in explaining total energy consumption. • The power of output growth in explaining energy diminishes after the mid of 1980s

  17. Comparison of QRS Duration and Associated Cardiovascular Events in American Indian Men Versus Women (The Strong Heart Study).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deen, Jason F; Rhoades, Dorothy A; Noonan, Carolyn; Best, Lyle G; Okin, Peter M; Devereux, Richard B; Umans, Jason G

    2017-06-01

    Electrocardiographic QRS duration at rest is associated with sudden cardiac death and death from coronary heart disease in the general population. However, its relation to cardiovascular events in American Indians, a population with persistently high cardiovascular disease mortality, is unknown. The relation of QRS duration to incident cardiovascular disease during 17.2 years of follow-up was assessed in 1,851 male and female Strong Heart Study participants aged 45 to 74 years without known cardiovascular disease at baseline. Cox regression with robust standard error estimates was used to determine the association between quintiles of QRS duration and incident cardiovascular disease in gender-stratified analyses, adjusted for age, systolic blood pressure, hypertension, antihypertensive medication use, body mass index, current smoking, diabetes, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and albuminuria. In women only, QRS duration in the highest quintile (≥105 ms) conferred significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease than QRS duration in the lowest quintile (64 to 84 ms) (hazard ratio 1.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.4) likely because of higher risks of coronary heart disease (hazard ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.1) and myocardial infarction (hazard ratio 2.1, 95% CI 1.0 to 4.7). Furthermore, when added to the Strong Heart Study Coronary Heart Disease Risk Calculator, QRS duration significantly improved prediction of future coronary heart disease events in women (Net Reclassification Index 0.17, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.47). In conclusion, QRS duration is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease in women in the Strong Heart Study cohort and may have value in estimating risk in populations with similar risk profiles and a high lifetime incidence of cardiovascular disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Normalizing the causality between time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, X. San

    2015-08-01

    Recently, a rigorous yet concise formula was derived to evaluate information flow, and hence the causality in a quantitative sense, between time series. To assess the importance of a resulting causality, it needs to be normalized. The normalization is achieved through distinguishing a Lyapunov exponent-like, one-dimensional phase-space stretching rate and a noise-to-signal ratio from the rate of information flow in the balance of the marginal entropy evolution of the flow recipient. It is verified with autoregressive models and applied to a real financial analysis problem. An unusually strong one-way causality is identified from IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) to GE (General Electric Company) in their early era, revealing to us an old story, which has almost faded into oblivion, about "Seven Dwarfs" competing with a giant for the mainframe computer market.

  19. Spatiotemporal seismic velocity change in the Earth's subsurface associated with large earthquake: contribution of strong ground motion and crustal deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawazaki, K.

    2016-12-01

    It is well known that seismic velocity of the subsurface medium changes after a large earthquake. The cause of the velocity change is roughly attributed to strong ground motion (dynamic strain change), crustal deformation (static strain change), and fracturing around the fault zone. Several studies have revealed that the velocity reduction down to several percent concentrates at the depths shallower than several hundred meters. The amount of velocity reduction correlates well with the intensity of strong ground motion, which indicates that the strong motion is the primary cause of the velocity reduction. Although some studies have proposed contributions of coseismic static strain change and fracturing around fault zone to the velocity change, separation of their contributions from the site-related velocity change is usually difficult. Velocity recovery after a large earthquake is also widely observed. The recovery process is generally proportional to logarithm of the lapse time, which is similar to the behavior of "slow dynamics" recognized in laboratory experiments. The time scale of the recovery is usually months to years in field observations, while it is several hours in laboratory experiments. Although the factor that controls the recovery speed is not well understood, cumulative strain change due to post-seismic deformation, migration of underground water, mechanical and chemical reactions on the crack surface could be the candidate. In this study, I summarize several observations that revealed spatiotemporal distribution of seismic velocity change due to large earthquakes; especially I focus on the case of the M9.0 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Combining seismograms of Hi-net (high-sensitivity) and KiK-net (strong motion), geodetic records of GEONET and the seafloor GPS/Acoustic ranging, I investigate contribution of the strong ground motion and crustal deformation to the velocity change associated with the Tohoku earthquake, and propose a gross view of

  20. Optimal causal inference: estimating stored information and approximating causal architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Still, Susanne; Crutchfield, James P; Ellison, Christopher J

    2010-09-01

    We introduce an approach to inferring the causal architecture of stochastic dynamical systems that extends rate-distortion theory to use causal shielding--a natural principle of learning. We study two distinct cases of causal inference: optimal causal filtering and optimal causal estimation. Filtering corresponds to the ideal case in which the probability distribution of measurement sequences is known, giving a principled method to approximate a system's causal structure at a desired level of representation. We show that in the limit in which a model-complexity constraint is relaxed, filtering finds the exact causal architecture of a stochastic dynamical system, known as the causal-state partition. From this, one can estimate the amount of historical information the process stores. More generally, causal filtering finds a graded model-complexity hierarchy of approximations to the causal architecture. Abrupt changes in the hierarchy, as a function of approximation, capture distinct scales of structural organization. For nonideal cases with finite data, we show how the correct number of the underlying causal states can be found by optimal causal estimation. A previously derived model-complexity control term allows us to correct for the effect of statistical fluctuations in probability estimates and thereby avoid overfitting.

  1. Preschoolers prefer to learn causal information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubry eAlvarez

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Young children, in general, appear to have a strong drive to explore the environment in ways that reveal its underlying causal structure. But are they really attuned specifically to casual information in this quest for understanding, or do they show equal interest in other types of non-obvious information about the world? To answer this question, we introduced 20 three-year-old children to two puppets who were anxious to tell the child about a set of novel artifacts and animals. One puppet consistently described causal properties of the items while the other puppet consistently described carefully matched non-causal properties of the same items. After a familiarization period in which children learned which type of information to expect from each informant, children were given the opportunity to choose which they wanted to hear describe each of eight pictured test items. On average, children chose to hear from the informant that provided causal descriptions on 72% of the trials. This preference for causal information has important implications for explaining the role of conceptual information in supporting early learning and may suggest means for maximizing interest and motivation in young children.

  2. Chymotrypsinogen C Genetic Variants, Including c.180TT, Are Strongly Associated With Chronic Pancreatitis in Pediatric Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabarczyk, Alicja Monika; Oracz, Grzegorz; Wertheim-Tysarowska, Katarzyna; Kujko, Aleksandra Anna; Wejnarska, Karolina; Kolodziejczyk, Elwira; Bal, Jerzy; Koziel, Dorota; Kowalik, Artur; Gluszek, Stanislaw; Rygiel, Agnieszka Magdalena

    2017-12-01

    Genetic studies in adults/adolescent patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) identified chymotrypsinogen C (CTRC) genetic variants but their association with CP risk has been difficult to replicate. To evaluate the risk of CP associated with CTRC variants in CP pediatric patients-control study. The distribution of CTRC variants in CP pediatric cohort (n = 136, median age at CP onset 8 years) with no history of alcohol/smoking abuse was compared with controls (n = 401, median age 45). We showed that p.Arg254Trp (4.6%) and p.Lys247_Arg254del (5.3%) heterozygous mutations are frequent and significantly associated with CP risk in pediatric patients (odds ratio [OR] = 19.1; 95% CI 2.8-160; P = 0.001 and OR = 5.5; 95% CI 1.6-19.4; P = 0.001, respectively). For the first time, we demonstrated that the c.180TT genotype of common p.Gly60Gly variant is strong, an independent CP risk factor (OR = 23; 95% CI 7.7-70; P A variant, both CA and AA genotype, is significantly underrepresented in CP compared with controls (15% vs 35%; OR = 0.33; 95% CI 0.19-0.59; P risk factors. The c.493+51C>A variant may play a protective role against CP development.

  3. Variation in genes related to cochlear biology is strongly associated with adult-onset deafness in border collies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer S Yokoyama

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Domestic dogs can suffer from hearing losses that can have profound impacts on working ability and quality of life. We have identified a type of adult-onset hearing loss in Border Collies that appears to have a genetic cause, with an earlier age of onset (3-5 years than typically expected for aging dogs (8-10 years. Studying this complex trait within pure breeds of dog may greatly increase our ability to identify genomic regions associated with risk of hearing impairment in dogs and in humans. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS to detect loci underlying adult-onset deafness in a sample of 20 affected and 28 control Border Collies. We identified a region on canine chromosome 6 that demonstrates extended support for association surrounding SNP Chr6.25819273 (p-value = 1.09 × 10(-13. To further localize disease-associated variants, targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS of one affected and two unaffected dogs was performed. Through additional validation based on targeted genotyping of additional cases (n = 23 total and controls (n = 101 total and an independent replication cohort of 16 cases and 265 controls, we identified variants in USP31 that were strongly associated with adult-onset deafness in Border Collies, suggesting the involvement of the NF-κB pathway. We found additional support for involvement of RBBP6, which is critical for cochlear development. These findings highlight the utility of GWAS-guided fine-mapping of genetic loci using targeted NGS to study hereditary disorders of the domestic dog that may be analogous to human disorders.

  4. Variation in Genes Related to Cochlear Biology Is Strongly Associated with Adult-Onset Deafness in Border Collies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhe, Alison L.; Erdman, Carolyn A.; Robertson, Kathryn R.; Webb, Aubrey A.; Williams, D. Colette; Chang, Melanie L.; Hytönen, Marjo K.; Lohi, Hannes; Hamilton, Steven P.; Neff, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    Domestic dogs can suffer from hearing losses that can have profound impacts on working ability and quality of life. We have identified a type of adult-onset hearing loss in Border Collies that appears to have a genetic cause, with an earlier age of onset (3–5 years) than typically expected for aging dogs (8–10 years). Studying this complex trait within pure breeds of dog may greatly increase our ability to identify genomic regions associated with risk of hearing impairment in dogs and in humans. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to detect loci underlying adult-onset deafness in a sample of 20 affected and 28 control Border Collies. We identified a region on canine chromosome 6 that demonstrates extended support for association surrounding SNP Chr6.25819273 (p-value = 1.09×10−13). To further localize disease-associated variants, targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) of one affected and two unaffected dogs was performed. Through additional validation based on targeted genotyping of additional cases (n = 23 total) and controls (n = 101 total) and an independent replication cohort of 16 cases and 265 controls, we identified variants in USP31 that were strongly associated with adult-onset deafness in Border Collies, suggesting the involvement of the NF-κB pathway. We found additional support for involvement of RBBP6, which is critical for cochlear development. These findings highlight the utility of GWAS–guided fine-mapping of genetic loci using targeted NGS to study hereditary disorders of the domestic dog that may be analogous to human disorders. PMID:23028339

  5. Operator ordering and causality

    OpenAIRE

    Plimak, L. I.; Stenholm, S. T.

    2011-01-01

    It is shown that causality violations [M. de Haan, Physica 132A, 375, 397 (1985)], emerging when the conventional definition of the time-normal operator ordering [P.L.Kelley and W.H.Kleiner, Phys.Rev. 136, A316 (1964)] is taken outside the rotating wave approximation, disappear when the amended definition [L.P. and S.S., Annals of Physics, 323, 1989 (2008)] of this ordering is used.

  6. Space, time and causality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lucas, J.R.

    1984-01-01

    Originating from lectures given to first year undergraduates reading physics and philosophy or mathematics and philosophy, formal logic is applied to issues and the elucidation of problems in space, time and causality. No special knowledge of relativity theory or quantum mechanics is needed. The text is interspersed with exercises and each chapter is preceded by a suggested 'preliminary reading' and followed by 'further reading' references. (U.K.)

  7. A genome-wide association study identifies rs2000999 as a strong genetic determinant of circulating haptoglobin levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Froguel

    Full Text Available Haptoglobin is an acute phase inflammatory marker. Its main function is to bind hemoglobin released from erythrocytes to aid its elimination, and thereby haptoglobin prevents the generation of reactive oxygen species in the blood. Haptoglobin levels have been repeatedly associated with a variety of inflammation-linked infectious and non-infectious diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C, diabetes, carotid atherosclerosis, and acute myocardial infarction. However, a comprehensive genetic assessment of the inter-individual variability of circulating haptoglobin levels has not been conducted so far.We used a genome-wide association study initially conducted in 631 French children followed by a replication in three additional European sample sets and we identified a common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, rs2000999 located in the Haptoglobin gene (HP as a strong genetic predictor of circulating Haptoglobin levels (P(overall = 8.1 × 10(-59, explaining 45.4% of its genetic variability (11.8% of Hp global variance. The functional relevance of rs2000999 was further demonstrated by its specific association with HP mRNA levels (β = 0.23 ± 0.08, P = 0.007. Finally, SNP rs2000999 was associated with decreased total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in 8,789 European children (P(total cholesterol = 0.002 and P(LDL = 0.0008.Given the central position of haptoglobin in many inflammation-related metabolic pathways, the relevance of rs2000999 genotyping when evaluating haptoglobin concentration should be further investigated in order to improve its diagnostic/therapeutic and/or prevention impact.

  8. Osteochondral lesions in distal tarsal joints of Icelandic horses reveal strong associations between hyaline and calcified cartilage abnormalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJ Ley

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Osteochondral lesions in the joints of the distal tarsal region of young Icelandic horses provide a natural model for the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA in low-motion joints. We describe and characterise mineralised and non-mineralised osteochondral lesions in left distal tarsal region joint specimens from twenty-two 30 ±1 month-old Icelandic horses. Combinations of confocal scanning light microscopy, backscattered electron scanning electron microscopy (including, importantly, iodine staining and three-dimensional microcomputed tomography were used on specimens obtained with guidance from clinical imaging. Lesion-types were described and classified into groups according to morphological features. Their locations in the hyaline articular cartilage (HAC, articular calcified cartilage (ACC, subchondral bone (SCB and the joint margin tissues were identified and their frequency in the joints recorded. Associations and correlations between lesion-types were investigated for centrodistal joints only. In centrodistal joints the lesion-types HAC chondrocyte loss, HAC fibrillation, HAC central chondrocyte clusters, ACC arrest and ACC advance had significant associations and strong correlations. These lesion-types had moderate to high frequency in centrodistal joints but low frequencies in tarsometatarsal and talocalcaneal-centroquartal joints. Joint margin lesion-types had no significant associations with other lesion-types in the centrodistal joints but high frequency in both the centrodistal and tarsometatarsal joints. The frequency of SCB lesion-types in all joints was low. Hypermineralised infill phase lesion-types were detected. Our results emphasise close associations between HAC and ACC lesions in equine centrodistal joints and the importance of ACC lesions in the development of OA in low-motion compression-loaded equine joints.

  9. Osteochondral lesions in distal tarsal joints of Icelandic horses reveal strong associations between hyaline and calcified cartilage abnormalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley, C J; Ekman, S; Hansson, K; Björnsdóttir, S; Boyde, A

    2014-03-25

    Osteochondral lesions in the joints of the distal tarsal region of young Icelandic horses provide a natural model for the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA) in low-motion joints. We describe and characterise mineralised and non-mineralised osteochondral lesions in left distal tarsal region joint specimens from twenty-two 30 ±1 month-old Icelandic horses. Combinations of confocal scanning light microscopy, backscattered electron scanning electron microscopy (including, importantly, iodine staining) and three-dimensional microcomputed tomography were used on specimens obtained with guidance from clinical imaging. Lesion-types were described and classified into groups according to morphological features. Their locations in the hyaline articular cartilage (HAC), articular calcified cartilage (ACC), subchondral bone (SCB) and the joint margin tissues were identified and their frequency in the joints recorded. Associations and correlations between lesion-types were investigated for centrodistal joints only. In centrodistal joints the lesion-types HAC chondrocyte loss, HAC fibrillation, HAC central chondrocyte clusters, ACC arrest and ACC advance had significant associations and strong correlations. These lesion-types had moderate to high frequency in centrodistal joints but low frequencies in tarsometatarsal and talocalcaneal-centroquartal joints. Joint margin lesion-types had no significant associations with other lesion-types in the centrodistal joints but high frequency in both the centrodistal and tarsometatarsal joints. The frequency of SCB lesion-types in all joints was low. Hypermineralised infill phase lesion-types were detected. Our results emphasise close associations between HAC and ACC lesions in equine centrodistal joints and the importance of ACC lesions in the development of OA in low-motion compression-loaded equine joints.

  10. Neural correlates of continuous causal word generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wende, Kim C; Straube, Benjamin; Stratmann, Mirjam; Sommer, Jens; Kircher, Tilo; Nagels, Arne

    2012-09-01

    Causality provides a natural structure for organizing our experience and language. Causal reasoning during speech production is a distinct aspect of verbal communication, whose related brain processes are yet unknown. The aim of the current study was to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the continuous generation of cause-and-effect coherences during overt word production. During fMRI data acquisition participants performed three verbal fluency tasks on identical cue words: A novel causal verbal fluency task (CVF), requiring the production of multiple reasons to a given cue word (e.g. reasons for heat are fire, sun etc.), a semantic (free association, FA, e.g. associations with heat are sweat, shower etc.) and a phonological control task (phonological verbal fluency, PVF, e.g. rhymes with heat are meat, wheat etc.). We found that, in contrast to PVF, both CVF and FA activated a left lateralized network encompassing inferior frontal, inferior parietal and angular regions, with further bilateral activation in middle and inferior as well as superior temporal gyri and the cerebellum. For CVF contrasted against FA, we found greater bold responses only in the left middle frontal cortex. Large overlaps in the neural activations during free association and causal verbal fluency indicate that the access to causal relationships between verbal concepts is at least partly based on the semantic neural network. The selective activation in the left middle frontal cortex for causal verbal fluency suggests that distinct neural processes related to cause-and-effect-relations are associated with the recruitment of middle frontal brain areas. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Making stronger causal inferences: Accounting for selection bias in associations between high performance work systems, leadership, and employee and customer satisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Joseph A; Pohler, Dionne M

    2018-05-17

    We develop competing hypotheses about the relationship between high performance work systems (HPWS) with employee and customer satisfaction. Drawing on 8 years of employee and customer survey data from a financial services firm, we used a recently developed empirical technique-covariate balanced propensity score (CBPS) weighting-to examine if the proposed relationships between HPWS and satisfaction outcomes can be explained by reverse causality, selection effects, or commonly omitted variables such as leadership behavior. The results provide support for leader behaviors as a primary driver of customer satisfaction, rather than HPWS, and also suggest that the problem of reverse causality requires additional attention in future human resource (HR) systems research. Model comparisons suggest that the estimates and conclusions vary across CBPS, meta-analytic, cross-sectional, and time-lagged models (with and without a lagged dependent variable as a control). We highlight the theoretical and methodological implications of the findings for HR systems research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. A missense mutation in PFAS (phosphoribosylformylglycinamidine synthase) is likely causal for embryonic lethality associated with the MH1 haplotype in Montbéliarde dairy cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michot, Pauline; Fritz, Sébastien; Barbat, Anne; Boussaha, Mekki; Deloche, Marie-Christine; Grohs, Cécile; Hoze, Chris; Le Berre, Laurène; Le Bourhis, Daniel; Desnoes, Olivier; Salvetti, Pascal; Schibler, Laurent; Boichard, Didier; Capitan, Aurélien

    2017-10-01

    A candidate mutation in the sex hormone binding globulin gene was proposed in 2013 to be responsible for the MH1 recessive embryonic lethal locus segregating in the Montbéliarde breed. In this follow-up study, we excluded this candidate variant because healthy homozygous carriers were observed in large-scale genotyping data generated in the framework of the genomic selection program. We fine mapped the MH1 locus in a 702-kb interval and analyzed genome sequence data from the 1,000 bull genomes project and 54 Montbéliarde bulls (including 14 carriers and 40 noncarriers). We report the identification of a strong candidate mutation in the gene encoding phosphoribosylformylglycinamidine synthase (PFAS), a protein involved in de novo purine synthesis. This mutation, located in a class I glutamine amidotransferase-like domain, results in the substitution of an arginine residue that is entirely conserved among eukaryotes by a cysteine (p.R1205C). No homozygote for the cysteine-encoding allele was observed in a large population of more than 25,000 individuals despite a 6.7% allelic frequency and 122 expected homozygotes under neutrality assumption. Genotyping of 18 embryos collected from heterozygous parents as well as analysis on nonreturn rates suggested that most homozygous carriers died between 7 and 35 d postinsemination. The identification of this strong candidate mutation will enable the accurate testing of the reproducers and the efficient selection against this lethal recessive embryonic defect in the Montbéliarde breed. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. BOLD Granger causality reflects vascular anatomy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Taylor Webb

    Full Text Available A number of studies have tried to exploit subtle phase differences in BOLD time series to resolve the order of sequential activation of brain regions, or more generally the ability of signal in one region to predict subsequent signal in another region. More recently, such lag-based measures have been applied to investigate directed functional connectivity, although this application has been controversial. We attempted to use large publicly available datasets (FCON 1000, ADHD 200, Human Connectome Project to determine whether consistent spatial patterns of Granger Causality are observed in typical fMRI data. For BOLD datasets from 1,240 typically developing subjects ages 7-40, we measured Granger causality between time series for every pair of 7,266 spherical ROIs covering the gray matter and 264 seed ROIs at hubs of the brain's functional network architecture. Granger causality estimates were strongly reproducible for connections in a test and replication sample (n=620 subjects for each group, as well as in data from a single subject scanned repeatedly, both during resting and passive video viewing. The same effect was even stronger in high temporal resolution fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project, and was observed independently in data collected during performance of 7 task paradigms. The spatial distribution of Granger causality reflected vascular anatomy with a progression from Granger causality sources, in Circle of Willis arterial inflow distributions, to sinks, near large venous vascular structures such as dural venous sinuses and at the periphery of the brain. Attempts to resolve BOLD phase differences with Granger causality should consider the possibility of reproducible vascular confounds, a problem that is independent of the known regional variability of the hemodynamic response.

  14. Seasonal variability of Dinophysis spp. and Protoceratium reticulatum associated to lipophilic shellfish toxins in a strongly stratified Chilean fjord

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves-de-Souza, Catharina; Varela, Daniel; Contreras, Cristóbal; de La Iglesia, Pablo; Fernández, Pamela; Hipp, Byron; Hernández, Cristina; Riobó, Pilar; Reguera, Beatriz; Franco, José M.; Diogène, Jorge; García, Carlos; Lagos, Néstor

    2014-03-01

    The fine scale vertical distribution of Dinophysis spp. and Protoceratium reticulatum (potential producers of lipophilic shellfish toxins, LSTs) and its relation with LSTs in shellfish was studied in Reloncaví fjord, a strongly stratified system in Southern Chile. Samples were taken over two years from late spring to early autumn (2007-2008 period) and from early spring to late summer (2008-2009 period). Dinophysis spp., in particular Dinophysis acuminata, were always detected, often forming thin layers in the region of the salinity driven pycnocline, with cell maxima for D. acuminata of 28.5×103 cells L-1 in March 2008 and 17.1×103 cells L-1 in November 2008. During the 2008-2009 sampling period, blooms of D. acuminata co-occurred with high densities of cryptophyceans and the ciliate Mesodinium spp. The highest levels of pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2; 2.2 ng L-1) were found in the plankton in February 2009, associated with moderate densities of D. acuminata, Dinophysis tripos and Dinophysis subcircularis (0.1-0.6×103 cells L-1). However, only trace levels of PTX-2 were observed in bivalves at that time. Dinophysistoxin (DTX-1 and DTX-3) levels in bivalves and densities of Dinophysis spp. were not well correlated. Low DTX levels in bivalves observed during a major bloom of D. acuminata in March 2008 suggested that there is a large seasonal intraspecific variability in toxin content of Dinophysis spp. driven by changes in population structure associated with distinct LST toxin profiles in Reloncaví fjord during the study period. A heterogeneous vertical distribution was also observed for P. reticulatum, whose presence was restricted to summer months. A bloom of this species of 2.2×103 cells L-1 at 14 m depth in February 2009 was positively correlated with high concentrations of yessotoxins in bivalves (51-496 ng g-1) and plankton samples (3.2 ng L-1). Our results suggest that a review of monitoring strategies for Dinophysis spp. in strongly stratified fjord systems

  15. Bilirubin as a potential causal factor in type 2 diabetes risk: a Mendelian randomization study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasi, Ali; Deetman, Petronella E.; Corpeleijn, Eva; Gansevoort, Ron T.; Gans, Rijk O.B.; Hillege, Hans L.; van der Harst, Pim; Stolk, Ronald P.; Navis, Gerjan; Alizadeh, Behrooz Z.; Bakker, Stephan J.L.

    2014-01-01

    Circulating bilirubin, a natural antioxidant, is associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but the nature of the relationship remains unknown. We performed Mendelian randomization in a prospective cohort of 3,381 participants free of diabetes at baseline (aged 28-75 years; women, 52.6%). We used rs6742078 located in UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT1A1) locus as instrumental variable (IV) to study a potential causal effect of serum total bilirubin on T2D risk. T2D developed in a total of 210 (6.2%) participants during a median follow-up of 7.8 years. In adjusted analyses, rs6742078, which explained 19.5% of bilirubin variation, was strongly associated with total bilirubin (a 0.68-SD increase in bilirubin levels per T allele; Pbilirubin levels, we observed a 25% (OR 0.75 [95%CI, 0.62-0.92]; P=0.004) lower risk of T2D. In Mendelian randomization analysis, the causal risk reduction for T2D was estimated to be 42% (causal ORIVestimation per 1-SD increase in log-transformed bilirubin 0.58 [95%CI, 0.39-0.84]; P=0.005), which was comparable to the observational estimate (Durbin-Wu-Hausman chi-square test Pfor difference =0.19). These novel results provide evidence that elevated bilirubin is causally associated with risk of T2D and support its role as a protective determinant. PMID:25368098

  16. Probable autoimmune causal relationship between periodontitis and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Periodontitis is a multifactorial disease with microbial dental plaque as the initiator of periodontal disease. However, the manifestation and progression of the disease is influenced by a wide variety of determinants and factors. The strongest type of causal relationship is the association of systemic and periodontal disease.

  17. Preservation of potassium balance is strongly associated with insect cold tolerance in the field: a seasonal study of Drosophila subobscura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacMillan, Heath A; Schou, Mads F; Kristensen, Torsten N; Overgaard, Johannes

    2016-05-01

    There is interest in pinpointing genes and physiological mechanisms explaining intra- and interspecific variations in cold tolerance, because thermal tolerance phenotypes strongly impact the distribution and abundance of wild animals. Laboratory studies have highlighted that the capacity to preserve water and ion homeostasis is linked to low temperature survival in insects. It remains unknown, however, whether adaptive seasonal acclimatization in free-ranging insects is governed by the same physiological mechanisms. Here, we test whether cold tolerance in field-caught Drosophila subobscura is high in early spring and lower during summer and whether this transition is associated with seasonal changes in the capacity of flies to preserve water and ion balance during cold stress. Indeed, flies caught during summer were less cold tolerant, and exposure of these flies to sub-zero temperatures caused a loss of haemolymph water and increased the concentration of K(+) in the haemolymph (as in laboratory-reared insects). This pattern of ion and water balance disruption was not observed in more cold-tolerant flies caught in early spring. Thus, we here provide a field verification of hypotheses based on laboratory studies and conclude that the ability to maintain ion homeostasis is important for the ability of free-ranging insects to cope with chilling. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. A continental view of pine-associated ectomycorrhizal fungal spore banks: a quiescent functional guild with a strong biogeographic pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glassman, Sydney I; Peay, Kabir G; Talbot, Jennifer M; Smith, Dylan P; Chung, Judy A; Taylor, John W; Vilgalys, Rytas; Bruns, Thomas D

    2015-03-01

    Ecologists have long acknowledged the importance of seed banks; yet, despite the fact that many plants rely on mycorrhizal fungi for survival and growth, the structure of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal spore banks remains poorly understood. The primary goal of this study was to assess the geographic structure in pine-associated ECM fungal spore banks across the North American continent. Soils were collected from 19 plots in forests across North America. Fresh soils were pyrosequenced for fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) amplicons. Adjacent soil cores were dried and bioassayed with pine seedlings, and colonized roots were pyrosequenced to detect resistant propagules of ECM fungi. The results showed that ECM spore banks correlated strongly with biogeographic location, but not with the identity of congeneric plant hosts. Minimal community overlap was found between resident ECM fungi vs those in spore banks, and spore bank assemblages were relatively simple and dominated by Rhizopogon, Wilcoxina, Cenococcum, Thelephora, Tuber, Laccaria and Suillus. Similar to plant seed banks, ECM fungal spore banks are, in general, depauperate, and represent a small and rare subset of the mature forest soil fungal community. Yet, they may be extremely important in fungal colonization after large-scale disturbances such as clear cuts and forest fires. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. Specious causal attributions in the social sciences: the reformulated stepping-stone theory of heroin use as exemplar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumrind, D

    1983-12-01

    The claims based on causal models employing either statistical or experimental controls are examined and found to be excessive when applied to social or behavioral science data. An exemplary case, in which strong causal claims are made on the basis of a weak version of the regularity model of cause, is critiqued. O'Donnell and Clayton claim that in order to establish that marijuana use is a cause of heroin use (their "reformulated stepping-stone" hypothesis), it is necessary and sufficient to demonstrate that marijuana use precedes heroin use and that the statistically significant association between the two does not vanish when the effects of other variables deemed to be prior to both of them are removed. I argue that O'Donnell and Clayton's version of the regularity model is not sufficient to establish cause and that the planning of social interventions both presumes and requires a generative rather than a regularity causal model. Causal modeling using statistical controls is of value when it compels the investigator to make explicit and to justify a causal explanation but not when it is offered as a substitute for a generative analysis of causal connection.

  20. Spatial hypersurfaces in causal set cosmology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Major, Seth A; Rideout, David; Surya, Sumati

    2006-01-01

    Within the causal set approach to quantum gravity, a discrete analogue of a spacelike region is a set of unrelated elements, or an antichain. In the continuum approximation of the theory, a moment-of-time hypersurface is well represented by an inextendible antichain. We construct a richer structure corresponding to a thickening of this antichain containing non-trivial geometric and topological information. We find that covariant observables can be associated with such thickened antichains and transitions between them, in classical sequential growth models of causal sets. This construction highlights the difference between the covariant measure on causal set cosmology and the standard sum-over-histories approach: the measure is assigned to completed histories rather than to histories on a restricted spacetime region. The resulting re-phrasing of the sum-over-histories may be fruitful in other approaches to quantum gravity

  1. Causal events enter awareness faster than non-causal events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pieter Moors

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Philosophers have long argued that causality cannot be directly observed but requires a conscious inference (Hume, 1967. Albert Michotte however developed numerous visual phenomena in which people seemed to perceive causality akin to primary visual properties like colour or motion (Michotte, 1946. Michotte claimed that the perception of causality did not require a conscious, deliberate inference but, working over 70 years ago, he did not have access to the experimental methods to test this claim. Here we employ Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS—an interocular suppression technique to render stimuli invisible (Tsuchiya & Koch, 2005—to test whether causal events enter awareness faster than non-causal events. We presented observers with ‘causal’ and ‘non-causal’ events, and found consistent evidence that participants become aware of causal events more rapidly than non-causal events. Our results suggest that, whilst causality must be inferred from sensory evidence, this inference might be computed at low levels of perceptual processing, and does not depend on a deliberative conscious evaluation of the stimulus. This work therefore supports Michotte’s contention that, like colour or motion, causality is an immediate property of our perception of the world.

  2. Is there a causal relationship between alcohol and HIV? Implications ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is now conclusive evidence of a causal linkage between heavy drinking patterns and/or alcohol use disorders and the worsening of the disease course for HIV. However, while alcohol usage is consistently associated with the prevalence and incidence of HIV, further research is needed to substantiate causality in ...

  3. The causal structure of utility conditionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnefon, Jean-François; Sloman, Steven A

    2013-01-01

    The psychology of reasoning is increasingly considering agents' values and preferences, achieving greater integration with judgment and decision making, social cognition, and moral reasoning. Some of this research investigates utility conditionals, ''if p then q'' statements where the realization of p or q or both is valued by some agents. Various approaches to utility conditionals share the assumption that reasoners make inferences from utility conditionals based on the comparison between the utility of p and the expected utility of q. This article introduces a new parameter in this analysis, the underlying causal structure of the conditional. Four experiments showed that causal structure moderated utility-informed conditional reasoning. These inferences were strongly invited when the underlying structure of the conditional was causal, and significantly less so when the underlying structure of the conditional was diagnostic. This asymmetry was only observed for conditionals in which the utility of q was clear, and disappeared when the utility of q was unclear. Thus, an adequate account of utility-informed inferences conditional reasoning requires three components: utility, probability, and causal structure. Copyright © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  4. Inductive reasoning about causally transmitted properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafto, Patrick; Kemp, Charles; Bonawitz, Elizabeth Baraff; Coley, John D; Tenenbaum, Joshua B

    2008-11-01

    Different intuitive theories constrain and guide inferences in different contexts. Formalizing simple intuitive theories as probabilistic processes operating over structured representations, we present a new computational model of category-based induction about causally transmitted properties. A first experiment demonstrates undergraduates' context-sensitive use of taxonomic and food web knowledge to guide reasoning about causal transmission and shows good qualitative agreement between model predictions and human inferences. A second experiment demonstrates strong quantitative and qualitative fits to inferences about a more complex artificial food web. A third experiment investigates human reasoning about complex novel food webs where species have known taxonomic relations. Results demonstrate a double-dissociation between the predictions of our causal model and a related taxonomic model [Kemp, C., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2003). Learning domain structures. In Proceedings of the 25th annual conference of the cognitive science society]: the causal model predicts human inferences about diseases but not genes, while the taxonomic model predicts human inferences about genes but not diseases. We contrast our framework with previous models of category-based induction and previous formal instantiations of intuitive theories, and outline challenges in developing a complete model of context-sensitive reasoning.

  5. Causal inference based on counterfactuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Höfler M

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The counterfactual or potential outcome model has become increasingly standard for causal inference in epidemiological and medical studies. Discussion This paper provides an overview on the counterfactual and related approaches. A variety of conceptual as well as practical issues when estimating causal effects are reviewed. These include causal interactions, imperfect experiments, adjustment for confounding, time-varying exposures, competing risks and the probability of causation. It is argued that the counterfactual model of causal effects captures the main aspects of causality in health sciences and relates to many statistical procedures. Summary Counterfactuals are the basis of causal inference in medicine and epidemiology. Nevertheless, the estimation of counterfactual differences pose several difficulties, primarily in observational studies. These problems, however, reflect fundamental barriers only when learning from observations, and this does not invalidate the counterfactual concept.

  6. Causal Diagrams for Empirical Research

    OpenAIRE

    Pearl, Judea

    1994-01-01

    The primary aim of this paper is to show how graphical models can be used as a mathematical language for integrating statistical and subject-matter information. In particular, the paper develops a principled, nonparametric framework for causal inference, in which diagrams are queried to determine if the assumptions available are sufficient for identifiying causal effects from non-experimental data. If so the diagrams can be queried to produce mathematical expressions for causal effects in ter...

  7. Causal asymmetry across cultures: Assigning causal roles in symmetric physical settings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eBender

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In the cognitive sciences, causal cognition in the physical domain has featured as a core research topic, but the impact of culture has been rarely ever explored. One case in point for a topic on which this neglect is pronounced is the pervasive tendency of people to consider one of two (equally important entities as more important for bringing about an effect. In order to scrutinize how robust such tendencies are across cultures, we asked German and Tongan participants to assign prime causality in nine symmetric settings. For most settings, strong asymmetries in both cultures were found, but not always in the same direction, depending on the task content. This indicates that causal asymmetries, while indeed being a robust phenomenon across cultures, are also subject to culture-specific concepts. Moreover, the asymmetries were found to be modulated by figure-ground relations, but not by marking agency.

  8. Mycolactone-Dependent Depletion of Endothelial Cell Thrombomodulin Is Strongly Associated with Fibrin Deposition in Buruli Ulcer Lesions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy Ogbechi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available A well-known histopathological feature of diseased skin in Buruli ulcer (BU is coagulative necrosis caused by the Mycobacterium ulcerans macrolide exotoxin mycolactone. Since the underlying mechanism is not known, we have investigated the effect of mycolactone on endothelial cells, focussing on the expression of surface anticoagulant molecules involved in the protein C anticoagulant pathway. Congenital deficiencies in this natural anticoagulant pathway are known to induce thrombotic complications such as purpura fulimans and spontaneous necrosis. Mycolactone profoundly decreased thrombomodulin (TM expression on the surface of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMVEC at doses as low as 2 ng/ml and as early as 8 hrs after exposure. TM activates protein C by altering thrombin's substrate specificity, and exposure of HDMVEC to mycolactone for 24 hours resulted in an almost complete loss of the cells' ability to produce activated protein C. Loss of TM was shown to be due to a previously described mechanism involving mycolactone-dependent blockade of Sec61 translocation that results in proteasome-dependent degradation of newly synthesised ER-transiting proteins. Indeed, depletion from cells determined by live-cell imaging of cells stably expressing a recombinant TM-GFP fusion protein occurred at the known turnover rate. In order to determine the relevance of these findings to BU disease, immunohistochemistry of punch biopsies from 40 BU lesions (31 ulcers, nine plaques was performed. TM abundance was profoundly reduced in the subcutis of 78% of biopsies. Furthermore, it was confirmed that fibrin deposition is a common feature of BU lesions, particularly in the necrotic areas. These findings indicate that there is decreased ability to control thrombin generation in BU skin. Mycolactone's effects on normal endothelial cell function, including its ability to activate the protein C anticoagulant pathway are strongly associated with this

  9. TNF-alpha 308 SNP Rs3091256 GG Genotype is Strongly Associated with Fibrosis in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Özgür GÜNAL

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: We aimed to review the influence of host genetic factors on the clinical course, treatment response as well as fibrosis progression in patients with viral hepatitis C genotype 1. Materials and Methods: Ninety-five patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV infection and 97 controls were enrolled. The patients received pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN+ribavirin therapy for 48 weeks and were followed up for the next 48 weeks. Aspartat aminotransferase/platelet ratio (APRI was used to detect liver fibrosis DNA specimens were extracted from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells and the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α 308 rs3091256 was genotyped by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Results: All patients included in the study were infected with HCV genotype 1. of the 95 HCV-positive patients, spontaneous viral clearence was observed in 25.5%, rapid viral response in 44.2%, early viral response in 91.8%, and sustained viral response was found in 73.3% of patients. The allele and genotype were not significant between patients and controls. There was no significant difference in virologic response as well. However, TNF-α-308 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP rs3091256 GG genotype was strongly associated with fibrosis and alanine aminotransferase (ALT levels (p=0.006 and p=0.017, respectively. Conclusion: TNF-α-308 polymorphisms may reveal different results among countries. Patients having SNP rs3091256 GG are prone to have higher ALT levels and fibrosis score but have better treatment outcome.

  10. Causality Statistical Perspectives and Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Berzuini, Carlo; Bernardinell, Luisa

    2012-01-01

    A state of the art volume on statistical causality Causality: Statistical Perspectives and Applications presents a wide-ranging collection of seminal contributions by renowned experts in the field, providing a thorough treatment of all aspects of statistical causality. It covers the various formalisms in current use, methods for applying them to specific problems, and the special requirements of a range of examples from medicine, biology and economics to political science. This book:Provides a clear account and comparison of formal languages, concepts and models for statistical causality. Addr

  11. Causal electromagnetic interaction equations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zinoviev, Yury M.

    2011-01-01

    For the electromagnetic interaction of two particles the relativistic causal quantum mechanics equations are proposed. These equations are solved for the case when the second particle moves freely. The initial wave functions are supposed to be smooth and rapidly decreasing at the infinity. This condition is important for the convergence of the integrals similar to the integrals of quantum electrodynamics. We also consider the singular initial wave functions in the particular case when the second particle mass is equal to zero. The discrete energy spectrum of the first particle wave function is defined by the initial wave function of the free-moving second particle. Choosing the initial wave functions of the free-moving second particle it is possible to obtain a practically arbitrary discrete energy spectrum.

  12. Height and sex is strongly associated with radial augmentation index in Korean patients with never-treated hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahn KT

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Kye Taek Ahn, Kwang-In Park, Mi Joo Kim, Jin Kyung Oh, Ji Hye Han, Hee Jin Kwon, Seon-Ah Jin, Jun-Hyung Kim, Jae-Hyeong Park, Jae-Hwan Lee, Si Wan Choi, In-Whan Seong, Jin-Ok Jeong Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Chungnam National University Hospital, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea Objectives: Central hemodynamics may better represent the load imposed on the coronary and cerebral arteries and thereby bear a stronger relationship to cardiovascular outcomes. Methods: Patients who had confirmed hypertension as assessed by daytime 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (≥135/85 mmHg were enrolled. Central blood pressure and radial augmentation index (AIx corrected for a heart rate of 75 bpm (radial AIx 75 were measured for all patients. We evaluated the association of age, height, and sex with central hemodynamics in patients with never-treated hypertension. Results: A total of 203 patients were enrolled, of whom men numbered 101 (49.7%. The median height of all patients was 162 cm, and mean age was 53.2 years. In the Pearson correlation analysis, regardless of sex difference (R=-0.627 for height, R=0.035 for age, P-value =0.005, a stronger relationship was observed between height and radial AIx 75 than between age and radial AIx 75. In the multiple regression analysis, the sex difference and height were strongly associated with elevated radial AIx 75 in all patients (adjusted R2=0.428, β=6.237, 95% confidence interval [CI] for women 1.480–10.995, P-value =0.011 and β=-0.632, 95% CI for height -0.929 to -0.335, P-value =0.009, respectively. Conclusion: In patients with never-treated hypertension, female sex and shorter height are the important risk factors of elevated radial AIx 75. Keywords: hypertension, augmentation index, height, sex

  13. 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…

  14. A genome-wide association study points out the causal implication of SOX9 in the sex-reversal phenotype in XX pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Sarah; Iannuccelli, Nathalie; Mercat, Marie-José; Naylies, Claire; Thouly, Jean-Claude; Servin, Bertrand; Milan, Denis; Pailhoux, Eric; Riquet, Juliette

    2013-01-01

    Among farm animals, pigs are known to show XX sex-reversal. In such cases the individuals are genetically female but exhibit a hermaphroditism, or a male phenotype. While the frequency of this congenital disease is quite low (less than 1%), the economic losses are significant for pig breeders. These losses result from sterility, urogenital infections and the carcasses being downgraded because of the risk of boar taint. It has been clearly demonstrated that the SRY gene is not involved in most cases of sex-reversal in pigs, and that autosomal recessive mutations remain to be discovered. A whole-genome scan analysis was performed in the French Large-White population to identify candidate genes: 38 families comprising the two non-affected parents and 1 to 11 sex-reversed full-sib piglets were genotyped with the PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. A Transmission Disequilibrium Test revealed a highly significant candidate region on SSC12 (most significant p-valueTesco. However, no causal mutations could be identified in either of the two sequenced regions. Further haplotype analyses did not identify a shared homozygous segment between the affected pigs, suggesting either a lack of power due to the SNP properties of the chip, or a second causative locus. Together with information from humans and mice, this study in pigs adds to the field of knowledge, which will lead to characterization of novel molecular mechanisms regulating sexual differentiation and dysregulation in cases of sex reversal.

  15. Expert Causal Reasoning and Explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuipers, Benjamin

    The relationship between cognitive psychologists and researchers in artificial intelligence carries substantial benefits for both. An ongoing investigation in causal reasoning in medical problem solving systems illustrates this interaction. This paper traces a dialectic of sorts in which three different types of causal resaoning for medical…

  16. Re-thinking local causality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friederich, Simon

    There is widespread belief in a tension between quantum theory and special relativity, motivated by the idea that quantum theory violates J. S. Bell's criterion of local causality, which is meant to implement the causal structure of relativistic space-time. This paper argues that if one takes the

  17. Covariation in Natural Causal Induction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Patricia W.; Novick, Laura R.

    1991-01-01

    Biases and models usually offered by cognitive and social psychology and by philosophy to explain causal induction are evaluated with respect to focal sets (contextually determined sets of events over which covariation is computed). A probabilistic contrast model is proposed as underlying covariation computation in natural causal induction. (SLD)

  18. Paradoxical Behavior of Granger Causality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Annette; Battaglia, Demian; Gail, Alexander

    2013-03-01

    Granger causality is a standard tool for the description of directed interaction of network components and is popular in many scientific fields including econometrics, neuroscience and climate science. For time series that can be modeled as bivariate auto-regressive processes we analytically derive an expression for spectrally decomposed Granger Causality (SDGC) and show that this quantity depends only on two out of four groups of model parameters. Then we present examples of such processes whose SDGC expose paradoxical behavior in the sense that causality is high for frequency ranges with low spectral power. For avoiding misinterpretations of Granger causality analysis we propose to complement it by partial spectral analysis. Our findings are illustrated by an example from brain electrophysiology. Finally, we draw implications for the conventional definition of Granger causality. Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Goettingen

  19. On causality of extreme events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimiliano Zanin

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Multiple metrics have been developed to detect causality relations between data describing the elements constituting complex systems, all of them considering their evolution through time. Here we propose a metric able to detect causality within static data sets, by analysing how extreme events in one element correspond to the appearance of extreme events in a second one. The metric is able to detect non-linear causalities; to analyse both cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets; and to discriminate between real causalities and correlations caused by confounding factors. We validate the metric through synthetic data, dynamical and chaotic systems, and data representing the human brain activity in a cognitive task. We further show how the proposed metric is able to outperform classical causality metrics, provided non-linear relationships are present and large enough data sets are available.

  20. Causal learning and inference as a rational process: the new synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holyoak, Keith J; Cheng, Patricia W

    2011-01-01

    Over the past decade, an active line of research within the field of human causal learning and inference has converged on a general representational framework: causal models integrated with bayesian probabilistic inference. We describe this new synthesis, which views causal learning and inference as a fundamentally rational process, and review a sample of the empirical findings that support the causal framework over associative alternatives. Causal events, like all events in the distal world as opposed to our proximal perceptual input, are inherently unobservable. A central assumption of the causal approach is that humans (and potentially nonhuman animals) have been designed in such a way as to infer the most invariant causal relations for achieving their goals based on observed events. In contrast, the associative approach assumes that learners only acquire associations among important observed events, omitting the representation of the distal relations. By incorporating bayesian inference over distributions of causal strength and causal structures, along with noisy-logical (i.e., causal) functions for integrating the influences of multiple causes on a single effect, human judgments about causal strength and structure can be predicted accurately for relatively simple causal structures. Dynamic models of learning based on the causal framework can explain patterns of acquisition observed with serial presentation of contingency data and are consistent with available neuroimaging data. The approach has been extended to a diverse range of inductive tasks, including category-based and analogical inferences.

  1. A genome-wide association study points out the causal implication of SOX9 in the sex-reversal phenotype in XX pigs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Rousseau

    Full Text Available Among farm animals, pigs are known to show XX sex-reversal. In such cases the individuals are genetically female but exhibit a hermaphroditism, or a male phenotype. While the frequency of this congenital disease is quite low (less than 1%, the economic losses are significant for pig breeders. These losses result from sterility, urogenital infections and the carcasses being downgraded because of the risk of boar taint. It has been clearly demonstrated that the SRY gene is not involved in most cases of sex-reversal in pigs, and that autosomal recessive mutations remain to be discovered. A whole-genome scan analysis was performed in the French Large-White population to identify candidate genes: 38 families comprising the two non-affected parents and 1 to 11 sex-reversed full-sib piglets were genotyped with the PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. A Transmission Disequilibrium Test revealed a highly significant candidate region on SSC12 (most significant p-value<4.65.10(-10 containing the SOX9 gene. SOX9, one of the master genes involved in testis differentiation, was sequenced together with one of its main regulatory region Tesco. However, no causal mutations could be identified in either of the two sequenced regions. Further haplotype analyses did not identify a shared homozygous segment between the affected pigs, suggesting either a lack of power due to the SNP properties of the chip, or a second causative locus. Together with information from humans and mice, this study in pigs adds to the field of knowledge, which will lead to characterization of novel molecular mechanisms regulating sexual differentiation and dysregulation in cases of sex reversal.

  2. Clear message for causality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinberg, Aephraim M. [Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Vienna, Vienna (Austria)

    2003-12-01

    Experiment confirms that information cannot be transmitted faster than the speed of light. Ever since Einstein stated that nothing can travel faster than light, physicists have delighted in finding exceptions. One after another, observations of such 'superluminal' propagation have been made. However, while some image or pattern- such as the motion of a spotlight projected on a distant wall - might have appeared to travel faster than light, it seemed that there was no way to use the superluminal effect to transmit energy or information. In recent years, the superluminal propagation of light pulses through certain media has led to renewed controversy. In 1995, for example, Guenther Nimtz of the University of Cologne encoded Mozart's 40th Symphony on a microwave beam, which he claimed to have transmitted at a speed faster than light. Others maintain that such a violation of Einstein's speed limit would wreak havoc on our most fundamental ideas about causality, allowing an effect to precede its cause. Relativity teaches us that sending a signal faster than light would be equivalent to sending it backwards in time. (U.K.)

  3. Structure and Strength in Causal Induction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Thomas L.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2005-01-01

    We present a framework for the rational analysis of elemental causal induction--learning about the existence of a relationship between a single cause and effect--based upon causal graphical models. This framework makes precise the distinction between causal structure and causal strength: the difference between asking whether a causal relationship…

  4. Particulate air pollution and increased mortality: Biological plausibility for causal relationship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henderson, R.F.

    1995-01-01

    Recently, a number of epidemiological studies have concluded that ambient particulate exposure is associated with increased mortality and morbidity at PM concentrations well below those previously thought to affect human health. These studies have been conducted in several different geographical locations and have involved a range of populations. While the consistency of the findings and the presence of an apparent concentration response relationship provide a strong argument for causality, epidemiological studies can only conclude this based upon inference from statistical associations. The biological plausibility of a causal relationship between low concentrations of PM and daily mortality and morbidity rates is neither intuitively obvious nor expected based on past experimental studies on the toxicity of inhaled particles. Chronic toxicity from inhaled, poorly soluble particles has been observed based on the slow accumulation of large lung burdens of particles, not on small daily fluctuations in PM levels. Acute toxicity from inhaled particles is associated mainly with acidic particles and is observed at much higher concentrations than those observed in the epidemiology studies reporting an association between PM concentrations and morbidity/mortality. To approach the difficult problem of determining if the association between PM concentrations and daily morbidity and mortality is biologically plausible and causal, one must consider (1) the chemical and physical characteristics of the particles in the inhaled atmospheres, (2) the characteristics of the morbidity/mortality observed and the people who are affected, and (3) potential mechanisms that might link the two

  5. Serum aspirin esterase is strongly associated with glucose and lipids in healthy subjects: different association patterns in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kotani Kazuhiko

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Aspirin esterase (AE activity can account for part of aspirin pharmacokinetics in the circulation, possibly being associated with the impairment of aspirin effectiveness as an inhibitor of platelet aggregation. Aims The study was aimed at investigating the correlations of serum AE activity with cholinesterase (ChE and metabolic variables in healthy subjects in comparison to subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM. Methods In cardiovascular disease-free T2DM subjects and healthy controls, the AE activity levels and/or the correlation patterns between AE and the other variables were analyzed. Results Neither AE nor ChE activities were higher in the subjects with T2DM. Serum AE activity strongly correlated with ChE as well as glucose/lipids variables such as total cholesterol and triglyceride in healthy subjects, while the correlations between AE and glucose/lipids variables were not present in T2DM subjects. Conclusions These data may reflect the pathophysiological changes between healthy and T2DM subjects. Our data may thus provide the basis for future studies to unravel the mechanisms.

  6. Dynamics of Quantum Causal Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Ruiz, Esteban; Giacomini, Flaminia; Brukner, Časlav

    2018-01-01

    It was recently suggested that causal structures are both dynamical, because of general relativity, and indefinite, because of quantum theory. The process matrix formalism furnishes a framework for quantum mechanics on indefinite causal structures, where the order between operations of local laboratories is not definite (e.g., one cannot say whether operation in laboratory A occurs before or after operation in laboratory B ). Here, we develop a framework for "dynamics of causal structures," i.e., for transformations of process matrices into process matrices. We show that, under continuous and reversible transformations, the causal order between operations is always preserved. However, the causal order between a subset of operations can be changed under continuous yet nonreversible transformations. An explicit example is that of the quantum switch, where a party in the past affects the causal order of operations of future parties, leading to a transition from a channel from A to B , via superposition of causal orders, to a channel from B to A . We generalize our framework to construct a hierarchy of quantum maps based on transformations of process matrices and transformations thereof.

  7. Dynamics of Quantum Causal Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esteban Castro-Ruiz

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available It was recently suggested that causal structures are both dynamical, because of general relativity, and indefinite, because of quantum theory. The process matrix formalism furnishes a framework for quantum mechanics on indefinite causal structures, where the order between operations of local laboratories is not definite (e.g., one cannot say whether operation in laboratory A occurs before or after operation in laboratory B. Here, we develop a framework for “dynamics of causal structures,” i.e., for transformations of process matrices into process matrices. We show that, under continuous and reversible transformations, the causal order between operations is always preserved. However, the causal order between a subset of operations can be changed under continuous yet nonreversible transformations. An explicit example is that of the quantum switch, where a party in the past affects the causal order of operations of future parties, leading to a transition from a channel from A to B, via superposition of causal orders, to a channel from B to A. We generalize our framework to construct a hierarchy of quantum maps based on transformations of process matrices and transformations thereof.

  8. Principal stratification in causal inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frangakis, Constantine E; Rubin, Donald B

    2002-03-01

    Many scientific problems require that treatment comparisons be adjusted for posttreatment variables, but the estimands underlying standard methods are not causal effects. To address this deficiency, we propose a general framework for comparing treatments adjusting for posttreatment variables that yields principal effects based on principal stratification. Principal stratification with respect to a posttreatment variable is a cross-classification of subjects defined by the joint potential values of that posttreatment variable tinder each of the treatments being compared. Principal effects are causal effects within a principal stratum. The key property of principal strata is that they are not affected by treatment assignment and therefore can be used just as any pretreatment covariate. such as age category. As a result, the central property of our principal effects is that they are always causal effects and do not suffer from the complications of standard posttreatment-adjusted estimands. We discuss briefly that such principal causal effects are the link between three recent applications with adjustment for posttreatment variables: (i) treatment noncompliance, (ii) missing outcomes (dropout) following treatment noncompliance. and (iii) censoring by death. We then attack the problem of surrogate or biomarker endpoints, where we show, using principal causal effects, that all current definitions of surrogacy, even when perfectly true, do not generally have the desired interpretation as causal effects of treatment on outcome. We go on to forrmulate estimands based on principal stratification and principal causal effects and show their superiority.

  9. Causal Learning in Gambling Disorder: Beyond the Illusion of Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perales, José C; Navas, Juan F; Ruiz de Lara, Cristian M; Maldonado, Antonio; Catena, Andrés

    2017-06-01

    Causal learning is the ability to progressively incorporate raw information about dependencies between events, or between one's behavior and its outcomes, into beliefs of the causal structure of the world. In spite of the fact that some cognitive biases in gambling disorder can be described as alterations of causal learning involving gambling-relevant cues, behaviors, and outcomes, general causal learning mechanisms in gamblers have not been systematically investigated. In the present study, we compared gambling disorder patients against controls in an instrumental causal learning task. Evidence of illusion of control, namely, overestimation of the relationship between one's behavior and an uncorrelated outcome, showed up only in gamblers with strong current symptoms. Interestingly, this effect was part of a more complex pattern, in which gambling disorder patients manifested a poorer ability to discriminate between null and positive contingencies. Additionally, anomalies were related to gambling severity and current gambling disorder symptoms. Gambling-related biases, as measured by a standard psychometric tool, correlated with performance in the causal learning task, but not in the expected direction. Indeed, performance of gamblers with stronger biases tended to resemble the one of controls, which could imply that anomalies of causal learning processes play a role in gambling disorder, but do not seem to underlie gambling-specific biases, at least in a simple, direct way.

  10. Discrete causal theory emergent spacetime and the causal metric hypothesis

    CERN Document Server

    Dribus, Benjamin F

    2017-01-01

    This book evaluates and suggests potentially critical improvements to causal set theory, one of the best-motivated approaches to the outstanding problems of fundamental physics. Spacetime structure is of central importance to physics beyond general relativity and the standard model. The causal metric hypothesis treats causal relations as the basis of this structure. The book develops the consequences of this hypothesis under the assumption of a fundamental scale, with smooth spacetime geometry viewed as emergent. This approach resembles causal set theory, but differs in important ways; for example, the relative viewpoint, emphasizing relations between pairs of events, and relationships between pairs of histories, is central. The book culminates in a dynamical law for quantum spacetime, derived via generalized path summation.

  11. Causal boundary for stably causal space-times

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Racz, I.

    1987-12-01

    The usual boundary constructions for space-times often yield an unsatisfactory boundary set. This problem is reviewed and a new solution is proposed. An explicit identification rule is given on the set of the ideal points of the space-time. This construction leads to a satisfactory boundary point set structure for stably causal space-times. The topological properties of the resulting causal boundary construction are examined. For the stably causal space-times each causal curve has a unique endpoint on the boundary set according to the extended Alexandrov topology. The extension of the space-time through the boundary is discussed. To describe the singularities the defined boundary sets have to be separated into two disjoint sets. (D.Gy.) 8 refs

  12. Classical planning and causal implicatures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blackburn, Patrick Rowan; Benotti, Luciana

    In this paper we motivate and describe a dialogue manager (called Frolog) which uses classical planning to infer causal implicatures. A causal implicature is a type of Gricean relation implicature, a highly context dependent form of inference. As we shall see, causal implicatures are important...... to generate clarification requests"; as a result we can model task-oriented dialogue as an interactive process locally structured by negotiation of the underlying task. We give several examples of Frolog-human dialog, discuss the limitations imposed by the classical planning paradigm, and indicate...

  13. Functional equations with causal operators

    CERN Document Server

    Corduneanu, C

    2003-01-01

    Functional equations encompass most of the equations used in applied science and engineering: ordinary differential equations, integral equations of the Volterra type, equations with delayed argument, and integro-differential equations of the Volterra type. The basic theory of functional equations includes functional differential equations with causal operators. Functional Equations with Causal Operators explains the connection between equations with causal operators and the classical types of functional equations encountered by mathematicians and engineers. It details the fundamentals of linear equations and stability theory and provides several applications and examples.

  14. <strong>Mini-project>

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Katajainen, Jyrki

    2008-01-01

    In this project the goal is to develop the safe * family of containers for the CPH STL. The containers to be developed should be safer and more reliable than any of the existing implementations. A special focus should be put on strong exception safety since none of the existing prototypes available...

  15. Predicting Causal Relationships from Biological Data: Applying Automated Causal Discovery on Mass Cytometry Data of Human Immune Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Triantafillou, Sofia; Lagani, Vincenzo; Heinze-Deml, Christina; Schmidt, Angelika; Tegner, Jesper; Tsamardinos, Ioannis

    2017-01-01

    Learning the causal relationships that define a molecular system allows us to predict how the system will respond to different interventions. Distinguishing causality from mere association typically requires randomized experiments. Methods for automated  causal discovery from limited experiments exist, but have so far rarely been tested in systems biology applications. In this work, we apply state-of-the art causal discovery methods on a large collection of public mass cytometry data sets, measuring intra-cellular signaling proteins of the human immune system and their response to several perturbations. We show how different experimental conditions can be used to facilitate causal discovery, and apply two fundamental methods that produce context-specific causal predictions. Causal predictions were reproducible across independent data sets from two different studies, but often disagree with the KEGG pathway databases. Within this context, we discuss the caveats we need to overcome for automated causal discovery to become a part of the routine data analysis in systems biology.

  16. Predicting Causal Relationships from Biological Data: Applying Automated Causal Discovery on Mass Cytometry Data of Human Immune Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Triantafillou, Sofia

    2017-09-29

    Learning the causal relationships that define a molecular system allows us to predict how the system will respond to different interventions. Distinguishing causality from mere association typically requires randomized experiments. Methods for automated  causal discovery from limited experiments exist, but have so far rarely been tested in systems biology applications. In this work, we apply state-of-the art causal discovery methods on a large collection of public mass cytometry data sets, measuring intra-cellular signaling proteins of the human immune system and their response to several perturbations. We show how different experimental conditions can be used to facilitate causal discovery, and apply two fundamental methods that produce context-specific causal predictions. Causal predictions were reproducible across independent data sets from two different studies, but often disagree with the KEGG pathway databases. Within this context, we discuss the caveats we need to overcome for automated causal discovery to become a part of the routine data analysis in systems biology.

  17. Further mapping of 10q26 supports strong association of HTRA1 polymorphisms with age-related macular degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, Daniel; Yang, Zhenglin; Constantine, Ryan; Ma, Xiang; Camp, Nicola J; Yang, Xian; Chen, Hayou; Jorgenson, Adam; Hau, Vincent; Dewan, Andrew; Zeng, Jiexi; Harmon, Jennifer; Buehler, Jeanette; Brand, John M; Hoh, Josephine; Cameron, D Joshua; Dixit, Manjusha; Tong, Zongzhong; Zhang, Kang

    2008-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disorder with genetic and environmental influences. The genetic influences affecting AMD are not well understood and few genes have been consistently implicated and replicated for this disease. A polymorphism (rs11200638) in a transcription factor binding site of the HTRA1 gene has been described, in previous reports, as being most significantly associated with AMD. In this paper, we investigate haplotype association and individual polymorphic association by genotyping additional variants in the AMD risk-associated region of chromosome 10q26. We demonstrate that rs11200638 in the promoter region and rs2293870 in exon 1 of HTRA1, are among the most significantly associated variants for advanced forms of AMD.

  18. Causal Modelling in Evaluation Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winteler, Adolf

    1983-01-01

    A study applied path analysis methods, using new techniques of causal analysis, to the problem of predicting the achievement, dropout rate, and satisfaction of university students. Besides providing explanations, the technique indicates possible remedial measures. (MSE)

  19. How we eat what we eat: identifying meal routines and practices most strongly associated with healthy and unhealthy dietary factors among young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laska, Melissa N; Hearst, Mary O; Lust, Katherine; Lytle, Leslie A; Story, Mary

    2015-08-01

    (i) To examine associations between young adults' meal routines and practices (e.g. food preparation, meal skipping, eating on the run) and key dietary indicators (fruit/vegetable, fast-food and sugar-sweetened beverage intakes) and (ii) to develop indices of protective and risky meal practices most strongly associated with diet. Cross-sectional survey. Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, Minnesota (USA). A diverse sample of community college and public university students (n 1013). Meal routines and practices most strongly associated with healthy dietary patterns were related to home food preparation (i.e. preparing meals at home, preparing meals with vegetables) and meal regularity (i.e. routine consumption of evening meals and breakfast). In contrast, factors most strongly associated with poor dietary patterns included eating on the run, using media while eating and purchasing foods/beverages on campus. A Protective Factors Index, summing selected protective meal routines and practices, was positively associated with fruit/vegetable consumption and negatively associated with fast-food and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (PMeal routines and practices were significantly associated with young adults' dietary patterns, suggesting that ways in which individuals structure mealtimes and contextual characteristics of eating likely influence food choice. Thus, in addition to considering specific food choices, it also may be important to consider the context of mealtimes in developing dietary messaging and guidelines.

  20. Strong interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Froissart, Marcel

    1976-01-01

    Strong interactions are introduced by their more obvious aspect: nuclear forces. In hadron family, the nucleon octet, OMEGA - decuplet, and quark triply are successively considered. Pion wave having been put at the origin of nuclear forces, low energy phenomena are described, the force being explained as an exchange of structure corresponding to a Regge trajectory in a variable rotating state instead of the exchange of a well defined particle. At high energies the concepts of pomeron, parton and stratons are introduced, pionization and fragmentation are briefly differentiated [fr

  1. Pharmacy study of natural health product adverse reactions (SONAR): a cross-sectional study using active surveillance in community pharmacies to detect adverse events associated with natural health products and assess causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Necyk, Candace; Tsuyuki, Ross T; Boon, Heather; Foster, Brian C; Legatt, Don; Cembrowski, George; Murty, Mano; Barnes, Joanne; Charrois, Theresa L; Arnason, John T; Ware, Mark A; Rosychuk, Rhonda J; Vohra, Sunita

    2014-03-28

    To investigate the rates and causality of adverse event(s) (AE) associated with natural health product (NHP) use, prescription drug use and concurrent NHP-drug use through active surveillance in community pharmacies. Cross-sectional study of screened patients. 10 community pharmacies across Alberta and British Columbia, Canada from 14 January to 30 July 2011. The participating pharmacy staff screened consecutive patients, or agents of patients, who were dropping or picking up prescription medications. Patients were screened to determine the proportions of them using prescription drugs and/or NHPs, as well as their respective AE rates. All AEs reported by the screened patients who took a NHP, consented to, and were available for, a detailed telephone interview (14%) were adjudicated fully to assess for causality. Over a total of 105 pharmacy weeks and 1118 patients screened, 410 patients reported taking prescription drugs only (36.7%; 95% CI 33.9% to 39.5%), 37 reported taking NHPs only (3.3%; 95% CI 2.4% to 4.5%) and 657 reported taking prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently (58.8%; 95% CI 55.9% to 61.6%). In total, 54 patients reported an AE, representing 1.2% (95% CI 0.51% to 2.9%), 2.7% (95% CI 0.4% to 16.9%) and 7.3% (95% CI 5.6% to 9.6%) of each population, respectively. Compared with patients who reported using prescription drugs, the patients who reported using prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently were 6.4 times more likely to experience an AE (OR; 95% CI 2.52 to 16.17; ppharmacies take NHPs and prescription drugs concurrently, and of those, 7.4% (95% CI 6.3% to 8.8%) report an AE. A substantial proportion of community pharmacy patients use prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently; these patients are at a greater risk of experiencing an AE. Active surveillance provides a means of detecting such AEs and collecting high-quality data on which causality assessment can be based.

  2. Consciousness and the "Causal Paradox"

    OpenAIRE

    Velmans, Max

    1996-01-01

    Viewed from a first-person perspective consciousness appears to be necessary for complex, novel human activity - but viewed from a third-person perspective consciousness appears to play no role in the activity of brains, producing a "causal paradox". To resolve this paradox one needs to distinguish consciousness of processing from consciousness accompanying processing or causing processing. Accounts of consciousness/brain causal interactions switch between first- and third-person perspectives...

  3. Strong adherence to a healthy dietary pattern is associated with better semen quality, especially in men with poor semen quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oostingh, Elsje C.; Steegers-Theunissen, Régine P.M.; Vries, de Jeanne H.M.; Laven, Joop S.E.; Koster, Maria P.H.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To study associations between periconceptional dietary patterns and semen quality parameters. Design: Prospective periconception cohort study. Setting: Tertiary hospital. Patient(s): One hundred and twenty-nine male partners of pregnant women who participated in the Rotterdam

  4. Programmed Death Ligand 1 Expression Among 700 Consecutive Endometrial Cancers: Strong Association With Mismatch Repair Protein Deficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zaibo; Joehlin-Price, Amy S; Rhoades, Jennifer; Ayoola-Adeola, Martins; Miller, Karin; Parwani, Anil V; Backes, Floor J; Felix, Ashley S; Suarez, Adrian A

    2018-01-01

    This study aims to determine the prevalence of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in endometrial carcinoma (EC) and determine clinical and pathological associations. Immunohistochemistry for PD-L1 was performed on sections of a triple-core tissue microarray of 700 ECs. Positive PD-L1 expression, defined as 1% of cells staining positive, was evaluated in tumor and stromal compartments. Using age-adjusted logistic regression, we estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for associations between PD-L1 expression (overall and by staining compartment) with clinical and tumor characteristics. Kaplan-Meier plots and log-rank tests were used to evaluate associations between PD-L1 expression and EC-specific survival. PD-L1 expression was observed in 100 cases (14.3%), including 27 (3.9%) with expression in tumor cells only, 35 (5.0%) with expression in both tumor cells and stroma, and 38 (5.4%) with expression in stroma only. Expression was observed in ECs of different histologic types. Tumors characterized by loss of mismatch repair proteins were significantly associated with tumoral PD-L1 expression (P < 0.0001), but not with stromal PD-L1 expression. Both tumoral and stromal PD-L1 expressions were associated with high-grade endometrioid histology, nonendometrioid histology, and lymphovascular space invasion. We observed no significant associations between PD-L1 expression and EC-specific survival. PD-L1 is expressed in a significant proportion of EC and is associated with mismatch repair deficiency, potentially representing a mechanism of tumor immune evasion and a therapeutic target in EC.

  5. Property Values Associated with the Failure of Individual Links in a System with Multiple Weak and Strong Links.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Helton, Jon C. [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Brooks, Dusty Marie [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Sallaberry, Cedric Jean-Marie. [Engineering Mechanics Corp. of Columbus, OH (United States)

    2018-02-01

    Representations are developed and illustrated for the distribution of link property values at the time of link failure in the presence of aleatory uncertainty in link properties. The following topics are considered: (i) defining properties for weak links and strong links, (ii) cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) for link failure time, (iii) integral-based derivation of CDFs for link property at time of link failure, (iv) sampling-based approximation of CDFs for link property at time of link failure, (v) verification of integral-based and sampling-based determinations of CDFs for link property at time of link failure, (vi) distributions of link properties conditional on time of link failure, and (vii) equivalence of two different integral-based derivations of CDFs for link property at time of link failure.

  6. Causality and prediction: differences and points of contact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Carlos Silva Ayçaguer, PhD

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This contribution presents the differences between those variables that might play a causal role in a certain process and those only valuable for predicting the outcome. Some considerations are made about the core intervention of the association and the temporal precedence and biases in both cases, the study of causality and predictive modeling. In that context, several relevant aspects related to the design of the corresponding studies are briefly reviewed and some of the mistakes that are often committed in handling both, causality and prediction, are illustrated.

  7. Eczema in early childhood is strongly associated with the development of asthma and rhinitis in a prospective cohort

    OpenAIRE

    von Kobyletzki Laura B; Bornehag Carl-Gustaf; Hasselgren Mikael; Larsson Malin; Lindström Cecilia; Svensson Åke

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background This study aimed to estimate the association between eczema in early childhood and the onset of asthma and rhinitis later in life in children. Methods A total of 3,124 children aged 1–2 years were included in the Dampness in Building and Health (DBH) study in the year 2000, and followed up 5 years later by a parental questionnaire based on an International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood protocol. The association between eczema in early childhood and the inciden...

  8. Evidence for Lettuce big-vein associated virus as the causal agent of a syndrome of necrotic rings and spots in lettuce

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verbeek, M.; Dullemans, A.M.; Bekkum, van P.J.; Vlugt, van der R.A.A.

    2013-01-01

    Lettuce big-vein associated virus (LBVaV, genus Varicosavirus) was shown to be responsible for characteristic necrotic symptoms observed in combination with big-vein symptoms in lettuce breeding lines when tested for their susceptibility to lettuce big-vein disease (BVD) using viruliferous Olpidium

  9. Causal uncertainty, claimed and behavioural self-handicapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Ted; Hepburn, Jonathan

    2003-06-01

    Causal uncertainty beliefs involve doubts about the causes of events, and arise as a consequence of non-contingent evaluative feedback: feedback that leaves the individual uncertain about the causes of his or her achievement outcomes. Individuals high in causal uncertainty are frequently unable to confidently attribute their achievement outcomes, experience anxiety in achievement situations and as a consequence are likely to engage in self-handicapping behaviour. Accordingly, we sought to establish links between trait causal uncertainty, claimed and behavioural self-handicapping. Participants were N=72 undergraduate students divided equally between high and low causally uncertain groups. We used a 2 (causal uncertainty status: high, low) x 3 (performance feedback condition: success, non-contingent success, non-contingent failure) between-subjects factorial design to examine the effects of causal uncertainty on achievement behaviour. Following performance feedback, participants completed 20 single-solution anagrams and 12 remote associate tasks serving as performance measures, and 16 unicursal tasks to assess practice effort. Participants also completed measures of claimed handicaps, state anxiety and attributions. Relative to low causally uncertain participants, high causally uncertain participants claimed more handicaps prior to performance on the anagrams and remote associates, reported higher anxiety, attributed their failure to internal, stable factors, and reduced practice effort on the unicursal tasks, evident in fewer unicursal tasks solved. These findings confirm links between trait causal uncertainty and claimed and behavioural self-handicapping, highlighting the need for educators to facilitate means by which students can achieve surety in the manner in which they attribute the causes of their achievement outcomes.

  10. High resolution MRI of the breast at 3 T: which BI-RADS registered descriptors are most strongly associated with the diagnosis of breast cancer?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinker-Domenig, K.; Helbich, T.H.; Bogner, W.; Gruber, S.; Bickel, H.; Duffy, S.; Schernthaner, M.; Dubsky, P.; Pluschnig, U.; Rudas, M.; Trattnig, S.

    2012-01-01

    To identify which breast lesion descriptors in the ACR BI-RADS registered MRI lexicon are most strongly associated with the diagnosis of breast cancer when performing breast MR imaging at 3 T. 150 patients underwent breast MR imaging at 3 T. Lesion size, morphology and enhancement kinetics were assessed according to the BI-RADS registered classification. Sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy were assessed. The effects of the BI-RADS registered descriptors on sensitivity and specificity were evaluated. Data were analysed using logistic regression. Histopathological diagnoses were used as the standard of reference. The sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy of breast MRI at 3 T was 99%, 81% and 93%, respectively. In univariate analysis, the final diagnosis of malignancy was positively associated with irregular shape (p registered breast lesion descriptors that are mostly strongly associated with breast cancer in breast MR imaging at 3 T are lesion shape, lesion margin, internal enhancement pattern and Type 3 enhancement kinetics. (orig.)

  11. Elevated alanine aminotransferase is strongly associated with incident metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis of prospective studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhengtao Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS is rapidly increasing worldwide and associated with alanine aminotransferase (ALT activity. However, the impact of ALT activity on MetS incidence is inconsistent in published literature. We therefore estimated the association between elevated ALT activity and incident MetS through a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: All published prospective cohort studies on the association between elevated ALT activity and incident MetS were retrieved from Pubmed, Embase, and the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI. In all, seven prospective cohort studies, with 31545 participants and 2873 cases of incident MetS were recruited. If there was insignificant heterogeneity (P-value>0.05 and I(2<50%, the fixed-effect model was used to calculate the pooled relative risks (RRs of incident MetS induced by raised ALT. Otherwise, the random-effect model was used. The calculated RR was 1.81 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.49-2.14 when the incidence of MetS was compared between the highest versus the lowest classification of ALT activities. The pooled RR was 1.13 (95% CI: 1.11-1.16 in dose-response analysis with 5 units per liter (U/l of ALT increment. Subgroup analysis suggested that gender disparity might be the main origin of heterogeneity in overall analysis (P = 0.007 between RRs of gender-specific subgroups evaluated with 5 U/l increments of ALT. Women had a higher dose-response risk of MetS incidence (1.38, 95% CI: 1.20-1.55 than men. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis confirmed the stability of results. No publication bias was found in our meta-analysis. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Current evidence from prospective studies supports the association between ALT elevation and increasing MetS incidence. This association is closer and more consistent in female population. Further studies are needed to confirm this association and to investigate the potential mechanism of

  12. Regression to Causality : Regression-style presentation influences causal attribution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bordacconi, Mats Joe; Larsen, Martin Vinæs

    2014-01-01

    of equivalent results presented as either regression models or as a test of two sample means. Our experiment shows that the subjects who were presented with results as estimates from a regression model were more inclined to interpret these results causally. Our experiment implies that scholars using regression...... models – one of the primary vehicles for analyzing statistical results in political science – encourage causal interpretation. Specifically, we demonstrate that presenting observational results in a regression model, rather than as a simple comparison of means, makes causal interpretation of the results...... more likely. Our experiment drew on a sample of 235 university students from three different social science degree programs (political science, sociology and economics), all of whom had received substantial training in statistics. The subjects were asked to compare and evaluate the validity...

  13. Putting a cap on causality violations in causal dynamical triangulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ambjoern, Jan; Loll, Renate; Westra, Willem; Zohren, Stefan

    2007-01-01

    The formalism of causal dynamical triangulations (CDT) provides us with a non-perturbatively defined model of quantum gravity, where the sum over histories includes only causal space-time histories. Path integrals of CDT and their continuum limits have been studied in two, three and four dimensions. Here we investigate a generalization of the two-dimensional CDT model, where the causality constraint is partially lifted by introducing branching points with a weight g s , and demonstrate that the system can be solved analytically in the genus-zero sector. The solution is analytic in a neighborhood around weight g s = 0 and cannot be analytically continued to g s = ∞, where the branching is entirely geometric and where one would formally recover standard Euclidean two-dimensional quantum gravity defined via dynamical triangulations or Liouville theory

  14. Causality as a Rigorous Notion and Quantitative Causality Analysis with Time Series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, X. S.

    2017-12-01

    Given two time series, can one faithfully tell, in a rigorous and quantitative way, the cause and effect between them? Here we show that this important and challenging question (one of the major challenges in the science of big data), which is of interest in a wide variety of disciplines, has a positive answer. Particularly, for linear systems, the maximal likelihood estimator of the causality from a series X2 to another series X1, written T2→1, turns out to be concise in form: T2→1 = [C11 C12 C2,d1 — C112 C1,d1] / [C112 C22 — C11C122] where Cij (i,j=1,2) is the sample covariance between Xi and Xj, and Ci,dj the covariance between Xi and ΔXj/Δt, the difference approximation of dXj/dt using the Euler forward scheme. An immediate corollary is that causation implies correlation, but not vice versa, resolving the long-standing debate over causation versus correlation. The above formula has been validated with touchstone series purportedly generated with one-way causality that evades the classical approaches such as Granger causality test and transfer entropy analysis. It has also been applied successfully to the investigation of many real problems. Through a simple analysis with the stock series of IBM and GE, an unusually strong one-way causality is identified from the former to the latter in their early era, revealing to us an old story, which has almost faded into oblivion, about "Seven Dwarfs" competing with a "Giant" for the computer market. Another example presented here regards the cause-effect relation between the two climate modes, El Niño and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). In general, these modes are mutually causal, but the causality is asymmetric. To El Niño, the information flowing from IOD manifests itself as a propagation of uncertainty from the Indian Ocean. In the third example, an unambiguous one-way causality is found between CO2 and the global mean temperature anomaly. While it is confirmed that CO2 indeed drives the recent global warming

  15. Antenatal interpersonal sensitivity is more strongly associated than perinatal depressive symptoms with postnatal mother-infant interaction quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, Karen; Cockshaw, Wendell; Boyce, Philip; Thorpe, Karen

    2016-10-01

    Maternal mental health has enduring effects on children's life chances and is a substantial cost driver for child health, education and social services. A key linking mechanism is the quality of mother-infant interaction. A body of work associates maternal depressive symptoms across the antenatal and postnatal (perinatal) period with less-than-optimal mother-infant interaction. Our study aims to build on previous research in the field through exploring the association of a maternal personality trait, interpersonal sensitivity, measured in early pregnancy, with subsequent mother-infant interaction quality. We analysed data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to examine the association between antenatal interpersonal sensitivity and postnatal mother-infant interaction quality in the context of perinatal depressive symptoms. Interpersonal sensitivity was measured during early pregnancy and depressive symptoms in the antenatal year and across the first 21 months of the postnatal period. In a subsample of the ALSPAC, mother-infant interaction was measured at 12 months postnatal through a standard observation. For the subsample that had complete data at all time points (n = 706), hierarchical regression examined the contribution of interpersonal sensitivity to variance in mother-infant interaction quality. Perinatal depressive symptoms predicted little variance in mother-infant interaction. Antenatal interpersonal sensitivity explained a greater proportion of variance in mother-infant interaction quality. The personality trait, interpersonal sensitivity, measured in early pregnancy, is a more robust indicator of subsequent mother-infant-interaction quality than perinatal depressive symptoms, thus affording enhanced opportunity to identify vulnerable mother-infant relationships for targeted early intervention.

  16. Bayesian networks improve causal environmental ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rule-based weight of evidence approaches to ecological risk assessment may not account for uncertainties and generally lack probabilistic integration of lines of evidence. Bayesian networks allow causal inferences to be made from evidence by including causal knowledge about the problem, using this knowledge with probabilistic calculus to combine multiple lines of evidence, and minimizing biases in predicting or diagnosing causal relationships. Too often, sources of uncertainty in conventional weight of evidence approaches are ignored that can be accounted for with Bayesian networks. Specifying and propagating uncertainties improve the ability of models to incorporate strength of the evidence in the risk management phase of an assessment. Probabilistic inference from a Bayesian network allows evaluation of changes in uncertainty for variables from the evidence. The network structure and probabilistic framework of a Bayesian approach provide advantages over qualitative approaches in weight of evidence for capturing the impacts of multiple sources of quantifiable uncertainty on predictions of ecological risk. Bayesian networks can facilitate the development of evidence-based policy under conditions of uncertainty by incorporating analytical inaccuracies or the implications of imperfect information, structuring and communicating causal issues through qualitative directed graph formulations, and quantitatively comparing the causal power of multiple stressors on value

  17. Causality and analyticity in optics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nussenzveig, H.M.

    In order to provide an overall picture of the broad range of optical phenomena that are directly linked with the concepts of causality and analyticity, the following topics are briefly reviewed, emphasizing recent developments: 1) Derivation of dispersion relations for the optical constants of general linear media from causality. Application to the theory of natural optical activity. 2) Derivation of sum rules for the optical constants from causality and from the short-time response function (asymptotic high-frequency behavior). Average spectral behavior of optical media. Applications. 3) Role of spectral conditions. Analytic properties of coherence functions in quantum optics. Reconstruction theorem.4) Phase retrieval problems. 5) Inverse scattering problems. 6) Solution of nonlinear evolution equations in optics by inverse scattering methods. Application to self-induced transparency. Causality in nonlinear wave propagation. 7) Analytic continuation in frequency and angular momentum. Complex singularities. Resonances and natural-mode expansions. Regge poles. 8) Wigner's causal inequality. Time delay. Spatial displacements in total reflection. 9) Analyticity in diffraction theory. Complex angular momentum theory of Mie scattering. Diffraction as a barrier tunnelling effect. Complex trajectories in optics. (Author) [pt

  18. Hierarchical organisation of causal graphs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dziopa, P.

    1993-01-01

    This paper deals with the design of a supervision system using a hierarchy of models formed by graphs, in which the variables are the nodes and the causal relations between the variables of the arcs. To obtain a representation of the variables evolutions which contains only the relevant features of their real evolutions, the causal relations are completed with qualitative transfer functions (QTFs) which produce roughly the behaviour of the classical transfer functions. Major improvements have been made in the building of the hierarchical organization. First, the basic variables of the uppermost level and the causal relations between them are chosen. The next graph is built by adding intermediary variables to the upper graph. When the undermost graph has been built, the transfer functions parameters corresponding to its causal relations are identified. The second task consists in the upwelling of the information from the undermost graph to the uppermost one. A fusion procedure of the causal relations has been designed to compute the QFTs relevant for each level. This procedure aims to reduce the number of parameters needed to represent an evolution at a high level of abstraction. These techniques have been applied to the hierarchical modelling of nuclear process. (authors). 8 refs., 12 figs

  19. Variation in Genes Related to Cochlear Biology Is Strongly Associated with Adult-Onset Deafness in Border Collies

    OpenAIRE

    Yokoyama, Jennifer S.; Lam, Ernest T.; Ruhe, Alison L.; Erdman, Carolyn A.; Robertson, Kathryn R.; Webb, Aubrey A.; Williams, D. Colette; Chang, Melanie L.; Hytönen, Marjo K.; Lohi, Hannes; Hamilton, Steven P.; Neff, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    Domestic dogs can suffer from hearing losses that can have profound impacts on working ability and quality of life. We have identified a type of adult-onset hearing loss in Border Collies that appears to have a genetic cause, with an earlier age of onset (3-5 years) than typically expected for aging dogs (8-10 years). Studying this complex trait within pure breeds of dog may greatly increase our ability to identify genomic regions associated with risk of hearing impairment in dogs and in huma...

  20. Slow weight gain is strongly associated with morbidity in children under 6 months, but health staff fail to recognise it

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ezeofor, Ifeyinwa; Garcia, Ada; Wright, Charlotte; Ibeziako, Ngozi

    2014-01-01

    Full text: Background and aims: Young infants are weighed regularly and plotted on a Road-to-Health (RTH) or similar charts, but it is not clear whether early morbidity is associated with slow weight gain or whether health staff recognises it. We aimed to: 1) Compare the weight gain of very young Nigerian infants admitted to hospital to their healthy peers. 2) Assess whether health staff recognise slow weight gain. Methods: Weights were collected for 210 infants aged 2SD in weight, but these falls tend to be unrecognized, particularly when presented on the RTH format. (author)

  1. Anxiety and depression strongly associated with sexual risk behaviors among networks of young men in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Lauren M; Maman, Suzanne; Kilonzo, Mrema Noel; Kajula, Lusajo Joel

    2017-02-01

    This study tested the association between mental health scores and sexual risk behaviors among male members of social groups known as "camps" in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Anxiety and depression were measured using the HSCL-25 and condom use and sexual partner concurrency were assessed through self-report. A total of 1113 sexually active men with an average age of 27 years were included in the analyses. Higher anxiety and depression scores were significantly associated with both condom use (Anxiety AOR = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.44, 0.77; Depression AOR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.47, 0.77) and concurrency (Anxiety AOR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.73, 3.12; Depression AOR = 2.08, 95% CI: 1.60, 2.70). The results of this study provide information salient to the development of effective HIV prevention interventions targeting populations with high burdens of anxiety and depression. The feasibility and effect of integrating mental health promotion activities into HIV prevention interventions should be explored.

  2. Strong associations between national prevalence of various STIs suggests sexual network connectivity is a common underpinning risk factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Chris

    2017-10-12

    If national peak Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence is positively associated with the prevalence of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from before or early on in the HIV epidemics this would suggest common underlying drivers. Pearson's correlations were calculated between the prevalence of seven STIs at a country-level: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) and HIV. The prevalence of all the STIs was highest in the sub-Saharan African region excluding chlamydia. The prevalence of all seven STIs were positively correlated excluding chlamydia. The correlations were strongest for HIV-HSV-2 (r = 0.85, P < 0.0001) and HSV-2-trichomoniasis (r = 0.82, P < 0.0001). Our results of a generally positive association between the prevalences of a range of STIs suggests that higher prevalences were driven by common underlying determinants. We review different types of evidence which suggest that differential sexual connectivity is a plausible common determinant.

  3. Entropy for theories with indefinite causal structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markes, Sonia; Hardy, Lucien

    2011-01-01

    Any theory with definite causal structure has a defined past and future, be it defined by light cones or an absolute time scale. Entropy is a concept that has traditionally been reliant on a definite notion of causality. However, without a definite notion of causality, the concept of entropy is not all lost. Indefinite causal structure results from combining probabilistic predictions and dynamical space-time. The causaloid framework lays the mathematical groundwork to be able to treat indefinite causal structure. In this paper, we build on the causaloid mathematics and define a causally-unbiased entropy for an indefinite causal structure. In defining a causally-unbiased entropy, there comes about an emergent idea of causality in the form of a measure of causal connectedness, termed the Q factor.

  4. Vertical Jump Height is more Strongly Associated with Velocity and Work Performed Prior to Take-off

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, J. R.; Loehr, J. A.; DeWitt, J. K.; Lee, S. M. C.; English, K. L.; Nash, R. E.; Leach, M. A.; Hagan, R. D.

    2008-01-01

    Vertical jump (VJ) height is commonly used as a measure of athletic capability in strength and power sports. Although VJ has been shown to be a predictor of athletic performance, it is not clear which kinetic ground reaction force (GRF) variables, such as peak force (PF), peak power (PP), peak velocity (PV), total work (TW) or impulse (Imp) are the best correlates. To determine which kinetic variables (PF, PP, PV, TW, and Imp) best correlate with VJ height. Twenty subjects (14 males, 6 females) performed three maximal countermovement VJs on a force platform (Advanced Mechanical Technology, Inc., Watertown, MA, USA). VJ jump height was calculated as the difference between standing reach and the highest reach point measured using a Vertec. PF, PP, PV, TW, and Imp were calculated using the vertical GRF data sampled at 1000 Hz from the lowest point in the countermovement through the concentric portion until take-off. GRF data were normalized to body mass measured using a standard scale (Detecto, Webb City, MO, USA). Correlation coefficients were computed between each GRF variable and VJ height using a Pearson correlation. VJ height (43.4 plus or minus 9.1 cm) was significantly correlated (p less than 0.001) with PF (998 plus or minus 321 N; r=0.51), PP (1997 plus or minus 772 W; r=0.69), PV (2.66 plus or minus 0.40 m (raised dot) s(sup -1); r=0.85), TW (259 plus or minus 93.0 kJ; r=0.82), and Imp (204 plus or minus 51.1 N(raised dot)s; r=0.67). Although all variables were correlated to VJ height, PV and TW were more strongly correlated to VJ height than PF, PP, and Imp. Therefore, since TW is equal to force times displacement, the relative displacement of the center of mass along with the forces applied during the upward movement of the jump are critical determinants of VJ height. PV and TW are key determinants of VJ height, and therefore successful training programs to increase VJ height should focus on rapid movement (PV) and TW by increasing power over time rather

  5. Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carrizosa, Emilio; Nogales-Gómez, Amaya; Morales, Dolores Romero

    2016-01-01

    In linear classifiers, such as the Support Vector Machine (SVM), a score is associated with each feature and objects are assigned to classes based on the linear combination of the scores and the values of the features. Inspired by discrete psychometric scales, which measure the extent to which a ...

  6. Strong positive associations between seafood, vegetables, and alcohol with blood mercury and urinary arsenic levels in the Korean adult population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sunmin; Lee, Byung-Kook

    2013-01-01

    Blood mercury and urinary arsenic levels are more than fivefold greater in the Korean population compared with those of the United States. This may be related to the foods people consumed. Therefore, we examined the associations between food categories and mercury and arsenic exposure in the Korean adult population. Data regarding nutritional, biochemical, and health-related parameters were obtained from a cross-sectional study, the 2008-2009 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (3,404 men and women age ≥ 20 years). The log-transformed blood mercury and urinary arsenic levels were regressed against the frequency tertiles of each food group after covariate adjustment for sex, age, residence area, education level, smoking status, and drinking status using food-frequency data. Blood mercury levels in the high consumption groups compared to the low consumption groups were elevated by about 20 percents with salted fish, shellfish, whitefish, bluefish, and alcohol, and by about 9-14 percents with seaweeds, green vegetables, fruits and tea, whereas rice did not affect blood mercury levels. Urinary arsenic levels were markedly increased with consumption of rice, bluefish, salted fish, shellfish, whitefish, and seaweed, whereas they were moderately increased with consumption of grains, green and white vegetables, fruits, coffee, and alcohol. The remaining food categories tended to lower these levels only minimally. In conclusion, the typical Asian diet, which is high in rice, salted fish, shellfish, vegetables, alcoholic beverages, and tea, may be associated with greater blood mercury and urinary arsenic levels. This study suggests that mercury and arsenic contents should be monitored and controlled in soil and water used for agriculture to decrease health risks from heavy-metal contamination.

  7. High tobacco consumption is causally associated with increased all-cause mortality in a general population sample of 55 568 individuals, but not with short telomeres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rode, Line; Bojesen, Stig E; Weischer, Maren

    2014-01-01

    ,568 individuals including 32,823 ever smokers from the Danish general population, of whom 3430 died during 10 years of follow-up. All had telomere length measured, detailed information on smoking history, and CHRNA3 rs1051730 genotype, which is associated with tobacco consumption, determined. In a Mendelian...... randomization study, we conducted observational, genetic, and mediation analyses. RESULTS: First, tobacco consumption was 21.1 pack-years in non-carriers, 22.8 in heterozygotes and 24.8 in homozygotes (P-trend....12 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09, 1.15] per doubling in tobacco consumption. In Mendelian randomization analysis, the hazard ratio was 1.08 (1.02, 1.14) per minor CHRNA3 allele in ever smokers. Third, in observational analysis telomeres shortened with -13 base pairs (-18, -8) per doubling...

  8. mediation: R package for causal mediation analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Tingley, Dustin; Yamamoto, Teppei; Hirose, Kentaro; Keele, Luke; Imai, Kosuke

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the R package mediation for conducting causal mediation analysis in applied empirical research. In many scientific disciplines, the goal of researchers is not only estimating causal effects of a treatment but also understanding the process in which the treatment causally affects the outcome. Causal mediation analysis is frequently used to assess potential causal mechanisms. The mediation package implements a comprehensive suite of statistical tools for conducting su...

  9. A Causal Theory of Modality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Tomás Alvarado

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a causal conception of metaphysical modality in which a state of affairs is metaphysically possible if and only if it can be caused (in the past, the present or the future by current entities. The conception is contrasted with what is called the “combinatorial” conception of modality, in which everything can co-exist with anything else. This work explains how the notion of ‘causality’ should be construed in the causal theory, what difference exists between modalities thus defined from nomological modality, how accessibility relations between possible worlds should be interpreted, and what is the relation between the causal conception and the necessity of origin.

  10. Introductive remarks on causal inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana A. Romio

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available One of the more challenging issues in epidemiological research is being able to provide an unbiased estimate of the causal exposure-disease effect, to assess the possible etiological mechanisms and the implication for public health. A major source of bias is confounding, which can spuriously create or mask the causal relationship. In the last ten years, methodological research has been developed to better de_ne the concept of causation in epidemiology and some important achievements have resulted in new statistical models. In this review, we aim to show how a technique the well known by statisticians, i.e. standardization, can be seen as a method to estimate causal e_ects, equivalent under certain conditions to the inverse probability treatment weight procedure.

  11. Causal reasoning with mental models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khemlani, Sangeet S.; Barbey, Aron K.; Johnson-Laird, Philip N.

    2014-01-01

    This paper outlines the model-based theory of causal reasoning. It postulates that the core meanings of causal assertions are deterministic and refer to temporally-ordered sets of possibilities: A causes B to occur means that given A, B occurs, whereas A enables B to occur means that given A, it is possible for B to occur. The paper shows how mental models represent such assertions, and how these models underlie deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning yielding explanations. It reviews evidence both to corroborate the theory and to account for phenomena sometimes taken to be incompatible with it. Finally, it reviews neuroscience evidence indicating that mental models for causal inference are implemented within lateral prefrontal cortex. PMID:25389398

  12. Causal reasoning with mental models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khemlani, Sangeet S; Barbey, Aron K; Johnson-Laird, Philip N

    2014-01-01

    This paper outlines the model-based theory of causal reasoning. It postulates that the core meanings of causal assertions are deterministic and refer to temporally-ordered sets of possibilities: A causes B to occur means that given A, B occurs, whereas A enables B to occur means that given A, it is possible for B to occur. The paper shows how mental models represent such assertions, and how these models underlie deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning yielding explanations. It reviews evidence both to corroborate the theory and to account for phenomena sometimes taken to be incompatible with it. Finally, it reviews neuroscience evidence indicating that mental models for causal inference are implemented within lateral prefrontal cortex.

  13. Causal reasoning with mental models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangeet eKhemlani

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper outlines the model-based theory of causal reasoning. It postulates that the core meanings of causal assertions are deterministic and refer to temporally-ordered sets of possibilities: A causes B to occur means that given A, B occurs, whereas A enables B to occur means that given A, it is possible for B to occur. The paper shows how mental models represent such assertions, and how these models underlie deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning yielding explanations. It reviews evidence both to corroborate the theory and to account for phenomena sometimes taken to be incompatible with it. Finally, it reviews neuroscience evidence indicating that mental models for causal inference are implemented within lateral prefrontal cortex.

  14. Eczema in early childhood is strongly associated with the development of asthma and rhinitis in a prospective cohort

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    von Kobyletzki Laura B

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study aimed to estimate the association between eczema in early childhood and the onset of asthma and rhinitis later in life in children. Methods A total of 3,124 children aged 1–2 years were included in the Dampness in Building and Health (DBH study in the year 2000, and followed up 5 years later by a parental questionnaire based on an International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood protocol. The association between eczema in early childhood and the incidence of asthma and rhinitis later in life was estimated by univariable and multivariable logistic regression modelling. Results The prevalence of eczema in children aged 1–2 years was 17.6% at baseline. Children with eczema had a 3-fold increased odds of developing asthma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.07; 95% confidence interval (CI 1.79–5.27, and a nearly 3-fold increased odds of developing rhinitis (aOR, 2.63; 1.85–3.73 at follow-up compared with children without eczema, adjusted for age, sex, parental allergic disease, parental smoking, length of breastfeeding, site of living, polyvinylchloride flooring material, and concomitant allergic disease. When eczema was divided into subgroups, moderate to severe eczema (aOR, 3.56; 1.62–7.83 and aOR, 3.87; 2.37–6.33, respectively, early onset of eczema (aOR, 3.44; 1.94–6.09 and aOR, 4.05; 2.82–5.81; respectively, and persistence of eczema (aOR, 5.16; 2.62–10.18 and aOR, 4.00; 2.53–6.22, respectively further increased the odds of developing asthma and rhinitis. Further independent risk factors increasing the odds of developing asthma were a parental history of allergic disease (aOR, 1.83; 1.29–2.60 and a period of breast feeding shorter than 6 months (aOR, 1.57; 1.03–2.39. The incidence of rhinitis was increased for parental history of allergic disease (aOR, 2.00; 1.59–2.51 and polyvinylchloride flooring (aOR, 1.60; 1.02–2.51. Conclusion Eczema in infancy is associated with

  15. Granger Causality and Unit Roots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodríguez-Caballero, Carlos Vladimir; Ventosa-Santaulària, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The asymptotic behavior of the Granger-causality test under stochastic nonstationarity is studied. Our results confirm that the inference drawn from the test is not reliable when the series are integrated to the first order. In the presence of deterministic components, the test statistic diverges......, eventually rejecting the null hypothesis, even when the series are independent of each other. Moreover, controlling for these deterministic elements (in the auxiliary regressions of the test) does not preclude the possibility of drawing erroneous inferences. Granger-causality tests should not be used under...

  16. Quantum theory and local causality

    CERN Document Server

    Hofer-Szabó, Gábor

    2018-01-01

    This book summarizes the results of research the authors have pursued in the past years on the problem of implementing Bell's notion of local causality in local physical theories and relating it to other important concepts and principles in the foundations of physics such as the Common Cause Principle, Bell's inequalities, the EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) scenario, and various other locality and causality concepts. The book is intended for philosophers of science with an interest in the formal background of sciences, philosophers of physics and physicists working in foundation of physics.

  17. [Causal analysis approaches in epidemiology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, O; Siroux, V; Le Moual, N; Varraso, R

    2014-02-01

    Epidemiological research is mostly based on observational studies. Whether such studies can provide evidence of causation remains discussed. Several causal analysis methods have been developed in epidemiology. This paper aims at presenting an overview of these methods: graphical models, path analysis and its extensions, and models based on the counterfactual approach, with a special emphasis on marginal structural models. Graphical approaches have been developed to allow synthetic representations of supposed causal relationships in a given problem. They serve as qualitative support in the study of causal relationships. The sufficient-component cause model has been developed to deal with the issue of multicausality raised by the emergence of chronic multifactorial diseases. Directed acyclic graphs are mostly used as a visual tool to identify possible confounding sources in a study. Structural equations models, the main extension of path analysis, combine a system of equations and a path diagram, representing a set of possible causal relationships. They allow quantifying direct and indirect effects in a general model in which several relationships can be tested simultaneously. Dynamic path analysis further takes into account the role of time. The counterfactual approach defines causality by comparing the observed event and the counterfactual event (the event that would have been observed if, contrary to the fact, the subject had received a different exposure than the one he actually received). This theoretical approach has shown limits of traditional methods to address some causality questions. In particular, in longitudinal studies, when there is time-varying confounding, classical methods (regressions) may be biased. Marginal structural models have been developed to address this issue. In conclusion, "causal models", though they were developed partly independently, are based on equivalent logical foundations. A crucial step in the application of these models is the

  18. Strong positive association of traditional Asian-style diets with blood cadmium and lead levels in the Korean adult population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sunmin; Lee, Byung-Kook

    2013-12-01

    Blood lead and cadmium levels are more than twofold to fivefold higher in the Korean population compared to that of the USA. This may be related to the foods consumed. We examined which food categories are related to blood lead and cadmium levels in the Korean adult population using the 2008-2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 5504). High and moderate consumption of bread and crackers, potatoes, meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, and pizza and hamburger resulted in significantly lower odds ratios for blood lead levels than their low consumption. However, consumption of salted fish, white fish, green vegetables, white and yellow vegetables, coffee, and alcohol resulted in significantly higher odds ratios of blood lead and cadmium. In conclusion, the typical Asian diet based on rice, fish, vegetables, regular coffee, and alcoholic drinks may be associated with higher blood cadmium and lead levels. This study suggests that lead and cadmium contents should be monitored and controlled in agricultural products to reduce health risks from heavy metals.

  19. hs-CRP is strongly associated with coronary heart disease (CHD): A data mining approach using decision tree algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tayefi, Maryam; Tajfard, Mohammad; Saffar, Sara; Hanachi, Parichehr; Amirabadizadeh, Ali Reza; Esmaeily, Habibollah; Taghipour, Ali; Ferns, Gordon A; Moohebati, Mohsen; Ghayour-Mobarhan, Majid

    2017-04-01

    Coronary heart disease (CHD) is an important public health problem globally. Algorithms incorporating the assessment of clinical biomarkers together with several established traditional risk factors can help clinicians to predict CHD and support clinical decision making with respect to interventions. Decision tree (DT) is a data mining model for extracting hidden knowledge from large databases. We aimed to establish a predictive model for coronary heart disease using a decision tree algorithm. Here we used a dataset of 2346 individuals including 1159 healthy participants and 1187 participant who had undergone coronary angiography (405 participants with negative angiography and 782 participants with positive angiography). We entered 10 variables of a total 12 variables into the DT algorithm (including age, sex, FBG, TG, hs-CRP, TC, HDL, LDL, SBP and DBP). Our model could identify the associated risk factors of CHD with sensitivity, specificity, accuracy of 96%, 87%, 94% and respectively. Serum hs-CRP levels was at top of the tree in our model, following by FBG, gender and age. Our model appears to be an accurate, specific and sensitive model for identifying the presence of CHD, but will require validation in prospective studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Application of kernel principal component analysis and computational machine learning to exploration of metabolites strongly associated with diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiokawa, Yuka; Date, Yasuhiro; Kikuchi, Jun

    2018-02-21

    Computer-based technological innovation provides advancements in sophisticated and diverse analytical instruments, enabling massive amounts of data collection with relative ease. This is accompanied by a fast-growing demand for technological progress in data mining methods for analysis of big data derived from chemical and biological systems. From this perspective, use of a general "linear" multivariate analysis alone limits interpretations due to "non-linear" variations in metabolic data from living organisms. Here we describe a kernel principal component analysis (KPCA)-incorporated analytical approach for extracting useful information from metabolic profiling data. To overcome the limitation of important variable (metabolite) determinations, we incorporated a random forest conditional variable importance measure into our KPCA-based analytical approach to demonstrate the relative importance of metabolites. Using a market basket analysis, hippurate, the most important variable detected in the importance measure, was associated with high levels of some vitamins and minerals present in foods eaten the previous day, suggesting a relationship between increased hippurate and intake of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Therefore, the KPCA-incorporated analytical approach described herein enabled us to capture input-output responses, and should be useful not only for metabolic profiling but also for profiling in other areas of biological and environmental systems.

  1. Seismogenic ionospheric anomalies associated with the strong Indonesian earthquake occurred on 11 April 2012 (M = 8.5)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Uma; Singh, Ashutosh K.; Kumar, Sanjay; Singh, A. K.

    2018-03-01

    Ionospheric perturbations in possible association with a major earthquake (EQ) (M = 8.5) which occurred in India-Oceania region are investigated by monitoring subionospheric propagation of VLF signals transmitted from the NWC transmitter (F = 19.8 kHz), Australia to a receiving station at Varanasi (geographic lat. 25.3°N, long 82.99°E), India. The EQ occurred on 11 April 2012 at 08:38:35 h UT (magnitude ≈ 8.5, depth = 10 km, and lat. = 2.3°N, long. = 93.0°E). A significant increase of few days before the EQ has been observed by using the VLF nighttime amplitude fluctuation method (fixed frequency transmitter signal). The analysis of total electron contents (TEC) derived from the global positioning system (GPS) at three different stations namely, Hyderabad (latitude 17.38°N, longitude 78.48°E), Singapore (latitude 1.37°N, longitude 103.84°E) and Port Blair (latitude 11.62°N, longitude 92.72°E) due to this EQ has also been presented. Significant perturbation in TEC data (enhancements and depletion) is noted before and after the main shock of the EQ. The possible mechanisms behind these perturbations due to EQ have also been discussed.

  2. Structural studies of alternative oxidase (AOX) from moniliophthora perniciosa, the causal agent of witches' broom disease in cacao: a membrane-associated protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliveira, J.F.; Prado, P.F.V.; Tiezzi, H.O.; Dias, S.M.G.; Ambrosio, A.L.B.; Thomazella, D.P.T.; Teixeira, P.J.P.L.; Pereira, G.A.G.

    2012-01-01

    Full text: Alternative oxidase (AOX) is a protein attached to the inner mitochondrial membrane that receives electrons directly from reduced ubiquinone and catalyzes the reduction of oxygen to water. AOX is a non-proton motive terminal quinol oxidase that enables cell respiration to continue even in the presence of inhibitors targeting the complexes of the respiratory chain. This protein is present in higher plants, pathogenic fungi and some parasites. The structural characterization of AOX becomes interesting due to its potential as a fungicide target. AOX is predicted to be a monotopic interfacial membrane protein interacting with a single leaflet of the lipid bilayer, rather than transmembrane. Amino acid sequence analysis reveals the presence of two conserved glutamate-histidine motifs, identifying it as a member of the diiron carboxylate protein family. The AOX model is defined by two pairs of helices forming a four helix bundle and an additional hydrophobic connecting sequence between the two helical pairs is proposed to act as the membrane anchoring region. In this work we aim at production, purification and crystallization of the AOX protein from M. perniciosa for further structural studies of this membrane-associated protein, by X-ray protein crystallography (author)

  3. Aberrant immune response with consequent vascular and connective tissue remodeling - causal to scleroderma and associated syndromes such as Raynaud phenomenon and other fibrosing syndromes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durmus, Nedim; Park, Sung-Hyun; Reibman, Joan; Grunig, Gabriele

    2016-11-01

    Scleroderma and other autoimmune-induced connective tissue diseases are characterized by dysfunctions in the immune system, connective tissue and the vasculature. We are focusing on systemic sclerosis (SSc)-associated pulmonary hypertension, which remains a leading cause of death with only a 50-60% of 2-year survival rate. Much research and translational efforts have been directed at understanding the immune response that causes SSc and the networked interactions with the connective tissue and the vasculature. One of the unexpected findings was that in some cases the pathogenic immune response in SSc resembles the immune response to helminth parasites. During coevolution, means of communication were developed which protect the host from over-colonization with parasites and which protect the parasite from excessive host responses. One explanation for the geographically clustered occurrence of SSc is that environmental exposures combined with genetic predisposition turn on triggers of molecular and cellular modules that were once initiated by parasites. Future research is needed to further understand the parasite-derived signals that dampen the host response. Therapeutic helminth infection or treatment with parasite-derived response modifiers could be promising new management tools for autoimmune connective tissue diseases.

  4. Structural studies of alternative oxidase (AOX) from moniliophthora perniciosa, the causal agent of witches' broom disease in cacao: a membrane-associated protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliveira, J.F.; Prado, P.F.V.; Tiezzi, H.O.; Dias, S.M.G.; Ambrosio, A.L.B. [Laboratorio Nacional de Biociencias - LNBIO, Campinas, SP (Brazil); Thomazella, D.P.T.; Teixeira, P.J.P.L.; Pereira, G.A.G. [Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), SP (Brazil)

    2012-07-01

    Full text: Alternative oxidase (AOX) is a protein attached to the inner mitochondrial membrane that receives electrons directly from reduced ubiquinone and catalyzes the reduction of oxygen to water. AOX is a non-proton motive terminal quinol oxidase that enables cell respiration to continue even in the presence of inhibitors targeting the complexes of the respiratory chain. This protein is present in higher plants, pathogenic fungi and some parasites. The structural characterization of AOX becomes interesting due to its potential as a fungicide target. AOX is predicted to be a monotopic interfacial membrane protein interacting with a single leaflet of the lipid bilayer, rather than transmembrane. Amino acid sequence analysis reveals the presence of two conserved glutamate-histidine motifs, identifying it as a member of the diiron carboxylate protein family. The AOX model is defined by two pairs of helices forming a four helix bundle and an additional hydrophobic connecting sequence between the two helical pairs is proposed to act as the membrane anchoring region. In this work we aim at production, purification and crystallization of the AOX protein from M. perniciosa for further structural studies of this membrane-associated protein, by X-ray protein crystallography (author)

  5. Energy consumption, carbon emissions and economic growth nexus in Bangladesh: Cointegration and dynamic causality analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jahangir Alam, Mohammad; Ara Begum, Ismat; Buysse, Jeroen; Van Huylenbroeck, Guido

    2012-01-01

    The paper investigates the possible existence of dynamic causality between energy consumption, electricity consumption, carbon emissions and economic growth in Bangladesh. First, we have tested cointegration relationships using the Johansen bi-variate cointegration model. This is complemented with an analysis of an auto-regressive distributed lag model to examine the results' robustness. Then, the Granger short-run, the long-run and strong causality are tested with a vector error correction modelling framework. The results indicate that uni-directional causality exists from energy consumption to economic growth both in the short and the long-run while a bi-directional long-run causality exists between electricity consumption and economic growth but no causal relationship exists in short-run. The strong causality results indicate bi-directional causality for both the cases. A uni-directional causality runs from energy consumption to CO 2 emission for the short-run but feedback causality exists in the long-run. CO 2 Granger causes economic growth both in the short and in the long-run. An important policy implication is that energy (electricity as well) can be considered as an important factor for the economic growth in Bangladesh. Moreover, as higher energy consumption also means higher pollution in the long-run, policy makers should stimulate alternative energy sources for meeting up the increasing energy demand. - Highlights: ► Dynamic causality among energy and electricity consumption, CO 2 and economic growth. ► Uni-directional causality exists from energy consumption to economic growth. ► Bi-directional causality exists between electricity consumption and economic growth. ► Feedback causality exists between CO 2 emission to energy consumption. ► CO 2 Granger causes economic growth both in the short and in the long-run.

  6. CRF19_cpx is an Evolutionary fit HIV-1 Variant Strongly Associated With Rapid Progression to AIDS in Cuba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouri, Vivian; Khouri, Ricardo; Alemán, Yoan; Abrahantes, Yeissel; Vercauteren, Jurgen; Pineda-Peña, Andrea-Clemencia; Theys, Kristof; Megens, Sarah; Moutschen, Michel; Pfeifer, Nico; Van Weyenbergh, Johan; Pérez, Ana B; Pérez, Jorge; Pérez, Lissette; Van Laethem, Kristel; Vandamme, Anne-Mieke

    2015-03-01

    Clinicians reported an increasing trend of rapid progression (RP) (AIDS within 3 years of infection) in Cuba. Recently infected patients were prospectively sampled, 52 RP at AIDS diagnosis (AIDS-RP) and 21 without AIDS in the same time frame (non-AIDS). 22 patients were sampled at AIDS diagnosis (chronic-AIDS) retrospectively assessed as > 3 years infected. Clinical, demographic, virological, epidemiological and immunological data were collected. Pol and env sequences were used for subtyping, transmission cluster analysis, and prediction of resistance, co-receptor use and evolutionary fitness. Host, immunological and viral predictors of RP were explored through data mining. Subtyping revealed 26 subtype B strains, 6 C, 6 CRF18_cpx, 9 CRF19_cpx, 29 BG-recombinants and other subtypes/URFs. All patients infected with CRF19 belonged to the AIDS-RP group. Data mining identified CRF19, oral candidiasis and RANTES levels as the strongest predictors of AIDS-RP. CRF19 was more frequently predicted to use the CXCR4 co-receptor, had higher fitness scores in the protease region, and patients had higher viral load at diagnosis. CRF19 is a recombinant of subtype D (C-part of Gag, PR, RT and nef), subtype A (N-part of Gag, Integrase, Env) and subtype G (Vif, Vpr, Vpu and C-part of Env). Since subtypes D and A have been associated with respectively faster and slower disease progression, our findings might indicate a fit PR driving high viral load, which in combination with co-infections may boost RANTES levels and thus CXCR4 use, potentially explaining the fast progression. We propose that CRF19 is evolutionary very fit and causing rapid progression to AIDS in many newly infected patients in Cuba.

  7. A multicenter study shows PTEN deletion is strongly associated with seminal vesicle involvement and extracapsular extension in localized prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troyer, Dean A; Jamaspishvili, Tamara; Wei, Wei; Feng, Ziding; Good, Jennifer; Hawley, Sarah; Fazli, Ladan; McKenney, Jesse K; Simko, Jeff; Hurtado-Coll, Antonio; Carroll, Peter R; Gleave, Martin; Lance, Raymond; Lin, Daniel W; Nelson, Peter S; Thompson, Ian M; True, Lawrence D; Brooks, James D; Squire, Jeremy A

    2015-08-01

    Loss of the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) tumor suppressor gene is a promising marker of aggressive prostate cancer. Active surveillance and watchful waiting are increasingly recommended to patients with small tumors felt to be low risk, highlighting the difficulties of Gleason scoring in this setting. There is an urgent need for predictive biomarkers that can be rapidly deployed to aid in clinical decision-making. Our objectives were to assess the incidence and ability of PTEN alterations to predict aggressive disease in a multicenter study. We used recently developed probes optimized for sensitivity and specificity in a four-color FISH deletion assay to study the Canary Retrospective multicenter Prostate Cancer Tissue Microarray (TMA). This TMA was constructed specifically for biomarker validation from radical prostatectomy specimens, and is accompanied by detailed clinical information with long-term follow-up. In 612 prostate cancers, the overall rate of PTEN deletion was 112 (18.3%). Hemizygous PTEN losses were present in 55/612 (9.0%) of cancers, whereas homozygous PTEN deletion was observed in 57/612 (9.3%) of tumors. Significant associations were found between PTEN status and pathologic stage (P free survival (number of events = 189), pre-operative prostate specific antigen (PSA) (P free survival in multivariate models, as were seminal vesicle invasion, extracapsular extension, and Gleason score, and preoperative PSA. Furthermore, these data demonstrate that the assay can be readily introduced at first diagnosis in a cost effective manner analogous to the use of FISH for analysis of HER2/neu status in breast cancer. Combined with published research beginning 17 years ago, both the data and tools now exist to implement a PTEN assay in the clinic. © 2015 The Authors. The Prostate, published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Paula; Hayward, Jean; Michelson, David; Lewis, Edwin; Schwalbe, Joan; Black, Steve; Shinefield, Henry; Marcy, Michael; Huff, Ken; Ward, Joel; Mullooly, John; Chen, Robert; Davis, Robert

    2006-09-01

    Whole-cell pertussis (wP) and measles vaccines are effective in preventing disease but have also been suspected of increasing the risk of encephalopathy or encephalitis. Although many countries now use acellular pertussis vaccines, wP vaccine is still widely used in the developing world. It is therefore important to evaluate whether wP vaccine increases the risk of neurologic disorders. A retrospective case-control study was performed at 4 health maintenance organizations. Records from January 1, 1981, through December 31, 1995, were examined to identify children aged 0 to 6 years old hospitalized with encephalopathy or related conditions. The cause of the encephalopathy was categorized as known, unknown or suspected but unconfirmed. Up to 3 controls were matched to each case. Conditional logistic regression was used to analyze the relative risk of encephalopathy after vaccination with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) or measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines in the 90 days before disease onset as defined by chart review compared with an equivalent period among controls indexed by matching on case onset date. Four-hundred fifty-two cases were identified. Cases were no more likely than controls to have received either vaccine during the 90 days before disease onset. When encephalopathies of known etiology were excluded, the odds ratio for case children having received DTP within 7 days before onset of disease was 1.22 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.45-3.31, P = 0.693) compared with control children. For MMR in the 90 days before onset of encephalopathy, the odds ratio was 1.23 (95% confidence interval = 0.51-2.98, P = 0.647). In this study of more than 2 million children, DTP and MMR vaccines were not associated with an increased risk of encephalopathy after vaccination.

  9. Causal language and strength of inference in academic and media articles shared in social media (CLAIMS): A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haber, Noah; Smith, Emily R; Moscoe, Ellen; Andrews, Kathryn; Audy, Robin; Bell, Winnie; Brennan, Alana T; Breskin, Alexander; Kane, Jeremy C; Karra, Mahesh; McClure, Elizabeth S; Suarez, Elizabeth A

    2018-01-01

    The pathway from evidence generation to consumption contains many steps which can lead to overstatement or misinformation. The proliferation of internet-based health news may encourage selection of media and academic research articles that overstate strength of causal inference. We investigated the state of causal inference in health research as it appears at the end of the pathway, at the point of social media consumption. We screened the NewsWhip Insights database for the most shared media articles on Facebook and Twitter reporting about peer-reviewed academic studies associating an exposure with a health outcome in 2015, extracting the 50 most-shared academic articles and media articles covering them. We designed and utilized a review tool to systematically assess and summarize studies' strength of causal inference, including generalizability, potential confounders, and methods used. These were then compared with the strength of causal language used to describe results in both academic and media articles. Two randomly assigned independent reviewers and one arbitrating reviewer from a pool of 21 reviewers assessed each article. We accepted the most shared 64 media articles pertaining to 50 academic articles for review, representing 68% of Facebook and 45% of Twitter shares in 2015. Thirty-four percent of academic studies and 48% of media articles used language that reviewers considered too strong for their strength of causal inference. Seventy percent of academic studies were considered low or very low strength of inference, with only 6% considered high or very high strength of causal inference. The most severe issues with academic studies' causal inference were reported to be omitted confounding variables and generalizability. Fifty-eight percent of media articles were found to have inaccurately reported the question, results, intervention, or population of the academic study. We find a large disparity between the strength of language as presented to the

  10. Human Papilloma Viruses and Breast Cancer – Assessment of Causality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, James Sutherland; Glenn, Wendy K.; Whitaker, Noel James

    2016-01-01

    High risk human papilloma viruses (HPVs) may have a causal role in some breast cancers. Case–control studies, conducted in many different countries, consistently indicate that HPVs are more frequently present in breast cancers as compared to benign breast and normal breast controls (odds ratio 4.02). The assessment of causality of HPVs in breast cancer is difficult because (i) the HPV viral load is extremely low, (ii) HPV infections are common but HPV associated breast cancers are uncommon, and (iii) HPV infections may precede the development of breast and other cancers by years or even decades. Further, HPV oncogenesis can be indirect. Despite these difficulties, the emergence of new evidence has made the assessment of HPV causality, in breast cancer, a practical proposition. With one exception, the evidence meets all the conventional criteria for a causal role of HPVs in breast cancer. The exception is “specificity.” HPVs are ubiquitous, which is the exact opposite of specificity. An additional reservation is that the prevalence of breast cancer is not increased in immunocompromised patients as is the case with respect to HPV-associated cervical cancer. This indicates that HPVs may have an indirect causal influence in breast cancer. Based on the overall evidence, high-risk HPVs may have a causal role in some breast cancers. PMID:27747193

  11. Human Papilloma Viruses and Breast Cancer - Assessment of Causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, James Sutherland; Glenn, Wendy K; Whitaker, Noel James

    2016-01-01

    High risk human papilloma viruses (HPVs) may have a causal role in some breast cancers. Case-control studies, conducted in many different countries, consistently indicate that HPVs are more frequently present in breast cancers as compared to benign breast and normal breast controls (odds ratio 4.02). The assessment of causality of HPVs in breast cancer is difficult because (i) the HPV viral load is extremely low, (ii) HPV infections are common but HPV associated breast cancers are uncommon, and (iii) HPV infections may precede the development of breast and other cancers by years or even decades. Further, HPV oncogenesis can be indirect. Despite these difficulties, the emergence of new evidence has made the assessment of HPV causality, in breast cancer, a practical proposition. With one exception, the evidence meets all the conventional criteria for a causal role of HPVs in breast cancer. The exception is "specificity." HPVs are ubiquitous, which is the exact opposite of specificity. An additional reservation is that the prevalence of breast cancer is not increased in immunocompromised patients as is the case with respect to HPV-associated cervical cancer. This indicates that HPVs may have an indirect causal influence in breast cancer. Based on the overall evidence, high-risk HPVs may have a causal role in some breast cancers.

  12. Causal structures in inflation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, George F. R.; Uzan, Jean-Philippe

    2015-12-01

    This article reviews the properties and limitations associated with the existence of particle, visual, and event horizons in cosmology in general and in inflationary universes in particular, carefully distinguishing them from 'Hubble horizons'. It explores to what extent one might be able to probe conditions beyond the visual horizon (which is close in size to the present Hubble radius), thereby showing that visual horizons place major limits on what are observationally testable aspects of a multiverse, if such exists. Indeed these limits largely prevent us from observationally proving a multiverse either does or does not exist. We emphasize that event horizons play no role at all in observational cosmology, even in the multiverse context, despite some claims to the contrary in the literature. xml:lang="fr"

  13. Causal structures in inflation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ellis, G.F.R.; Uzan, J.P.

    2015-01-01

    This article reviews the properties and limitations associated with the existence of particle, visual, and event horizons in cosmology in general and in inflationary universes in particular, carefully distinguishing them from 'Hubble horizons'. It explores to what extent one might be able to probe conditions beyond the visual horizon (which is close in size to the present Hubble radius), thereby showing that visual horizons place major limits on what are observationally testable aspects of a multi-verse, if such exists. Indeed these limits largely prevent us from observationally proving a multi-verse either does or does not exist. We emphasize that event horizons play no role at all in observational cosmology, even in the multi-verse context, despite some claims to the contrary in the literature. (authors)

  14. Causality tests between stock market development and economic growth in West African Monetary Union

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maman Tachiwou ABOUDOU

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the causal relationship between stock market development and economic growth for the West African Monetary Union economy over the last decade or so. By applying the techniques of unit–root tests and the long–run Granger noncausality test proposed by Toda and Yamamoto (1995, the causal relationships between the real GDP growth rate and two stock market development proxies are tested. The results are in line with the supply leading hypothesis in the sense that there is strong causal flow from the stock market development to economic growth. A unidirectional causal relationship is also observed between real market capitalization ratio and economic growth.

  15. Causal Reasoning with Mental Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-08-08

    The initial rubric is equivalent to an exclusive disjunction between the two causal assertions. It 488 yields the following two mental models: 489...are 575 important, whereas the functions of artifacts are important (Ahn, 1998). A genetic code is 576 accordingly more critical to being a goat than

  16. Identity, causality, and pronoun ambiguity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagi, Eyal; Rips, Lance J

    2014-10-01

    This article looks at the way people determine the antecedent of a pronoun in sentence pairs, such as: Albert invited Ron to dinner. He spent hours cleaning the house. The experiment reported here is motivated by the idea that such judgments depend on reasoning about identity (e.g., the identity of the he who cleaned the house). Because the identity of an individual over time depends on the causal-historical path connecting the stages of the individual, the correct antecedent will also depend on causal connections. The experiment varied how likely it is that the event of the first sentence (e.g., the invitation) would cause the event of the second (the house cleaning) for each of the two individuals (the likelihood that if Albert invited Ron to dinner, this would cause Albert to clean the house, versus cause Ron to clean the house). Decisions about the antecedent followed causal likelihood. A mathematical model of causal identity accounted for most of the key aspects of the data from the individual sentence pairs. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  17. Charged singularities: the causality violation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Felice, F; Nobili, L [Padua Univ. (Italy). Ist. di Fisica; Calvani, M [Padua Univ. (Italy). Ist. di Astronomia

    1980-12-01

    A search is made for examples of particle trajectories which, approaching a naked singularity from infinity, make up for lost time before going back to infinity. In the Kerr-Newman metric a whole family of such trajectories is found showing that the causality violation is indeed a non-avoidable pathology.

  18. Bayesian detection of causal rare variants under posterior consistency.

    KAUST Repository

    Liang, Faming

    2013-07-26

    Identification of causal rare variants that are associated with complex traits poses a central challenge on genome-wide association studies. However, most current research focuses only on testing the global association whether the rare variants in a given genomic region are collectively associated with the trait. Although some recent work, e.g., the Bayesian risk index method, have tried to address this problem, it is unclear whether the causal rare variants can be consistently identified by them in the small-n-large-P situation. We develop a new Bayesian method, the so-called Bayesian Rare Variant Detector (BRVD), to tackle this problem. The new method simultaneously addresses two issues: (i) (Global association test) Are there any of the variants associated with the disease, and (ii) (Causal variant detection) Which variants, if any, are driving the association. The BRVD ensures the causal rare variants to be consistently identified in the small-n-large-P situation by imposing some appropriate prior distributions on the model and model specific parameters. The numerical results indicate that the BRVD is more powerful for testing the global association than the existing methods, such as the combined multivariate and collapsing test, weighted sum statistic test, RARECOVER, sequence kernel association test, and Bayesian risk index, and also more powerful for identification of causal rare variants than the Bayesian risk index method. The BRVD has also been successfully applied to the Early-Onset Myocardial Infarction (EOMI) Exome Sequence Data. It identified a few causal rare variants that have been verified in the literature.

  19. Bayesian detection of causal rare variants under posterior consistency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faming Liang

    Full Text Available Identification of causal rare variants that are associated with complex traits poses a central challenge on genome-wide association studies. However, most current research focuses only on testing the global association whether the rare variants in a given genomic region are collectively associated with the trait. Although some recent work, e.g., the Bayesian risk index method, have tried to address this problem, it is unclear whether the causal rare variants can be consistently identified by them in the small-n-large-P situation. We develop a new Bayesian method, the so-called Bayesian Rare Variant Detector (BRVD, to tackle this problem. The new method simultaneously addresses two issues: (i (Global association test Are there any of the variants associated with the disease, and (ii (Causal variant detection Which variants, if any, are driving the association. The BRVD ensures the causal rare variants to be consistently identified in the small-n-large-P situation by imposing some appropriate prior distributions on the model and model specific parameters. The numerical results indicate that the BRVD is more powerful for testing the global association than the existing methods, such as the combined multivariate and collapsing test, weighted sum statistic test, RARECOVER, sequence kernel association test, and Bayesian risk index, and also more powerful for identification of causal rare variants than the Bayesian risk index method. The BRVD has also been successfully applied to the Early-Onset Myocardial Infarction (EOMI Exome Sequence Data. It identified a few causal rare variants that have been verified in the literature.

  20. Bayesian detection of causal rare variants under posterior consistency.

    KAUST Repository

    Liang, Faming; Xiong, Momiao

    2013-01-01

    Identification of causal rare variants that are associated with complex traits poses a central challenge on genome-wide association studies. However, most current research focuses only on testing the global association whether the rare variants in a given genomic region are collectively associated with the trait. Although some recent work, e.g., the Bayesian risk index method, have tried to address this problem, it is unclear whether the causal rare variants can be consistently identified by them in the small-n-large-P situation. We develop a new Bayesian method, the so-called Bayesian Rare Variant Detector (BRVD), to tackle this problem. The new method simultaneously addresses two issues: (i) (Global association test) Are there any of the variants associated with the disease, and (ii) (Causal variant detection) Which variants, if any, are driving the association. The BRVD ensures the causal rare variants to be consistently identified in the small-n-large-P situation by imposing some appropriate prior distributions on the model and model specific parameters. The numerical results indicate that the BRVD is more powerful for testing the global association than the existing methods, such as the combined multivariate and collapsing test, weighted sum statistic test, RARECOVER, sequence kernel association test, and Bayesian risk index, and also more powerful for identification of causal rare variants than the Bayesian risk index method. The BRVD has also been successfully applied to the Early-Onset Myocardial Infarction (EOMI) Exome Sequence Data. It identified a few causal rare variants that have been verified in the literature.

  1. Growth anomalies on the coral genera Acropora and Porites are strongly associated with host density and human population size across the Indo-Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greta S Aeby

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Growth anomalies (GAs are common, tumor-like diseases that can cause significant morbidity and decreased fecundity in the major Indo-Pacific reef-building coral genera, Acropora and Porites. GAs are unusually tractable for testing hypotheses about drivers of coral disease because of their pan-Pacific distributions, relatively high occurrence, and unambiguous ease of identification. We modeled multiple disease-environment associations that may underlie the prevalence of Acropora growth anomalies (AGA (n = 304 surveys and Porites growth anomalies (PGA (n = 602 surveys from across the Indo-Pacific. Nine predictor variables were modeled, including coral host abundance, human population size, and sea surface temperature and ultra-violet radiation anomalies. Prevalence of both AGAs and PGAs were strongly host density-dependent. PGAs additionally showed strong positive associations with human population size. Although this association has been widely posited, this is one of the first broad-scale studies unambiguously linking a coral disease with human population size. These results emphasize that individual coral diseases can show relatively distinct patterns of association with environmental predictors, even in similar diseases (growth anomalies found on different host genera (Acropora vs. Porites. As human densities and environmental degradation increase globally, the prevalence of coral diseases like PGAs could increase accordingly, halted only perhaps by declines in host density below thresholds required for disease establishment.

  2. Growth anomalies on the coral genera Acropora and Porites are strongly associated with host density and human population size across the Indo-Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeby, Greta S.; Williams, Gareth J.; Franklin, Erik C.; Haapkyla, Jessica; Harvell, C. Drew; Neale, Stephen; Page, Cathie A.; Raymundo, Laurie; Vargas-Angel, Bernardo; Willis, Bette L.; Work, Thierry M.; Davy, Simon K.

    2011-01-01

    Growth anomalies (GAs) are common, tumor-like diseases that can cause significant morbidity and decreased fecundity in the major Indo-Pacific reef-building coral genera, Acropora and Porites. GAs are unusually tractable for testing hypotheses about drivers of coral disease because of their pan-Pacific distributions, relatively high occurrence, and unambiguous ease of identification. We modeled multiple disease-environment associations that may underlie the prevalence of Acropora growth anomalies (AGA) (n = 304 surveys) and Porites growth anomalies (PGA) (n = 602 surveys) from across the Indo-Pacific. Nine predictor variables were modeled, including coral host abundance, human population size, and sea surface temperature and ultra-violet radiation anomalies. Prevalence of both AGAs and PGAs were strongly host density-dependent. PGAs additionally showed strong positive associations with human population size. Although this association has been widely posited, this is one of the first broad-scale studies unambiguously linking a coral disease with human population size. These results emphasize that individual coral diseases can show relatively distinct patterns of association with environmental predictors, even in similar diseases (growth anomalies) found on different host genera (Acropora vs. Porites). As human densities and environmental degradation increase globally, the prevalence of coral diseases like PGAs could increase accordingly, halted only perhaps by declines in host density below thresholds required for disease establishment.

  3. High resolution MRI of the breast at 3 T: which BI-RADS {sup registered} descriptors are most strongly associated with the diagnosis of breast cancer?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinker-Domenig, K.; Helbich, T.H. [Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Radiology, Division of Molecular and Gender Imaging, Vienna (Austria); Bogner, W.; Gruber, S. [Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Radiology, MR Centre of Excellence, Vienna (Austria); Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Radiology, Vienna (Austria); Bickel, H. [Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Radiology, Division of Molecular and Gender Imaging, Vienna (Austria); Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Radiology, Vienna (Austria); Duffy, S. [Queen Mary University of London, Cancer Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, Mathematics and Statistics, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London (United Kingdom); Schernthaner, M. [Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Radiology, Vienna (Austria); Dubsky, P. [Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Surgery, Vienna (Austria); Pluschnig, U. [Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Division of Oncology, Vienna (Austria); Rudas, M. [Medical University Vienna, Clinical Institute of Pathology, Vienna (Austria); Trattnig, S. [Medical University Vienna, Dept. of Radiology, MR Centre of Excellence, Vienna (Austria)

    2012-02-15

    To identify which breast lesion descriptors in the ACR BI-RADS registered MRI lexicon are most strongly associated with the diagnosis of breast cancer when performing breast MR imaging at 3 T. 150 patients underwent breast MR imaging at 3 T. Lesion size, morphology and enhancement kinetics were assessed according to the BI-RADS {sup registered} classification. Sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy were assessed. The effects of the BI-RADS {sup registered} descriptors on sensitivity and specificity were evaluated. Data were analysed using logistic regression. Histopathological diagnoses were used as the standard of reference. The sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy of breast MRI at 3 T was 99%, 81% and 93%, respectively. In univariate analysis, the final diagnosis of malignancy was positively associated with irregular shape (p < 0.001), irregular margin (p < 0.001), heterogeneous enhancement (p < 0.001), Type 3 enhancement kinetics (p = 0.02), increasing patient age (p = 0.02) and larger lesion size (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, significant associations with malignancy remained for mass shape (p = 0.06), mass margin (p < 0.001), internal enhancement pattern (p = 0.03) and Type 3 enhancement kinetics (p = 0.06). The ACR BI-RADS {sup registered} breast lesion descriptors that are mostly strongly associated with breast cancer in breast MR imaging at 3 T are lesion shape, lesion margin, internal enhancement pattern and Type 3 enhancement kinetics. (orig.)

  4. The argumentative impact of causal relations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Anne Ellerup

    1996-01-01

    such as causality, explanation and justification. In certain types of discourse, causal relations also imply an intentional element. This paper describes the way in which the semantic and pragmatic functions of causal markers can be accounted for in terms of linguistic and rhetorical theories of argumentation.......The semantic relations between and within utterances are marked by the use of connectors and adverbials. One type of semantic relations is causal relations expressed by causal markers such as because, therefore, so, for, etc. Some of these markers cover different types of causal relations...

  5. Where the lake meets the sea: strong reproductive isolation is associated with adaptive divergence between lake resident and anadromous three-spined sticklebacks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Ravinet

    Full Text Available Contact zones between divergent forms of the same species are often characterised by high levels of phenotypic diversity over small geographic distances. What processes are involved in generating such high phenotypic diversity? One possibility is that introgression and recombination between divergent forms in contact zones results in greater phenotypic and genetic polymorphism. Alternatively, strong reproductive isolation between forms may maintain distinct phenotypes, preventing homogenisation by gene flow. Contact zones between divergent freshwater-resident and anadromous stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L. forms are numerous and common throughout the species distribution, offering an opportunity to examine these contrasting hypotheses in greater detail. This study reports on an interesting new contact zone located in a tidally influenced lake catchment in western Ireland, characterised by high polymorphism for lateral plate phenotypes. Using neutral and QTL-linked microsatellite markers, we tested whether the high diversity observed in this contact zone arose as a result of introgression or reproductive isolation between divergent forms: we found strong support for the latter hypothesis. Three phenotypic and genetic clusters were identified, consistent with two divergent resident forms and a distinct anadromous completely plated population that migrates in and out of the system. Given the strong neutral differentiation detected between all three morphotypes (mean FST = 0.12, we hypothesised that divergent selection between forms maintains reproductive isolation. We found a correlation between neutral genetic and adaptive genetic differentiation that support this. While strong associations between QTL linked markers and phenotypes were also observed in this wild population, our results support the suggestion that such associations may be more complex in some Atlantic populations compared to those in the Pacific. These findings provide an

  6. Economic growth and energy consumption in Algeria: a causality analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cherfi, S.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to review the causal link in the Granger sense, between energy consumption and economic growth in Algeria, to determine its implications for economic policy. The analysis was done based on Granger static and causality tests using statistical data on per capita primary energy consumption and gross domestic product per inhabitant in Algeria, over the 1965-2008 period. The results of the survey show that there is, in Algeria, a strong link between energy consumption per inhabitant and GDP per inhabitant. The results also suggest the lack of a long term impetus (no co-integration) between energy consumption and economic growth. In addition, there is a one-way causal link between GDP and energy consumption, i.e. the prior GDP data provides a better forecast of energy consumption level, but not the contrary. In other words, GDP explains consumption, not the contrary. (author)

  7. The Association of Arsenic Exposure and Arsenic Metabolism with the Metabolic Syndrome and its Individual Components: Prospective Evidence from the Strong Heart Family Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratlen, Miranda J; Grau-Perez, Maria; Best, Lyle G; Yracheta, Joseph; Lazo, Mariana; Vaidya, Dhananjay; Balakrishnan, Poojitha; Gamble, Mary V; Francesconi, Kevin A; Goessler, Walter; Cole, Shelley A; Umans, Jason G; Howard, Barbara V; Navas-Acien, Ana

    2018-03-15

    Inorganic arsenic exposure is ubiquitous and both exposure and inter-individual differences in its metabolism have been associated with cardiometabolic risk. The association between arsenic exposure and arsenic metabolism with metabolic syndrome and its individual components, however, is relatively unknown. We used poisson regression with robust variance to evaluate the association between baseline arsenic exposure (urine arsenic levels) and metabolism (relative percentage of arsenic species over their sum) with incident metabolic syndrome and its individual components (elevated waist circumference, elevated triglycerides, reduced HDL, hypertension, elevated fasting plasma glucose) in 1,047 participants from the Strong Heart Family Study, a prospective family-based cohort in American Indian communities (baseline visits in 1998-1999 and 2001-2003, follow-up visits in 2001-2003 and 2006-2009). 32% of participants developed metabolic syndrome over follow-up. An IQR increase in arsenic exposure was associated with 1.19 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.41) greater risk for elevated fasting plasma glucose but not with other individual components or overall metabolic syndrome. Arsenic metabolism, specifically lower MMA% and higher DMA% was associated with higher risk of overall metabolic syndrome and elevated waist circumference, but not with any other component. These findings support there is a contrasting and independent association between arsenic exposure and arsenic metabolism with metabolic outcomes which may contribute to overall diabetes risk.

  8. Meta-analysis of associations between human brain volume and intelligence differences: How strong are they and what do they mean?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietschnig, Jakob; Penke, Lars; Wicherts, Jelte M; Zeiler, Michael; Voracek, Martin

    2015-10-01

    Positive associations between human intelligence and brain size have been suspected for more than 150 years. Nowadays, modern non-invasive measures of in vivo brain volume (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) make it possible to reliably assess associations with IQ. By means of a systematic review of published studies and unpublished results obtained by personal communications with researchers, we identified 88 studies examining effect sizes of 148 healthy and clinical mixed-sex samples (>8000 individuals). Our results showed significant positive associations of brain volume and IQ (r=.24, R(2)=.06) that generalize over age (children vs. adults), IQ domain (full-scale, performance, and verbal IQ), and sex. Application of a number of methods for detection of publication bias indicates that strong and positive correlation coefficients have been reported frequently in the literature whilst small and non-significant associations appear to have been often omitted from reports. We show that the strength of the positive association of brain volume and IQ has been overestimated in the literature, but remains robust even when accounting for different types of dissemination bias, although reported effects have been declining over time. While it is tempting to interpret this association in the context of human cognitive evolution and species differences in brain size and cognitive ability, we show that it is not warranted to interpret brain size as an isomorphic proxy of human intelligence differences. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Type 2 diabetes mellitus susceptibility gene TCF7L2 is strongly associated with hyperglycemia in the Saudi Arabia Population of the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, S; Al-Elq, A; Al-Nafaie, A; Muzaheed, M; Al-Ali, A

    2015-08-01

    We studied the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs7903146, rs12255372 and rs4506565 in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) susceptibility gene, transcription factor 7 like 2 (TCF7L2) with T2DM among the population of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. In a case-control study, blood samples were collected from 359 T2DM patients and 351 age and sex-matched normoglycemic controls. Genotyping was done by allele specific PCR assay. Our results revealed a strong association between risk T alleles in variants rs12255372 (OR: G/T=1.4233; T/T=2.0395) and rs4506565 (OR: A/T=1.6066; T/T=3.1301) and T2DM among the Saudi population of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This is the first time that this association has been identified in a Saudi population. However, a common variant, rs7903146, often found to be associated with T2DM in other populations failed to demonstrate any association to T2DM with the present population. These data further strengthens the hypothesis that Saudi populations might carry a distinct risk allele in T2DM susceptibility gene TCF7L2. The present results confirm that rs12255372 and rs4506565 variants of TCF7L2 show an association, but not rs7903146, with T2DM for the Saudi population of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

  10. Causality between public policies and exports of renewable energy technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sung, Bongsuk; Song, Woo-Yong

    2013-01-01

    This article investigates the causal relationship between public policies and exports of renewable energy technologies using panel data from 18 countries for the period 1991–2007. A number of panel unit root and cointegration tests are applied. Time series data on public policies and exports are integrated and cointegrated. The dynamic OLS results indicate that in the long run, a 1% increase in government R and D expenditures (RAD) increases exports (EX) by 0.819%. EX and RAD variables respond to deviations from the long-run equilibrium in the previous period. Additionally, the Blundell–Bond system generalized methods of moments (GMM) is employed to conduct a panel causality test in a vector error-correction mechanism (VECM) setting. Evidence of a bidirectional and short-run, and strong causal relationship between EX and the contribution of renewable energy to the total energy supply (CRES) is uncovered. CRES has a negative effect on EX, whereas EX has a positive effect on CRES. We suggest some policy implications based on the results of this study. - Highlights: ► We model VECM to test the Granger causality between the policies and the export. ► Technology-push policy has a positive impact on export in the long-run. ► There are the short-run causal relationships between market-pull policy and export

  11. Spectral dimension in causal set quantum gravity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eichhorn, Astrid; Mizera, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    We evaluate the spectral dimension in causal set quantum gravity by simulating random walks on causal sets. In contrast to other approaches to quantum gravity, we find an increasing spectral dimension at small scales. This observation can be connected to the nonlocality of causal set theory that is deeply rooted in its fundamentally Lorentzian nature. Based on its large-scale behaviour, we conjecture that the spectral dimension can serve as a tool to distinguish causal sets that approximate manifolds from those that do not. As a new tool to probe quantum spacetime in different quantum gravity approaches, we introduce a novel dimensional estimator, the causal spectral dimension, based on the meeting probability of two random walkers, which respect the causal structure of the quantum spacetime. We discuss a causal-set example, where the spectral dimension and the causal spectral dimension differ, due to the existence of a preferred foliation. (paper)

  12. Investigating the multi-causal and complex nature of the accident causal influence of construction project features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manu, Patrick A; Ankrah, Nii A; Proverbs, David G; Suresh, Subashini

    2012-09-01

    Construction project features (CPFs) are organisational, physical and operational attributes that characterise construction projects. Although previous studies have examined the accident causal influence of CPFs, the multi-causal attribute of this causal phenomenon still remain elusive and thus requires further investigation. Aiming to shed light on this facet of the accident causal phenomenon of CPFs, this study examines relevant literature and crystallises the attained insight of the multi-causal attribute by a graphical model which is subsequently operationalised by a derived mathematical risk expression that offers a systematic approach for evaluating the potential of CPFs to cause harm and consequently their health and safety (H&S) risk implications. The graphical model and the risk expression put forth by the study thus advance current understanding of the accident causal phenomenon of CPFs and they present an opportunity for project participants to manage the H&S risk associated with CPFs from the early stages of project procurement. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. On causal nonrelativistic classical electrodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goedecke, G.H.

    1984-01-01

    The differential-difference (DD) motion equations of the causal nonrelativistic classical electrodynamics developed by the author in 1975 are shown to possess only nonrunaway, causal solutions with no discontinuities in particle velocity or position. As an example, the DD equation solution for the problem of an electromagnetic shock incident on an initially stationary charged particle is contrasted with the standard Abraham-Lorentz equation solution. The general Cauchy problem for these DD motion equations is discussed. In general, in order to uniquely determine a solution, the initial data must be more detailed than the standard Cauchy data of initial position and velocity. Conditions are given under which the standard Cauchy data will determine the DD equation solutions to sufficient practical accuracy

  14. Quantum mechanics, relativity and causality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tati, Takao.

    1975-07-01

    In quantum mechanics, the state is prepared by a measurement on a space-like surface sigma. What is that determines the surface sigma on which the measurement prepares the state It is considered either a mechanism proper to the measuring process (apparatus) or a universal property of space-time. In the former case, problems arise, concerning causality or conservation of probability due to that the velocity of reduction of wave-packet is considered to exceed the light velocity. The theory of finite degree of freedom proposed previously belongs to the latter case. In this theory, the surface sigma is restricted to the hyper-plane perpendicular to a universal time-like vector governing causal relations. We propose an experiment to discriminate between the above-mentioned two cases and to test the existence of the universal time-like vector. (auth.)

  15. Causal Set Generator and Action Computer

    OpenAIRE

    Cunningham, William; Krioukov, Dmitri

    2017-01-01

    The causal set approach to quantum gravity has gained traction over the past three decades, but numerical experiments involving causal sets have been limited to relatively small scales. The software suite presented here provides a new framework for the generation and study of causal sets. Its efficiency surpasses previous implementations by several orders of magnitude. We highlight several important features of the code, including the compact data structures, the $O(N^2)$ causal set generatio...

  16. Modeling of causality with metamaterials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smolyaninov, Igor I

    2013-01-01

    Hyperbolic metamaterials may be used to model a 2 + 1-dimensional Minkowski space–time in which the role of time is played by one of the spatial coordinates. When a metamaterial is built and illuminated with a coherent extraordinary laser beam, the stationary pattern of light propagation inside the metamaterial may be treated as a collection of particle world lines, which represents a complete ‘history’ of this 2 + 1-dimensional space–time. While this model may be used to build interesting space–time analogs, such as metamaterial ‘black holes’ and a metamaterial ‘big bang’, it lacks causality: since light inside the metamaterial may propagate back and forth along the ‘timelike’ spatial coordinate, events in the ‘future’ may affect events in the ‘past’. Here we demonstrate that a more sophisticated metamaterial model may fix this deficiency via breaking the mirror and temporal (PT) symmetries of the original model and producing one-way propagation along the ‘timelike’ spatial coordinate. The resulting 2 + 1-dimensional Minkowski space–time appears to be causal. This scenario may be considered as a metamaterial model of the Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory of causality. (paper)

  17. Causal structure of analogue spacetimes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barcelo, Carlos; Liberati, Stefano; Sonego, Sebastiano; Visser, Matt

    2004-01-01

    The so-called 'analogue models of general relativity' provide a number of specific physical systems, well outside the traditional realm of general relativity, that nevertheless are well-described by the differential geometry of curved spacetime. Specifically, the propagation of perturbations in these condensed matter systems is described by 'effective metrics' that carry with them notions of 'causal structure' as determined by an exchange of quasi-particles. These quasi-particle-induced causal structures serve as specific examples of what can be done in the presence of a Lorentzian metric without having recourse to the Einstein equations of general relativity. (After all, the underlying analogue model is governed by its own specific physics, not necessarily by the Einstein equations.) In this paper we take a careful look at what can be said about the causal structure of analogue spacetimes, focusing on those containing quasi-particle horizons, both with a view to seeing what is different from standard general relativity, and what the similarities might be. For definiteness, and because the physics is particularly simple to understand, we will phrase much of the discussion in terms of acoustic disturbances in moving fluids, where the underlying physics is ordinary fluid mechanics, governed by the equations of traditional hydrodynamics, and the relevant quasi-particles are the phonons. It must however be emphasized that this choice of example is only for the sake of pedagogical simplicity and that our considerations apply generically to wide classes of analogue spacetimes

  18. Behavioural Pattern of Causality Parameter of Autoregressive ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this paper, a causal form of Autoregressive Moving Average process, ARMA (p, q) of various orders and behaviour of the causality parameter of ARMA model is investigated. It is deduced that the behaviour of causality parameter ψi depends on positive and negative values of autoregressive parameter φ and moving ...

  19. Exploring Individual Differences in Preschoolers' Causal Stance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, Aubry; Booth, Amy E.

    2016-01-01

    Preschoolers, as a group, are highly attuned to causality, and this attunement is known to facilitate memory, learning, and problem solving. However, recent work reveals substantial individual variability in the strength of children's "causal stance," as demonstrated by their curiosity about and preference for new causal information. In…

  20. Representing Personal Determinants in Causal Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandura, Albert

    1984-01-01

    Responds to Staddon's critique of the author's earlier article and addresses issues raised by Staddon's (1984) alternative models of causality. The author argues that it is not the formalizability of causal processes that is the issue but whether cognitive determinants of behavior are reducible to past stimulus inputs in causal structures.…

  1. Causal inference in economics and marketing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian, Hal R

    2016-07-05

    This is an elementary introduction to causal inference in economics written for readers familiar with machine learning methods. The critical step in any causal analysis is estimating the counterfactual-a prediction of what would have happened in the absence of the treatment. The powerful techniques used in machine learning may be useful for developing better estimates of the counterfactual, potentially improving causal inference.

  2. Causal knowledge and reasoning in decision making

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagmayer, Y.; Witteman, C.L.M.

    2017-01-01

    Normative causal decision theories argue that people should use their causal knowledge in decision making. Based on these ideas, we argue that causal knowledge and reasoning may support and thereby potentially improve decision making based on expected outcomes, narratives, and even cues. We will

  3. Strong influence of dietary intake and physical activity on body fatness in elderly Japanese men: age-associated loss of polygenic resistance against obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanisawa, Kumpei; Ito, Tomoko; Sun, Xiaomin; Ise, Ryuken; Oshima, Satomi; Cao, Zhen-Bo; Sakamoto, Shizuo; Tanaka, Masashi; Higuchi, Mitsuru

    2014-09-01

    Genome-wide association studies identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with body mass index (BMI) in middle-aged populations; however, it is unclear whether these SNPs are associated with body fatness in elderly people. We examined the association between genetic risk score (GRS) from BMI-associated SNPs and body fatness in elderly Japanese men. We also examined the contribution of GRS, dietary macronutrient intake, and physical activity to body fatness by different age groups. GRS was calculated from 10 BMI-associated SNPs in 84 middle-aged (30-64 years) and 97 elderly (65-79 years) Japanese men; subjects were divided into low, middle, and high GRS groups. Dietary macronutrient intake was assessed using a questionnaire, and physical activity was evaluated using both a questionnaire and an accelerometer. The middle-aged individuals with a high GRS had greater BMI; waist circumference; and total abdominal fat, visceral fat, and subcutaneous fat areas than the middle-aged individuals with low GRS, whereas the indicators were not different between the GRS groups in elderly individuals. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that GRS was the strongest predictor of BMI, total abdominal fat, and visceral fat in the middle-aged group, whereas fat, alcohol, and protein intakes or vigorous-intensity physical activity were more strongly associated with these indicators than was GRS in the elderly group. These results suggest that GRS from BMI-associated SNPs is not predictive of body fatness in elderly Japanese men. The stronger contribution of dietary macronutrient intake and physical activity to body fatness may attenuate the genetic predisposition in elderly men.

  4. Strong association between serological status and probability of progression to clinical visceral leishmaniasis in prospective cohort studies in India and Nepal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Epco Hasker

    Full Text Available Asymptomatic persons infected with the parasites causing visceral leishmaniasis (VL usually outnumber clinically apparent cases by a ratio of 4-10 to 1. We assessed the risk of progression from infection to disease as a function of DAT and rK39 serological titers.We used available data on four cohorts from villages in India and Nepal that are highly endemic for Leishmania donovani. In each cohort two serosurveys had been conducted. Based on results of initial surveys, subjects were classified as seronegative, moderately seropositive or strongly seropositive using both DAT and rK39. Based on the combination of first and second survey results we identified seroconvertors for both markers. Seroconvertors were subdivided in high and low titer convertors. Subjects were followed up for at least one year following the second survey. Incident VL cases were recorded and verified.We assessed a total of 32,529 enrolled subjects, for a total follow-up time of 72,169 person years. Altogether 235 incident VL cases were documented. The probability of progression to disease was strongly associated with initial serostatus and with seroconversion; this was particularly the case for those with high titers and most prominently among seroconvertors. For high titer DAT convertors the hazard ratio reached as high as 97.4 when compared to non-convertors. The strengths of the associations varied between cohorts and between markers but similar trends were observed between the four cohorts and the two markers.There is a strongly increased risk of progressing to disease among DAT and/or rK39 seropositives with high titers. The options for prophylactic treatment for this group merit further investigation, as it could be of clinical benefit if it prevents progression to disease. Prophylactic treatment might also have a public health benefit if it can be corroborated that these asymptomatically infected individuals are infectious for sand flies.

  5. A-FABP Concentration Is More Strongly Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and the Occurrence of Metabolic Syndrome in Premenopausal Than in Postmenopausal Middle-Aged Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Stefanska

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We aimed at the evaluation of the relationship between adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP and cardiometabolic risk factors in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Additionally, we compared A-FABP with adipokines related to metabolic syndrome (MetS such as leptin and adiponectin. 94 premenopausal and 90 early postmenopausal middle-aged Caucasian women were subject to examinations. Postmenopausal women had higher A-FABP than premenopausal; this difference became insignificant after controlling for age. We found significantly higher correlation coefficients between A-FABP and TC/HDL-C ratio and number of MetS components in premenopausal women, compared to postmenopausal. Each 1 ng/dL increase in A-FABP concentration significantly increased the probability of occurrence of atherogenic lipid profile in premenopausal women, even after multivariate adjustment. All odds ratios became insignificant after controlling for BMI in postmenopausal women. A-FABP was more strongly associated with MetS than leptin and adiponectin in premenopausal women. Adiponectin concentration was a better biomarker for MetS after menopause. Our results suggest that the A-FABP is more strongly associated with some cardiometabolic risk factors in premenopausal than in postmenopausal women. Higher values of A-FABP after menopause are mainly explained by the fact that postmenopausal women are older. Because of the limitation of study, these results should be interpreted with caution.

  6. Causality links among renewable energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and economic growth in Africa: evidence from a panel ARDL-PMG approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attiaoui, Imed; Toumi, Hassen; Ammouri, Bilel; Gargouri, Ilhem

    2017-05-01

    This research examines the causality (For the remainder of the paper, the notion of causality refers to Granger causality.) links among renewable energy consumption (REC), CO 2 emissions (CE), non-renewable energy consumption (NREC), and economic growth (GDP) using an autoregressive distributed lag model based on the pooled mean group estimation (ARDL-PMG) and applying Granger causality tests for a panel consisting of 22 African countries for the period between 1990 and 2011. There is unidirectional and irreversible short-run causality from CE to GDP. The causal direction between CE and REC is unobservable over the short-term. Moreover, we find unidirectional, short-run causality from REC to GDP. When testing per pair of variables, there are short-run bidirectional causalities among REC, CE, and GDP. However, if we add CE to the variables REC and NREC, the causality to GDP is observable, and causality from the pair REC and NREC to economic growth is neutral. Likewise, if we add NREC to the variables GDP and REC, there is causality. There are bidirectional long-run causalities among REC, CE, and GDP, which supports the feedback assumption. Causality from GDP to REC is not strong for the panel. If we test per pair of variables, the strong causality from GDP and CE to REC is neutral. The long-run PMG estimates show that NREC and gross domestic product increase CE, whereas REC decreases CE.

  7. Disease causality extraction based on lexical semantics and document-clause frequency from biomedical literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dong-Gi; Shin, Hyunjung

    2017-05-18

    Recently, research on human disease network has succeeded and has become an aid in figuring out the relationship between various diseases. In most disease networks, however, the relationship between diseases has been simply represented as an association. This representation results in the difficulty of identifying prior diseases and their influence on posterior diseases. In this paper, we propose a causal disease network that implements disease causality through text mining on biomedical literature. To identify the causality between diseases, the proposed method includes two schemes: the first is the lexicon-based causality term strength, which provides the causal strength on a variety of causality terms based on lexicon analysis. The second is the frequency-based causality strength, which determines the direction and strength of causality based on document and clause frequencies in the literature. We applied the proposed method to 6,617,833 PubMed literature, and chose 195 diseases to construct a causal disease network. From all possible pairs of disease nodes in the network, 1011 causal pairs of 149 diseases were extracted. The resulting network was compared with that of a previous study. In terms of both coverage and quality, the proposed method showed outperforming results; it determined 2.7 times more causalities and showed higher correlation with associated diseases than the existing method. This research has novelty in which the proposed method circumvents the limitations of time and cost in applying all possible causalities in biological experiments and it is a more advanced text mining technique by defining the concepts of causality term strength.

  8. Is prehypertension more strongly associated with long-term ambient air pollution exposure than hypertension? Findings from the 33 Communities Chinese Health Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Bo-Yi; Qian, Zhengmin Min; Vaughn, Michael G; Nelson, Erik J; Dharmage, Shyamali C; Heinrich, Joachim; Lin, Shao; Lawrence, Wayne R; Ma, Huimin; Chen, Duo-Hong; Hu, Li-Wen; Zeng, Xiao-Wen; Xu, Shu-Li; Zhang, Chuan; Dong, Guang-Hui

    2017-10-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the effects of long-term exposure to ambient air pollution on hypertension. However, little information exists regarding its effects on prehypertension, a very common, but understudied cardiovascular indicator. We evaluated data from 24,845 adults (ages 18-74 years) living in three Northeastern Chinese cities in 2009. Blood pressure (BP) was measured by trained observers using a standardized mercuric-column sphygmomanometer. Three-year (from 2006 to 2008) average concentrations of particles with an aerodynamic diameter ≤10 μm (PM 10 ), sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ), nitrogen dioxides (NO 2 ), and ozone (O 3 ) were calculated using data from monitoring stations. Effects were analyzed using generalized additive models and two-level regression analyses, controlling for covariates. We found positive associations of all pollutants with prehypertension (e.g. odds ratio (OR) was 1.17 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09-1.25) per interquartile range (IQR) of PM 10 ) in a fully adjusted model, as compared to normotensive participants. These associations were stronger than associations with hypertension (e.g. OR was 1.03 (95% CI, 1.00, 1.07) per IQR of PM 10 ). We have also found positive associations of all studied pollutants with systolic and diastolic BP: e.g., associations with PM 10 per IQR were 1.24 mmHg (95% CI, 1.03-1.45) for systolic BP and 0.47 mmHg (95% CI, 0.33-0.61) for diastolic BP. Further, we observed that associations with BP were stronger in women and in older participants (systolic BP only). In conclusion, long-term exposure to ambient air pollution was more strongly associated with prehypertension than with hypertension, especially among females and the elderly. Thus, interventions to reduce air pollution are of great significance for preventing future cardiovascular events, particularly among individuals with prehypertension. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. A theory of causal learning in children: causal maps and Bayes nets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopnik, Alison; Glymour, Clark; Sobel, David M; Schulz, Laura E; Kushnir, Tamar; Danks, David

    2004-01-01

    The authors outline a cognitive and computational account of causal learning in children. They propose that children use specialized cognitive systems that allow them to recover an accurate "causal map" of the world: an abstract, coherent, learned representation of the causal relations among events. This kind of knowledge can be perspicuously understood in terms of the formalism of directed graphical causal models, or Bayes nets. Children's causal learning and inference may involve computations similar to those for learning causal Bayes nets and for predicting with them. Experimental results suggest that 2- to 4-year-old children construct new causal maps and that their learning is consistent with the Bayes net formalism.

  10. Norms and customs: causally important or causally impotent?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Todd

    2010-01-01

    In this article, I argue that norms and customs, despite frequently being described as being causes of behavior in the social sciences and ordinary conversation, cannot really cause behavior. Terms like "norms" and the like seem to refer to philosophically disreputable disjunctive properties. More problematically, even if they do not, or even if there can be disjunctive properties after all, I argue that norms and customs still cannot cause behavior. The social sciences would be better off without referring to properties like norms and customs as if they could be causal.

  11. Emergent Geometry from Entropy and Causality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelhardt, Netta

    In this thesis, we investigate the connections between the geometry of spacetime and aspects of quantum field theory such as entanglement entropy and causality. This work is motivated by the idea that spacetime geometry is an emergent phenomenon in quantum gravity, and that the physics responsible for this emergence is fundamental to quantum field theory. Part I of this thesis is focused on the interplay between spacetime and entropy, with a special emphasis on entropy due to entanglement. In general spacetimes, there exist locally-defined surfaces sensitive to the geometry that may act as local black hole boundaries or cosmological horizons; these surfaces, known as holographic screens, are argued to have a connection with the second law of thermodynamics. Holographic screens obey an area law, suggestive of an association with entropy; they are also distinguished surfaces from the perspective of the covariant entropy bound, a bound on the total entropy of a slice of the spacetime. This construction is shown to be quite general, and is formulated in both classical and perturbatively quantum theories of gravity. The remainder of Part I uses the Anti-de Sitter/ Conformal Field Theory (AdS/CFT) correspondence to both expand and constrain the connection between entanglement entropy and geometry. The AdS/CFT correspondence posits an equivalence between string theory in the "bulk" with AdS boundary conditions and certain quantum field theories. In the limit where the string theory is simply classical General Relativity, the Ryu-Takayanagi and more generally, the Hubeny-Rangamani-Takayanagi (HRT) formulae provide a way of relating the geometry of surfaces to entanglement entropy. A first-order bulk quantum correction to HRT was derived by Faulkner, Lewkowycz and Maldacena. This formula is generalized to include perturbative quantum corrections in the bulk at any (finite) order. Hurdles to spacetime emergence from entanglement entropy as described by HRT and its quantum

  12. Renewable energy consumption and economic growth in nine OECD countries: bounds test approach and causality analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung-Pin, Lin

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate the short-run and long-run causality between renewable energy (RE) consumption and economic growth (EG) in nine OECD countries from the period between 1982 and 2011. To examine the linkage, this paper uses the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach of cointegration test and vector error-correction models to test the causal relationship between variables. The co-integration and causal relationships are found in five countries-United States of America (USA), Japan, Germany, Italy, and United Kingdom (UK). The overall results indicate that (1) a short-run unidirectional causality runs from EG to RE in Italy and UK; (2) long-run unidirectional causalities run from RE to EG for Germany, Italy, and UK; (3) a long-run unidirectional causality runs from EG to RE in USA, and Japan; (4) both long-run and strong unidirectional causalities run from RE to EG for Germany and UK; and (5) Finally, both long-run and strong unidirectional causalities run from EG to RE in only USA. Further evidence reveals that policies for renewable energy conservation may have no impact on economic growth in France, Denmark, Portugal, and Spain.

  13. Tachyon kinematics and causality: a systematic thorough analysis of the tachyon causal paradoxes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recami, E.

    1987-01-01

    The chronological order of the events along a spacelike path is not invariant under Lorentz transformations, as is well known. This led to an early conviction that tachyons would give rise to causal anomalies. A relativistic version of the Stueckelberg-Feynman switching procedure (SWP) has been invoked as the suitable tool to eliminate those anomalies. The application of the SWP does eliminate the motions backwards in time, but interchanges the roles of source and detector. This fact triggered the proposal of a host of causal paradoxes. Till now, however, it has not been recognized that such paradoxes can be sensibly discussed (and completely solved, at least in microphysics) only after the tachyon relativistic mechanics has been properly developed. They start by showing how to apply the SWP, both in the case of ordinary special relativity and in the case with tachyons. Then they carefully exploit the kinetics of the tachyon exchange between two (ordinary) bodies. Being finally able to tackle the tachyon causality problem, they successively solve the paradoxes of: (i) Tolman-Regge, (ii) Pirani, (iii) Edmonds, and (iv) Bell. Finally, they discuss a further, new paradox associated with the transmission of signals by modulated tachyon beams

  14. A theory of causal learning in children: Causal maps and Bayes nets

    OpenAIRE

    Gopnik, A; Glymour, C; Sobel, D M; Schulz, L E; Kushnir, T; Danks, D

    2004-01-01

    The authors outline a cognitive and computational account of causal learning in children. They propose that children use specialized cognitive systems that allow them to recover an accurate "causal map" of the world: an abstract, coherent, learned representation of the causal relations among events. This kind of knowledge can be perspicuously understood in terms of the formalism of directed graphical causal models, or Bayes nets. Children's causal learning and inference may involve computatio...

  15. Serum uric acid is more strongly associated with impaired fasting glucose in women than in men from a community-dwelling population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryuichi Kawamoto

    Full Text Available Serum uric acid (SUA levels are associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS and its components such as glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. It is unknown whether there are gender-specific differences regarding the relationship between SUA levels, impaired fasting glucose (IFG and newly detected diabetes. We recruited 1,209 men aged 60±15 (range, 19-89 years and 1,636 women aged 63±12 (range, 19-89 years during their annual health examination from a single community. We investigated the association between SUA levels and six categories according to fasting plasma glucose (FPG level {normal fasting glucose (NFG, <100 mg/dL; high NFG-WHO, 100 to 109 mg/dL; IFG-WHO, 110 to 125 mg/dL; IFG-ADA, 100 to 125 mg/dL; newly detected diabetes, ≥126 mg/dL; known diabetes} SUA levels were more strongly associated with the different FPG categories in women compared with men. In women, the associations remained significant for IFG-WHO (OR, 1.23, 95% CI, 1.00-1.50 and newly detected diabetes (OR, 1.33, 95% CI, 1.03-1.72 following multivariate adjustment. However, in men all the associations were not significant. Thus, there was a significant interaction between gender and SUA level for newly detected diabetes (P = 0.005. SUA levels are associated with different categories of impaired fasting glucose in participants from community-dwelling persons, particularly in women.

  16. Arsenic metabolism efficiency has a causal role in arsenic toxicity: Mendelian randomization and gene-environment interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Brandon L; Tong, Lin; Argos, Maria; Gao, Jianjun; Farzana, Jasmine; Roy, Shantanu; Paul-Brutus, Rachelle; Rahaman, Ronald; Rakibuz-Zaman, Muhammad; Parvez, Faruque; Ahmed, Alauddin; Quasem, Iftekhar; Hore, Samar K; Alam, Shafiul; Islam, Tariqul; Harjes, Judith; Sarwar, Golam; Slavkovich, Vesna; Gamble, Mary V; Chen, Yu; Yunus, Mohammad; Rahman, Mahfuzar; Baron, John A; Graziano, Joseph H; Ahsan, Habibul

    2013-12-01

    Arsenic exposure through drinking water is a serious global health issue. Observational studies suggest that individuals who metabolize arsenic efficiently are at lower risk for toxicities such as arsenical skin lesions. Using two single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs) in the 10q24.32 region (near AS3MT) that show independent associations with metabolism efficiency, Mendelian randomization can be used to assess whether the association between metabolism efficiency and skin lesions is likely to be causal. Using data on 2060 arsenic-exposed Bangladeshi individuals, we estimated associations for two 10q24.32 SNPs with relative concentrations of three urinary arsenic species (representing metabolism efficiency): inorganic arsenic (iAs), monomethylarsonic acid(MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA). SNP-based predictions of iAs%, MMA% and DMA% were tested for association with skin lesion status among 2483 cases and 2857 controls. Causal odds ratios for skin lesions were 0.90 (95% confidence interval[CI]: 0.87, 0.95), 1.19 (CI: 1.10, 1.28) and 1.23 (CI: 1.12, 1.36)for a one standard deviation increase in DMA%, MMA% and iAs%,respectively. We demonstrated genotype-arsenic interaction, with metabolism-related variants showing stronger associations with skin lesion risk among individuals with high arsenic exposure (synergy index: 1.37; CI: 1.11, 1.62). We provide strong evidence for a causal relationship between arsenic metabolism efficiency and skin lesion risk. Mendelian randomization can be used to assess the causal role of arsenic exposure and metabolism in a wide array of health conditions.exposure and metabolism in a wide array of health conditions.Developing interventions that increase arsenic metabolism efficiency are likely to reduce the impact of arsenic exposure on health.

  17. Predicting Causal Relationships from Biological Data: Applying Automated Casual Discovery on Mass Cytometry Data of Human Immune Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Triantafillou, Sofia; Lagani, Vincenzo; Heinze-Deml, Christina; Schmidt, Angelika; Tegner, Jesper; Tsamardinos, Ioannis

    2017-01-01

    Learning the causal relationships that define a molecular system allows us to predict how the system will respond to different interventions. Distinguishing causality from mere association typically requires randomized experiments. Methods for automated causal discovery from limited experiments exist, but have so far rarely been tested in systems biology applications. In this work, we apply state-of-the art causal discovery methods on a large collection of public mass cytometry data sets, measuring intra-cellular signaling proteins of the human immune system and their response to several perturbations. We show how different experimental conditions can be used to facilitate causal discovery, and apply two fundamental methods that produce context-specific causal predictions. Causal predictions were reproducible across independent data sets from two different studies, but often disagree with the KEGG pathway databases. Within this context, we discuss the caveats we need to overcome for automated causal discovery to become a part of the routine data analysis in systems biology.

  18. Predicting Causal Relationships from Biological Data: Applying Automated Casual Discovery on Mass Cytometry Data of Human Immune Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Triantafillou, Sofia

    2017-03-31

    Learning the causal relationships that define a molecular system allows us to predict how the system will respond to different interventions. Distinguishing causality from mere association typically requires randomized experiments. Methods for automated causal discovery from limited experiments exist, but have so far rarely been tested in systems biology applications. In this work, we apply state-of-the art causal discovery methods on a large collection of public mass cytometry data sets, measuring intra-cellular signaling proteins of the human immune system and their response to several perturbations. We show how different experimental conditions can be used to facilitate causal discovery, and apply two fundamental methods that produce context-specific causal predictions. Causal predictions were reproducible across independent data sets from two different studies, but often disagree with the KEGG pathway databases. Within this context, we discuss the caveats we need to overcome for automated causal discovery to become a part of the routine data analysis in systems biology.

  19. Are bruxism and the bite causally related?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobbezoo, F; Ahlberg, J; Manfredini, D; Winocur, E

    2012-07-01

    In the dental profession, the belief that bruxism and dental (mal-)occlusion ('the bite') are causally related is widespread. The aim of this review was to critically assess the available literature on this topic. A PubMed search of the English-language literature, using the query 'Bruxism [Majr] AND (Dental Occlusion [Majr] OR Malocclusion [Majr])', yielded 93 articles, of which 46 papers were finally included in the present review*. Part of the included publications dealt with the possible associations between bruxism and aspects of occlusion, from which it was concluded that neither for occlusal interferences nor for factors related to the anatomy of the oro-facial skeleton, there is any evidence available that they are involved in the aetiology of bruxism. Instead, there is a growing awareness of other factors (viz. psychosocial and behavioural ones) being important in the aetiology of bruxism. Another part of the included papers assessed the possible mediating role of occlusion between bruxism and its purported consequences (e.g. tooth wear, loss of periodontal tissues, and temporomandibular pain and dysfunction). Even though most dentists agree that bruxism may have several adverse effects on the masticatory system, for none of these purported adverse effects, evidence for a mediating role of occlusion and articulation has been found to date. Hence, based on this review, it should be concluded that to date, there is no evidence whatsoever for a causal relationship between bruxism and the bite. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Causal mediation analysis with multiple causally non-ordered mediators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taguri, Masataka; Featherstone, John; Cheng, Jing

    2018-01-01

    In many health studies, researchers are interested in estimating the treatment effects on the outcome around and through an intermediate variable. Such causal mediation analyses aim to understand the mechanisms that explain the treatment effect. Although multiple mediators are often involved in real studies, most of the literature considered mediation analyses with one mediator at a time. In this article, we consider mediation analyses when there are causally non-ordered multiple mediators. Even if the mediators do not affect each other, the sum of two indirect effects through the two mediators considered separately may diverge from the joint natural indirect effect when there are additive interactions between the effects of the two mediators on the outcome. Therefore, we derive an equation for the joint natural indirect effect based on the individual mediation effects and their interactive effect, which helps us understand how the mediation effect works through the two mediators and relative contributions of the mediators and their interaction. We also discuss an extension for three mediators. The proposed method is illustrated using data from a randomized trial on the prevention of dental caries.

  1. An Algorithmic Information Calculus for Causal Discovery and Reprogramming Systems

    KAUST Repository

    Zenil, Hector

    2017-09-08

    We introduce a conceptual framework and an interventional calculus to steer and manipulate systems based on their intrinsic algorithmic probability using the universal principles of the theory of computability and algorithmic information. By applying sequences of controlled interventions to systems and networks, we estimate how changes in their algorithmic information content are reflected in positive/negative shifts towards and away from randomness. The strong connection between approximations to algorithmic complexity (the size of the shortest generating mechanism) and causality induces a sequence of perturbations ranking the network elements by the steering capabilities that each of them is capable of. This new dimension unmasks a separation between causal and non-causal components providing a suite of powerful parameter-free algorithms of wide applicability ranging from optimal dimension reduction, maximal randomness analysis and system control. We introduce methods for reprogramming systems that do not require the full knowledge or access to the system\\'s actual kinetic equations or any probability distributions. A causal interventional analysis of synthetic and regulatory biological networks reveals how the algorithmic reprogramming qualitatively reshapes the system\\'s dynamic landscape. For example, during cellular differentiation we find a decrease in the number of elements corresponding to a transition away from randomness and a combination of the system\\'s intrinsic properties and its intrinsic capabilities to be algorithmically reprogrammed can reconstruct an epigenetic landscape. The interventional calculus is broadly applicable to predictive causal inference of systems such as networks and of relevance to a variety of machine and causal learning techniques driving model-based approaches to better understanding and manipulate complex systems.

  2. The causal effect of vitamin D binding protein (DBP levels on calcemic and cardiometabolic diseases: a Mendelian randomization study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Leong

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Observational studies have shown that vitamin D binding protein (DBP levels, a key determinant of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25OHD levels, and 25OHD levels themselves both associate with risk of disease. If 25OHD levels have a causal influence on disease, and DBP lies in this causal pathway, then DBP levels should likewise be causally associated with disease. We undertook a Mendelian randomization study to determine whether DBP levels have causal effects on common calcemic and cardiometabolic disease.We measured DBP and 25OHD levels in 2,254 individuals, followed for up to 10 y, in the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos. Using the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2282679 as an instrumental variable, we applied Mendelian randomization methods to determine the causal effect of DBP on calcemic (osteoporosis and hyperparathyroidism and cardiometabolic diseases (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and stroke and related traits, first in CaMos and then in large-scale genome-wide association study consortia. The effect allele was associated with an age- and sex-adjusted decrease in DBP level of 27.4 mg/l (95% CI 24.7, 30.0; n = 2,254. DBP had a strong observational and causal association with 25OHD levels (p = 3.2 × 10(-19. While DBP levels were observationally associated with calcium and body mass index (BMI, these associations were not supported by causal analyses. Despite well-powered sample sizes from consortia, there were no associations of rs2282679 with any other traits and diseases: fasting glucose (0.00 mmol/l [95% CI -0.01, 0.01]; p = 1.00; n = 46,186; fasting insulin (0.01 pmol/l [95% CI -0.00, 0.01,]; p = 0.22; n = 46,186; BMI (0.00 kg/m(2 [95% CI -0.01, 0.01]; p = 0.80; n = 127,587; bone mineral density (0.01 g/cm(2 [95% CI -0.01, 0.03]; p = 0.36; n = 32,961; mean arterial pressure (-0.06 mm Hg [95% CI -0.19, 0.07]; p = 0.36; n = 28,775; ischemic stroke (odds ratio [OR]  = 1.00 [95% CI 0.97, 1.04]; p = 0.92; n

  3. A capsule/lipopolysaccharide/MLST genotype D/L6/ST11 of Pasteurella multocida is likely to be strongly associated with swine respiratory disease in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Zhong; Wang, Haonan; Liang, Wan; Chen, Yibao; Tang, Xibiao; Chen, Huanchun; Wu, Bin

    2018-01-01

    Pasteurella multocida is a leading cause of respiratory disease in pigs worldwide. In this study, we determined the genetic characteristics of 115 P. multocida isolates from the lungs of pigs with respiratory disease in China in 2015 using capsular typing, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) genotyping, and virulence genotyping based on the detection of virulence-associated genes. The results showed that the isolates belonged to three capsular types: A (49.6%), D (46.1%), and nontypable (4.3%); and two LPS genotypes: L3 (22.6%) and L6 (77.4%). When combining the capsular types with the LPS genotypes, a genotype group D: L6 (46.1%) was the most prevalent among the strains. Among the 23 virulence-associated genes detected in this study, a small number of them displayed a certain level of "genotype-preference". We found that pfhA, hgbA, and hgbB had a close association with P. multocida LPS genotypes, while tadD was more associated with P. multocida capsular types. In addition, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) on 40 P. multocida isolates identified four sequence types: ST3, ST10, ST11, and ST16, and the distribution of ST11 was significantly higher than the other MLST genotypes. Interestingly, all of the ST11 isolates detected in this study were genotype D: L6 strains and they were 100% positive for hgbB. Our data suggest that a capsule/LPS/MLST genotype D/L6/ST11 is likely to be strongly associated with respiratory clinical manifestation of the disease in pigs.

  4. Economic Growth, Foreign Direct Investment and CO2 Emissions in China: A Panel Granger Causality Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongfeng Peng

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Using a sample of province-level panel data, this paper investigates the Granger causality associations among economic growth (GDP, foreign direct investment (FDI and CO2 emissions in China. By applying the bootstrap Granger panel causality approach (Kónya, 2006, we consider both cross-sectional dependence and homogeneity of different regions in China. The empirical results support that the causality direction not only works in a single direction either from GDP to FDI (in Yunnan or from FDI to GDP (in Beijing, Neimenggu, Jilin, Shanxi and Gansu, but it also works in both directions (in Henan. Moreover, we document that GDP is Granger-causing CO2 emissions in Neimenggu, Hubei, Guangxi and Gansu while there is bidirectional causality between these two variables in Shanxi. In the end, we identify the unidirectional causality from FDI to CO2 emissions in Beijing, Henan, Guizhou and Shanxi, and the bidirectional causality between FDI and CO2 emissions in Neimenggu.

  5. Tests of the power PC theory of causal induction with negative contingencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanks, David R

    2002-01-01

    The power PC theory of causal induction (Cheng, 1997) proposes that causal estimates are based on the power p of a potential cause, where p is the contingency between the cause and effect normalized by the base rate of the effect. Previous tests of this theory have concentrated on generative causes that have positive contingencies with their associated outcomes. Here we empirically test this theory in two experiments using preventive causes that have negative contingencies for their outcomes. Contrary to the power PC theory, the results show that causal judgments vary with contingency across conditions of constant power p. This pattern is consistent, however, with several alternative accounts of causal judgment.

  6. The connexion of duality and causal properties for generalized free fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garber, W.D.

    1975-01-01

    It is shown that the time-slice axiom and the diamond property are equivalent for the generalized free field. If, in addition, there is a mass gap, duality is equivalent to either causality requirement. It is further shown that the local rings associated with certain space-time regions are factors in the case of causal generalized free fields with mass gap. Necessary and sufficient conditions for causality and duality and some examples for causal and acausal generalized free fields are also given. (orig.) [de

  7. Strong association of 677 C>T substitution in the MTHFR gene with male infertility--a study on an indian population and a meta-analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishi Gupta

    Full Text Available Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR is an important enzyme of folate and methionine metabolism, making it crucial for DNA synthesis and methylation. The objective of this study was to analyze MTHFR gene 677C>T polymorphism in infertile male individuals from North India, followed by a meta-analysis on our data and published studies.We undertook genotyping on a total of 837 individuals including well characterized infertile (N = 522 and confirmed fertile (N = 315 individuals. The SNP was typed by direct DNA sequencing. Chi square test was done for statistical analysis. Published studies were searched using appropriate keywords. Source of data collection for meta-analysis included 'Pubmed', 'Ovid' and 'Google Scholar'. Those studies analyzing 677C>T polymorphism in male infertility and presenting all relevant data were included in meta-analysis. The genotype data for infertile subjects and fertile controls was extracted from each study. Chi square test was done to obtain odds ratio (OR and p-value. Meta-analysis was performed using Comprehensive Meta-analysis software (Version 2. The frequency of mutant (T allele (p = 0.0025 and genotypes (CT+TT (p = 0.0187 was significantly higher in infertile individuals in comparison to fertile controls in our case-control study. The overall summary estimate (OR for allele and genotype meta-analysis were 1.304 (p = 0.000, 1.310 (p = 0.000, respectively, establishing significant association of 677C>T polymorphism with male infertility.677C>T substitution associated strongly with male infertility in Indian population. Allele and genotype meta-analysis also supported its strong correlation with male infertility, thus establishing it as a risk factor.

  8. Concepts in causality: chemically induced human urinary bladder cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lower, G.M. Jr.

    1982-01-01

    A significant portion of the incidence of human urinary bladder cancer can be attributed to occupational and cultural (tobacco smoking) situations associated with exposures to various arylamines, many of which represent established human carcinogens. A brief historical overview of research in bladder cancer causality indicates that the identification of causal agents and causal mechanism has been approached and rests upon information gathered at the organismal (geographical/historical), cellular, and molecular levels of biologic organization. This viewpoint speaks of a natural evolution within the biomedical sciences; a natural evolution from descriptive approaches to mechanistic approaches; and a natural evolution from more or less independent discipline-oriented approaches to hierarchically organized multidisciplinary approaches. Available information relevant to bladder cancer causality can be readily integrated into general conceptual frameworks to yield a hierarchial view of the natural history of urinary bladder cancer, a view consistent with contemporary natural systems and information theory and perhaps relevant also to other chemically induced epithelial cancers. Such frameworks are useful in appreciating the spatial and temporal boundaries and interrelationships in causality and the conceptual interrelationships within the biomedical sciences. Recent approaches in molecular epidemiology and the assessment of relative individual susceptibility to bladder cancer indicate that such frameworks are useful in forming hypotheses

  9. Causal attributions in Brazilian children's reasoning about health and illness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boruchovitch Evely

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: At a time when a great number of diseases can be prevented by changing one's habits and life style, investigations have focused on understanding what adults and children believe to be desirable health practices and uncovering the factors associated with successful adherence to such practices. For these, causal attributions for health and illness were investigated among 96 Brazilian elementary school students. METHODS: Ninety six subjects, aged 6 to 14, were interviewed individually and their causal attributions were assessed through 14 true-false items (e.g. people stay well [healthy] because they are lucky. The relationship between the children's causal attributions and demographic characteristics were also examined. RESULTS: Overall, the results were consistent with previous researches. "Taking care of oneself" was considered the most important cause of good health. "Viruses and germs" and "lack of self-care" were the most selected causes of illness. Analyses revealed significant relationship between subjects' causal attribution and their age, school grade level, socioeconomic status and gender. CONCLUSIONS: The study findings suggest that there may be more cross-cultural similarities than differences in children's causal attributions for health and illness. Finding ways to help individuals engage in appropriate preventive-maintenance health practices without developing an exaggerated notion that the individuals can control their own health and illness is a challenge which remains to be addressed by further research.

  10. Temporal sequence in observational studies to establish causality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Carlos Silva Ayçaguer, PhD

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The article includes a brief summary on the scope of the notions of causality and risk and considers some operational difficulties that arise when dealing with problems associated with them. It underscores the vital importance of timing and its link with the most commonly used observational research designs that address causal relationships. The article describes in detail the need to record the order in which the relevant events occur and how to consider this in the analysis. A detailed example of errors that are usually incurred in and their effect is provided.

  11. Causality: School Libraries and Student Success (CLASS). White Paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    American Association of School Librarians, 2014

    2014-01-01

    On April 11 and 12, 2014, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) held "Causality: School Libraries and Student Success" (CLASS), an IMLS-funded national forum. Dr. Thomas Cook, one of the most influential methodologists in education research, and a five member panel of expert scholars and practitioners led 50 established…

  12. Causal relationship between obesity and vitamin D status

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vimaleswaran, Karani S; Berry, Diane J; Lu, Chen

    2013-01-01

    Obesity is associated with vitamin D deficiency, and both are areas of active public health concern. We explored the causality and direction of the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] using genetic markers as instrumental variables (IVs) in bi-directional ...

  13. Acute appendicitis following blunt abdominal trauma. Coincidence or causality?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Iván Latorre

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Acute appendicitis is a common disease in clinical practice; some well-defined causes include luminal obstruction by fecoliths, lymphoid hyperplasia, foreign bodies and intestinal parasites. Closed abdominal trauma has been associated as an etiological factor, although, their causal relationship is still unclear. This paper presents the case of a patient with appendicitis after a closed abdominal trauma.

  14. The Functions of Danish Causal Conjunctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita Therkelsen

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In the article I propose an analysis of the Danish causal conjunctions fordi, siden and for based on the framework of Danish Functional Grammar. As conjunctions they relate two clauses, and their semantics have in common that it indicates a causal relationship between the clauses. The causal conjunctions are different as far as their distribution is concerned; siden conjoins a subordinate clause and a main clause, for conjoins two main clauses, and fordi is able to do both. Methodologically I have based my analysis on these distributional properties comparing siden and fordi conjoining a subordinate and a main clause, and comparing for and fordi conjoining two main clauses, following the thesis that they would establish a causal relationship between different kinds of content. My main findings are that fordi establishes a causal relationship between the events referred to by the two clauses, and the whole utterance functions as a statement of this causal relationship. Siden presupposes such a general causal relationship between the two events and puts forward the causing event as a reason for assuming or wishing or ordering the caused event, siden thus establishes a causal relationship between an event and a speech act. For equally presupposes a general causal relationship between two events and it establishes a causal relationship between speech acts, and fordi conjoining two main clauses is able to do this too, but in this position it also maintains its event-relating ability, the interpretation depending on contextual factors.

  15. Space and time in perceptual causality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Straube

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Inferring causality is a fundamental feature of human cognition that allows us to theorize about and predict future states of the world. Michotte suggested that humans automatically perceive causality based on certain perceptual features of events. However, individual differences in judgments of perceptual causality cast doubt on Michotte’s view. To gain insights in the neural basis of individual difference in the perception of causality, our participants judged causal relationships in animations of a blue ball colliding with a red ball (a launching event while fMRI-data were acquired. Spatial continuity and temporal contiguity were varied parametrically in these stimuli. We did not find consistent brain activation differences between trials judged as caused and those judged as non-caused, making it unlikely that humans have universal instantiation of perceptual causality in the brain. However, participants were slower to respond to and showed greater neural activity for violations of causality, suggesting that humans are biased to expect causal relationships when moving objects appear to interact. Our participants demonstrated considerable individual differences in their sensitivity to spatial and temporal characteristics in perceiving causality. These qualitative differences in sensitivity to time or space in perceiving causality were instantiated in individual differences in activation of the left basal ganglia or right parietal lobe, respectively. Thus, the perception that the movement of one object causes the movement of another is triggered by elemental spatial and temporal sensitivities, which themselves are instantiated in specific distinct neural networks.

  16. Causal diagrams in systems epidemiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joffe Michael

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Methods of diagrammatic modelling have been greatly developed in the past two decades. Outside the context of infectious diseases, systematic use of diagrams in epidemiology has been mainly confined to the analysis of a single link: that between a disease outcome and its proximal determinant(s. Transmitted causes ("causes of causes" tend not to be systematically analysed. The infectious disease epidemiology modelling tradition models the human population in its environment, typically with the exposure-health relationship and the determinants of exposure being considered at individual and group/ecological levels, respectively. Some properties of the resulting systems are quite general, and are seen in unrelated contexts such as biochemical pathways. Confining analysis to a single link misses the opportunity to discover such properties. The structure of a causal diagram is derived from knowledge about how the world works, as well as from statistical evidence. A single diagram can be used to characterise a whole research area, not just a single analysis - although this depends on the degree of consistency of the causal relationships between different populations - and can therefore be used to integrate multiple datasets. Additional advantages of system-wide models include: the use of instrumental variables - now emerging as an important technique in epidemiology in the context of mendelian randomisation, but under-used in the exploitation of "natural experiments"; the explicit use of change models, which have advantages with respect to inferring causation; and in the detection and elucidation of feedback.

  17. Causal diagrams in systems epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joffe, Michael; Gambhir, Manoj; Chadeau-Hyam, Marc; Vineis, Paolo

    2012-03-19

    Methods of diagrammatic modelling have been greatly developed in the past two decades. Outside the context of infectious diseases, systematic use of diagrams in epidemiology has been mainly confined to the analysis of a single link: that between a disease outcome and its proximal determinant(s). Transmitted causes ("causes of causes") tend not to be systematically analysed.The infectious disease epidemiology modelling tradition models the human population in its environment, typically with the exposure-health relationship and the determinants of exposure being considered at individual and group/ecological levels, respectively. Some properties of the resulting systems are quite general, and are seen in unrelated contexts such as biochemical pathways. Confining analysis to a single link misses the opportunity to discover such properties.The structure of a causal diagram is derived from knowledge about how the world works, as well as from statistical evidence. A single diagram can be used to characterise a whole research area, not just a single analysis - although this depends on the degree of consistency of the causal relationships between different populations - and can therefore be used to integrate multiple datasets.Additional advantages of system-wide models include: the use of instrumental variables - now emerging as an important technique in epidemiology in the context of mendelian randomisation, but under-used in the exploitation of "natural experiments"; the explicit use of change models, which have advantages with respect to inferring causation; and in the detection and elucidation of feedback.

  18. Probabilistic causality and radiogenic cancers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Groeer, P.G.

    1986-01-01

    A review and scrutiny of the literature on probability and probabilistic causality shows that it is possible under certain assumptions to estimate the probability that a certain type of cancer diagnosed in an individual exposed to radiation prior to diagnosis was caused by this exposure. Diagnosis of this causal relationship like diagnosis of any disease - malignant or not - requires always some subjective judgments by the diagnostician. It is, therefore, illusory to believe that tables based on actuarial data can provide objective estimates of the chance that a cancer diagnosed in an individual is radiogenic. It is argued that such tables can only provide a base from which the diagnostician(s) deviate in one direction or the other according to his (their) individual (consensual) judgment. Acceptance of a physician's diagnostic judgment by patients is commonplace. Similar widespread acceptance of expert judgment by claimants in radiation compensation cases does presently not exist. Judicious use of the present radioepidemiological tables prepared by the Working Group of the National Institutes of Health or of updated future versions of similar tables may improve the situation. 20 references

  19. The Mediterranean Diet Score Is More Strongly Associated with Favorable Cardiometabolic Risk Factors over 2 Years Than Other Diet Quality Indexes in Puerto Rican Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattei, Josiemer; Sotos-Prieto, Mercedes; Bigornia, Sherman J; Noel, Sabrina E; Tucker, Katherine L

    2017-04-01

    Background: Multiple diet quality scores have been used to evaluate adherence to specific dietary recommendations or to consumption of healthful foods and nutrients. It remains unknown which score can more strongly predict longitudinal changes in cardiometabolic risk factors. Objective: We aimed to determine associations of 5 diet quality scores [AHA diet score (AHA-DS), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005, Mediterranean diet score (MeDS), and Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI)] with 2-y changes in cardiometabolic risk factors in adults 45-75 y old. Methods: Data from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study were analyzed ( n = 1194). Diet quality scores were calculated from a baseline-validated food-frequency questionnaire. Multivariable-adjusted, repeated-subjects, mixed-effects models, adjusted for baseline measures, estimated associations between each z score and 14 individual cardiometabolic factors measured at 2 y. Results: MeDS was significantly associated with lower 2-y waist circumference (β coefficient ± SE: -0.52 ± 0.26, P = 0.048); body mass index (BMI; -0.23 ± 0.08, P = 0.005); log-insulin (-0.06 ± 0.02, P = 0.005); log-homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR; -0.05 ± 0.02, P = 0.030), and log-C-reactive protein (-0.13 ± 0.03, P = 0.0002). Similar but weaker associations were observed for the AHEI with BMI, insulin, and HOMA-IR. The AHA-DS was inversely associated with BMI (-0.17 ± 0.08, P = 0.033). Neither the HEI-2005 nor DASH was significantly associated with any variable. Traditional Puerto Rican foods consumed by individuals with high MeDSs included vegetables and meats in homemade soups, orange juice, oatmeal, beans and legumes, fish, whole milk, corn oil, and beer. Conclusions: The MeDS comprises food components and scores associated with a favorable cardiometabolic profile over 2 y in Puerto Rican adults. An overall healthy diet may be particularly beneficial for

  20. On the road toward formal reasoning: reasoning with factual causal and contrary-to-fact causal premises during early adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markovits, Henry

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the development of conditional (if-then) reasoning is critical for theoretical and educational reasons. Here we examined the hypothesis that there is a developmental transition between reasoning with true and contrary-to-fact (CF) causal conditionals. A total of 535 students between 11 and 14 years of age received priming conditions designed to encourage use of either a true or CF alternatives generation strategy and reasoning problems with true causal and CF causal premises (with counterbalanced order). Results show that priming had no effect on reasoning with true causal premises. By contrast, priming with CF alternatives significantly improved logical reasoning with CF premises. Analysis of the effect of order showed that reasoning with CF premises reduced logical responding among younger students but had no effect among older students. Results support the idea that there is a transition in the reasoning processes in this age range associated with the nature of the alternatives generation process required for logical reasoning with true and CF causal conditionals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. An evidence for the strong association of N-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone with some organic species in three Chinese bituminous coals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, C.M.; Zong, Z.M.; Jia, J.X.; Liu, G.F.; Wei, X.Y. [China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou (China). School for Chemical Engineering

    2008-04-15

    Three Chinese bituminous coals collected from Shenfu, Heidaigou and Feicheng coal fields were respectively extracted with carbon-disulfide/N-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone (CS{sub 2}/NMP) mixed solvent (volume ratio 1:1) at room temperature followed by distillation of CS{sub 2} under ambient pressure and subsequent removal of most of NMP by distillation at 110{sup o}C under reduced pressure to afford mixed solvent-extractable fractions (MSEFs) with small amount of NMP. Acetone-extractable fraction 1 (AEF1) was obtained by extracting each MSEF under ultrasonic irradiation at room temperature and subsequently using a Soxhlet extractor. Direct extraction of each bituminous coal affords acetone-soluble fraction 2 (AEF2). GC/MS analysis shows that mlz of base or secondary peak in mass spectra of a series of components from each AEF1 is 98, whereas such components were not detected in AEF2. Since m/z of base peak in mass spectrum of NMP itself is 99, the base or secondary peak at m/z 98 should result from loss of a-H from NMP, i.e., NMP is strongly associated with some organic species (OSs) and thereby the components detected with base or secodary peak at m/z 98 in their mass spectra should be associated NMP-OS.

  2. Causality and skies: is non-refocussing necessary?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bautista, A; Ibort, A; Lafuente, J

    2015-01-01

    The causal structure of a strongly causal, null pseudo-convex, space-time M is completely characterized in terms of a partial order on its space of skies defined by means of a class of non-negative Legendrian isotopies called sky isotopies. It is also shown that such partial order is determined by the class of future causal celestial curves, that is, curves in the space of light rays which are tangent to skies and such that they determine non-negative sky isotopies. It will also be proved that the space of skies Σ equipped with Low’s (or reconstructive) topology is homeomorphic and diffeomorphic to M under the only additional assumption that M separates skies, that is, that different events determine different skies. The sky-separating property of M is sharp and the previous result provides an answer to the question about the class of space-times whose causal structure, topological and differentiable structure can be reconstructed from their spaces of light rays and skies. These results can be understood as a Malament–Hawking-like theorem stated in terms of the partial order defined on the space of skies. (paper)

  3. Neural theory for the perception of causal actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischer, Falk; Christensen, Andrea; Caggiano, Vittorio; Thier, Peter; Giese, Martin A

    2012-07-01

    The efficient prediction of the behavior of others requires the recognition of their actions and an understanding of their action goals. In humans, this process is fast and extremely robust, as demonstrated by classical experiments showing that human observers reliably judge causal relationships and attribute interactive social behavior to strongly simplified stimuli consisting of simple moving geometrical shapes. While psychophysical experiments have identified critical visual features that determine the perception of causality and agency from such stimuli, the underlying detailed neural mechanisms remain largely unclear, and it is an open question why humans developed this advanced visual capability at all. We created pairs of naturalistic and abstract stimuli of hand actions that were exactly matched in terms of their motion parameters. We show that varying critical stimulus parameters for both stimulus types leads to very similar modulations of the perception of causality. However, the additional form information about the hand shape and its relationship with the object supports more fine-grained distinctions for the naturalistic stimuli. Moreover, we show that a physiologically plausible model for the recognition of goal-directed hand actions reproduces the observed dependencies of causality perception on critical stimulus parameters. These results support the hypothesis that selectivity for abstract action stimuli might emerge from the same neural mechanisms that underlie the visual processing of natural goal-directed action stimuli. Furthermore, the model proposes specific detailed neural circuits underlying this visual function, which can be evaluated in future experiments.

  4. Strong association between a splice mutation (IVS12+5G{r_arrow}A) and haplotype 6 in hereditary tyrosinemia type I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tanguay, R.M.; St-Louis, M.; Gibson, K. [Universite Laval, Ste-Foy (Canada)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Hereditary tyrosinemia type I (HT I; McKusick 276700) is a severe inborn error of tyrosine catabolism pathway caused by a deficiency of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH). The highest frequency reported is the one in Saguenay-Lac St-Jean (Quebec, Canada) where 1:1,846 births are affected. The FAH gene has been cloned and several mutations have been described. Allele specific oligonucleotide (ASO) hybridization was used to examine the frequency of a splice (IVS12-5G{r_arrow}A) mutation recently reported and RFLP analysis was done to identify haplotypes related to HT I. The splice mutation was found on 45/50 alleles (90%) in patients from SLSJ and 12/66 (18%) alleles from patients world-wide. All 25 patients from the SLSJ region were positive with 20 being homozygous, indicating that this mutation is the major cause of HT I in French Canada. Of these 25 patients, 96% were positive for one haplotype called no 6 which is these 25 patients, 96% were positive for one haplotype called no 6 which is identified by TaqI, RsaI, BglII, MspI and KpnI digestions. These data show a really strong association between the mutation (IVS12+5G{r_arrow}A) and haplotype 6. Among our patients from around the world, {approximately}52% were positive for haplotype 6 indicating its strong relation with HT I. These results provide the rationale for DNA-based carrier testing for HT I in the F-C population at risk as well as in HT I patients in general.

  5. Absence of arabinan in the side chains of the pectic polysaccharides strongly associated with cell walls of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia non-organogenic callus with loosely attached constituent cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwai, H; Ishii, T; Satoh, S

    2001-10-01

    When leaf disks from haploid plants of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia Viv. were transformed with T-DNA and cultured on shoot-inducing medium, nonorganogenic callus. designated nolac (for non-organogenic callus with loosely attached cells), appeared on approximately 7% of leaf disks. In contrast, normal callus was generated on T-DNA-transformed leaf disks from diploid plants and on non-transformed leaf disks from haploid and diploid plants. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the middle lamellae and the cell walls of one line of mutant callus (nolac-H14) were barely stained by ruthenium red. even after demethylesterification with NaOH, whereas the entire cell wall and the middle lamella were strongly stained in normal callus. In cultures of nolac-H14 callus, the level of sugar components of pectic polysaccharides in the hemicellulose fraction was reduced and that in the culture medium was elevated, as compared with cultures of normal callus. These results indicate that pectic polysaccharides are not retained in the cell walls and middle lamellae of nolac-H14 callus. In nolac-H14, the ratio of arabinose to galactose was low in the pectic polysaccharides purified from all cell wall fractions and from the medium, in particular, in the hemicellulose fractions. The low levels of arabinofuranosyl (T-Araf, 5-Araf, 2,5-Araf, and 3,5-Araf) residues in the pectic polysaccharides of the hemicellulosic fraction of nolac-H,14 indicated that no neutral-sugar side chains, composed mainly of linear arabinan. were present in nolac-H14. Arabinose-rich pectins. which are strongly associated with cellulose-hemicellulose complexes, might play an important role in intercellular attachment in the architecture of the cell wall.

  6. Linear causal modeling with structural equations

    CERN Document Server

    Mulaik, Stanley A

    2009-01-01

    Emphasizing causation as a functional relationship between variables that describe objects, Linear Causal Modeling with Structural Equations integrates a general philosophical theory of causation with structural equation modeling (SEM) that concerns the special case of linear causal relations. In addition to describing how the functional relation concept may be generalized to treat probabilistic causation, the book reviews historical treatments of causation and explores recent developments in experimental psychology on studies of the perception of causation. It looks at how to perceive causal

  7. A meta-analysis of drug resistant tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa: how strongly associated with previous treatment and HIV co-infection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berhan, Asres; Berhan, Yifru; Yizengaw, Desalegn

    2013-11-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, the fight against tuberculosis (TB) has encountered a great challenge because of the emergence of drug resistant TB strains and the high prevalence of HIV infection. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the association of drug-resistant TB with anti-TB drug treatment history and HIV co-infection. After electronic based literature search in the databases of Medline, HINARI, EMBASE and the Cochrane library, article selection and data extraction were carried out. HIV co-infection and previous history of TB treatment were used as predictors for the occurrence of any anti-TB drug resistant or multiple drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). The risk ratios for each included study and for the pooled sample were computed using the random-effects model. Heterogeneity test, sensitivity analyses and funnel plots were also done. The pooled analysis showed that the risk of developing drug-resistant TB to at least one anti-TB drug was about 3 times higher in individuals who had a previous history of anti-TB treatment than new TB cases. The risk of having MDR-TB in previously anti-TB treated TB cases was more than 5-fold higher than that of new TB cases. Resistance to Ethambutol and Rifampicin was more than fivefold higher among the previously treated with anti-TB drugs. However, HIV infection was not associated with drug-resistant TB. There was a strong association of previous anti-TB treatment with MDR-TB. Primary treatment warrants special emphasis, and screening for anti-TB drugs sensitivity has to be strengthened.

  8. Gene expression profiling for human iPS-derived motor neurons from sporadic ALS patients reveals a strong association between mitochondrial functions and neurodegeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Chrystian J.; Dariolli, Rafael; Jorge, Frederico M.; Monteiro, Matheus R.; Maximino, Jessica R.; Martins, Roberto S.; Strauss, Bryan E.; Krieger, José E.; Callegaro, Dagoberto; Chadi, Gerson

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that leads to widespread motor neuron death, general palsy and respiratory failure. The most prevalent sporadic ALS form is not genetically inherited. Attempts to translate therapeutic strategies have failed because the described mechanisms of disease are based on animal models carrying specific gene mutations and thus do not address sporadic ALS. In order to achieve a better approach to study the human disease, human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-differentiated motor neurons were obtained from motor nerve fibroblasts of sporadic ALS and non-ALS subjects using the STEMCCA Cre-Excisable Constitutive Polycistronic Lentivirus system and submitted to microarray analyses using a whole human genome platform. DAVID analyses of differentially expressed genes identified molecular function and biological process-related genes through Gene Ontology. REVIGO highlighted the related functions mRNA and DNA binding, GTP binding, transcription (co)-repressor activity, lipoprotein receptor binding, synapse organization, intracellular transport, mitotic cell cycle and cell death. KEGG showed pathways associated with Parkinson's disease and oxidative phosphorylation, highlighting iron homeostasis, neurotrophic functions, endosomal trafficking and ERK signaling. The analysis of most dysregulated genes and those representative of the majority of categorized genes indicates a strong association between mitochondrial function and cellular processes possibly related to motor neuron degeneration. In conclusion, iPSC-derived motor neurons from motor nerve fibroblasts of sporadic ALS patients may recapitulate key mechanisms of neurodegeneration and may offer an opportunity for translational investigation of sporadic ALS. Large gene profiling of differentiated motor neurons from sporadic ALS patients highlights mitochondrial participation in the establishment of autonomous mechanisms associated with sporadic ALS

  9. Causal relationship: a new tool for the causal characterization of Lorentzian manifolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Parrado, Alfonso; Senovilla, Jose M M

    2003-01-01

    We define and study a new kind of relation between two diffeomorphic Lorentzian manifolds called a causal relation, which is any diffeomorphism characterized by mapping every causal vector of the first manifold onto a causal vector of the second. We perform a thorough study of the mathematical properties of causal relations and prove in particular that two given Lorentzian manifolds (say V and W) may be causally related only in one direction (say from V to W, but not from W to V). This leads us to the concept of causally equivalent (or isocausal in short) Lorentzian manifolds as those mutually causally related and to a definition of causal structure over a differentiable manifold as the equivalence class formed by isocausal Lorentzian metrics upon it. Isocausality is a more general concept than the conformal relationship, because we prove the remarkable result that a conformal relation φ is characterized by the fact of being a causal relation of the particular kind in which both φ and φ -1 are causal relations. Isocausal Lorentzian manifolds are mutually causally compatible, they share some important causal properties, and there are one-to-one correspondences, which are sometimes non-trivial, between several classes of their respective future (and past) objects. A more important feature is that they satisfy the same standard causality constraints. We also introduce a partial order for the equivalence classes of isocausal Lorentzian manifolds providing a classification of all the causal structures that a given fixed manifold can have. By introducing the concept of causal extension we put forward a new definition of causal boundary for Lorentzian manifolds based on the concept of isocausality, and thereby we generalize the traditional Penrose constructions of conformal infinity, diagrams and embeddings. In particular, the concept of causal diagram is given. Many explicit clarifying examples are presented throughout the paper

  10. Space-time as a causal set

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bombelli, L.; Lee, J.; Meyer, D.; Sorkin, R.D.

    1987-01-01

    We propose that space-time at the smallest scales is in reality a causal set: a locally finite set of elements endowed with a partial order corresponding to the macroscopic relation that defines past and future. We explore how a Lorentzian manifold can approximate a causal set, noting in particular that the thereby defined effective dimensionality of a given causal set can vary with length scale. Finally, we speculate briefly on the quantum dynamics of causal sets, indicating why an appropriate choice of action can reproduce general relativity in the classical limit

  11. Amodal causal capture in the tunnel effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi Yeul; Flombaum, Jonathan I

    2011-01-01

    In addition to identifying individual objects in the world, the visual system must also characterize the relationships between objects, for instance when objects occlude one another or cause one another to move. Here we explored the relationship between perceived causality and occlusion. Can one perceive causality in an occluded location? In several experiments, observers judged whether a centrally presented event involved a single object passing behind an occluder, or one object causally launching another (out of view and behind the occluder). With no additional context, the centrally presented event was typically judged as a non-causal pass, even when the occluding and disoccluding objects were different colors--an illusion known as the 'tunnel effect' that results from spatiotemporal continuity. However, when a synchronized context event involved an unambiguous causal launch, participants perceived a causal launch behind the occluder. This percept of an occluded causal interaction could also be driven by grouping and synchrony cues in the absence of any explicitly causal interaction. These results reinforce the hypothesis that causality is an aspect of perception. It is among the interpretations of the world that are independently available to vision when resolving ambiguity, and that the visual system can 'fill in' amodally.

  12. Childhood ADHD is strongly associated with a broad range of psychiatric disorders during adolescence: a population-based birth cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimasu, Kouichi; Barbaresi, William J; Colligan, Robert C; Voigt, Robert G; Killian, Jill M; Weaver, Amy L; Katusic, Slavica K

    2012-10-01

    To evaluate associations between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comorbid psychiatric disorders using research-identified incident cases of ADHD and population-based controls. Subjects included a birth cohort of all children born 1976-1982 remaining in Rochester, MN after age five (n = 5,718). Among them we identified 379 ADHD incident cases and 758 age-gender matched non-ADHD controls, passively followed to age 19 years. All psychiatric diagnoses were identified and abstracted, but only those confirmed by qualified medical professionals were included in the analysis. For each psychiatric disorder, cumulative incidence rates for subjects with and without ADHD were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Corresponding hazard ratios (HR) were estimated using Cox models adjusted for gender and mother's age and education at the subject's birth. The association between ADHD and the likelihood of having an internalizing or externalizing disorder was summarized by estimating odds ratios (OR). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder was associated with a significantly increased risk of adjustment disorders (HR = 3.88), conduct/oppositional defiant disorder (HR = 9.54), mood disorders (HR = 3.67), anxiety disorders (HR = 2.94), tic disorders (HR = 6.53), eating disorders (HR = 5.68), personality disorders (HR = 5.80), and substance-related disorders (HR = 4.03). When psychiatric comorbidities were classified on the internalization-externalization dimension, ADHD was strongly associated with coexisting internalizing/externalizing (OR = 10.6), or externalizing-only (OR = 10.0) disorders. This population-based study confirms that children with ADHD are at significantly increased risk for a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Besides treating the ADHD, clinicians should identify and provide appropriate treatment for psychiatric comorbidities. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

  13. Electromagnetic pulses, localized and causal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lekner, John

    2018-01-01

    We show that pulse solutions of the wave equation can be expressed as time Fourier superpositions of scalar monochromatic beam wave functions (solutions of the Helmholtz equation). This formulation is shown to be equivalent to Bateman's integral expression for solutions of the wave equation, for axially symmetric solutions. A closed-form one-parameter solution of the wave equation, containing no backward-propagating parts, is constructed from a beam which is the tight-focus limit of two families of beams. Application is made to transverse electric and transverse magnetic pulses, with evaluation of the energy, momentum and angular momentum for a pulse based on the general localized and causal form. Such pulses can be represented as superpositions of photons. Explicit total energy and total momentum values are given for the one-parameter closed-form pulse.

  14. Quantum retrodiction and causality principle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shirokov, M.I.

    1994-01-01

    Quantum mechanics is factually a predictive science. But quantum retrodiction may also be needed, e.g., for the experimental verification of the validity of the Schroedinger equation for the wave function in the past if the present state is given. It is shown that in the retrodictive analog of the prediction the measurement must be replaced by another physical process called the retromeasurement. In this process, the reduction of a state vector into eigenvectors of a measured observable must proceed in the opposite direction of time as compared to the usual reduction. Examples of such processes are unknown. Moreover, they are shown to be forbidden by the causality principle stating that the later event cannot influence the earlier one. So quantum retrodiction seems to be unrealizable. It is demonstrated that the approach to the retrodiction given by S.Watanabe and F.Belinfante must be considered as an unsatisfactory ersatz of retrodicting. 20 refs., 3 figs

  15. highly prevalent hyperuricaemia is associated with adverse clinical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2015-09-01

    Sep 1, 2015 ... SUMMARY. Background: Although a direct causal relationship between hyperuricaemia and stroke continues to be debated, strong associations between serum uric acid. (SUA) and cerebrovascular disease exist. Very few studies have been conducted to evaluate the frequency and association between ...

  16. Occupational safety management: the role of causal attribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyekye, Seth Ayim

    2010-12-01

    The paper addresses the causal attribution theory, an old and well-established theme in social psychology which denotes the everyday, commonsense explanations that people use to explain events and the world around them. The attribution paradigm is considered one of the most appropriate analytical tools for exploratory and descriptive studies in social psychology and organizational literature. It affords the possibility of describing accident processes as objectively as possible and with as much detail as possible. Causal explanations are vital to the formal analysis of workplace hazards and accidents, as they determine how organizations act to prevent accident recurrence. Accordingly, they are regarded as fundamental and prerequisite elements for safety management policies. The paper focuses primarily on the role of causal attributions in occupational and industrial accident analyses and implementation of safety interventions. It thus serves as a review of the contribution of attribution theory to occupational and industrial accidents. It comprises six sections. The first section presents an introduction to the classic attribution theories, and the second an account of the various ways in which the attribution paradigm has been applied in organizational settings. The third and fourth sections review the literature on causal attributions and demographic and organizational variables respectively. The sources of attributional biases in social psychology and how they manifest and are identified in the causal explanations for industrial and occupational accidents are treated in the fifth section. Finally, conclusion and recommendations are presented. The recommendations are particularly important for the reduction of workplace accidents and associated costs. The paper touches on the need for unbiased causal analyses, belief in the preventability of accidents, and the imperative role of management in occupational safety management.

  17. Causal ubiquity in quantum physics. A superluminal and local-causal physical ontology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neelamkavil, Raphael

    2014-01-01

    A fixed highest criterial velocity (of light) in STR (special theory of relativity) is a convention for a layer of physical inquiry. QM (Quantum Mechanics) avoids action-at-a-distance using this concept, but accepts non-causality and action-at-a-distance in EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Paradox) entanglement experiments. Even in such allegedly [non-causal] processes, something exists processually in extension-motion, between the causal and the [non-causal]. If STR theoretically allows real-valued superluminal communication between EPR entangled particles, quantum processes become fully causal. That is, the QM world is sub-luminally, luminally and superluminally local-causal throughout, and the Law of Causality is ubiquitous in the micro-world. Thus, ''probabilistic causality'' is a merely epistemic term.

  18. Causal ubiquity in quantum physics. A superluminal and local-causal physical ontology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neelamkavil, Raphael

    2014-07-01

    A fixed highest criterial velocity (of light) in STR (special theory of relativity) is a convention for a layer of physical inquiry. QM (Quantum Mechanics) avoids action-at-a-distance using this concept, but accepts non-causality and action-at-a-distance in EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Paradox) entanglement experiments. Even in such allegedly [non-causal] processes, something exists processually in extension-motion, between the causal and the [non-causal]. If STR theoretically allows real-valued superluminal communication between EPR entangled particles, quantum processes become fully causal. That is, the QM world is sub-luminally, luminally and superluminally local-causal throughout, and the Law of Causality is ubiquitous in the micro-world. Thus, ''probabilistic causality'' is a merely epistemic term.

  19. Adipose tissue has aberrant morphology and function in PCOS: enlarged adipocytes and low serum adiponectin, but not circulating sex steroids, are strongly associated with insulin resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannerås-Holm, Louise; Leonhardt, Henrik; Kullberg, Joel; Jennische, Eva; Odén, Anders; Holm, Göran; Hellström, Mikael; Lönn, Lars; Olivecrona, Gunilla; Stener-Victorin, Elisabet; Lönn, Malin

    2011-02-01

    Comprehensive characterization of the adipose tissue in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), over a wide range of body mass indices (BMIs), is lacking. Mechanisms behind insulin resistance in PCOS are unclear. To characterize the adipose tissue of women with PCOS and controls matched pair-wise for age and BMI, and to identify factors, among adipose tissue characteristics and serum sex steroids, that are associated with insulin sensitivity in PCOS. Seventy-four PCOS women and 31 controls were included. BMI was 18-47 (PCOS) and 19-41 kg/m(2) (controls). Anthropometric variables, volumes of subcutaneous/visceral adipose tissue (magnetic resonance imaging; MRI), and insulin sensitivity (clamp) were investigated. Adipose tissue biopsies were obtained to determine adipocyte size, lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity, and macrophage density. Circulating testosterone, free testosterone, free 17β-estradiol, SHBG, glycerol, adiponectin, and serum amyloid A were measured/calculated. Comparison of 31 pairs revealed lower insulin sensitivity, hyperandrogenemia, and higher free 17β-estradiol in PCOS. Abdominal adipose tissue volumes/distribution did not differ in the groups, but PCOS women had higher waist-to-hip ratio, enlarged adipocytes, reduced adiponectin, and lower LPL activity. In regression analysis, adipocyte size, adiponectin, and waist circumference were the factors most strongly associated with insulin sensitivity in PCOS (R(2)=0.681, P < 0.001). In PCOS, adipose tissue has aberrant morphology/function. Increased waist-to-hip ratio indicates abdominal/visceral fat accumulation, but this is not supported by MRI. Enlarged adipocytes and reduced serum adiponectin, together with a large waistline, rather than androgen excess, may be central factors in the pathogenesis/maintenance of insulin resistance in PCOS.

  20. Elongation Factor Tu and Heat Shock Protein 70 Are Membrane-Associated Proteins from Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae Capable of Inducing Strong Immune Response in Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Jiang

    Full Text Available Chronic non-progressive pneumonia, a disease that has become a worldwide epidemic has caused considerable loss to sheep industry. Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (M. ovipneumoniae is the causative agent of interstitial pneumonia in sheep, goat and bighorn. We here have identified by immunogold and immunoblotting that elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu and heat shock protein 70 (HSP 70 are membrane-associated proteins on M. ovipneumonaiea. We have evaluated the humoral and cellular immune responses in vivo by immunizing BALB/c mice with both purified recombinant proteins rEF-Tu and rHSP70. The sera of both rEF-Tu and rHSP70 treated BALB/c mice demonstrated increased levels of IgG, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-12(p70, IL-4, IL-5 and IL-6. In addition, ELISPOT assay showed significant increase in IFN-γ+ secreting lymphocytes in the rHSP70 group when compared to other groups. Collectively our study reveals that rHSP70 induces a significantly better cellular immune response in mice, and may act as a Th1 cytokine-like adjuvant in immune response induction. Finally, growth inhibition test (GIT of M. ovipneumoniae strain Y98 showed that sera from rHSP70 or rEF-Tu-immunized mice inhibited in vitro growth of M. ovipneumoniae. Our data strongly suggest that EF-Tu and HSP70 of M. ovipneumoniae are membrane-associated proteins capable of inducing antibody production, and cytokine secretion. Therefore, these two proteins may be potential candidates for vaccine development against M. ovipneumoniae infection in sheep.

  1. Do New Caledonian crows solve physical problems through causal reasoning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, A.H.; Hunt, G.R.; Medina, F.S.; Gray, R.D.

    2008-01-01

    The extent to which animals other than humans can reason about physical problems is contentious. The benchmark test for this ability has been the trap-tube task. We presented New Caledonian crows with a series of two-trap versions of this problem. Three out of six crows solved the initial trap-tube. These crows continued to avoid the trap when the arbitrary features that had previously been associated with successful performances were removed. However, they did not avoid the trap when a hole and a functional trap were in the tube. In contrast to a recent primate study, the three crows then solved a causally equivalent but visually distinct problem—the trap-table task. The performance of the three crows across the four transfers made explanations based on chance, associative learning, visual and tactile generalization, and previous dispositions unlikely. Our findings suggest that New Caledonian crows can solve complex physical problems by reasoning both causally and analogically about causal relations. Causal and analogical reasoning may form the basis of the New Caledonian crow's exceptional tool skills. PMID:18796393

  2. A new topology for curved space--time which incorporates the causal, differential, and conformal structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hawking, S.W.; King, A.R.; McCarthy, P.J.

    1976-01-01

    A new topology is proposed for strongly causal space--times. Unlike the standard manifold topology (which merely characterizes continuity properties), the new topology determines the causal, differential, and conformal structures of space--time. The topology is more appealing, physical, and manageable than the topology previously proposed by Zeeman for Minkowski space. It thus seems that many calculations involving the above structures may be made purely topological

  3. Characterization of genomic sequence showing strong association with polyembryony among diverse Citrus species and cultivars, and its synteny with Vitis and Populus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Michiharu; Shimada, Takehiko; Endo, Tomoko; Fujii, Hiroshi; Nesumi, Hirohisa; Kita, Masayuki; Ebina, Masumi; Shimizu, Tokurou; Omura, Mitsuo

    2012-02-01

    Polyembryony, in which multiple somatic nucellar cell-derived embryos develop in addition to the zygotic embryo in a seed, is common in the genus Citrus. Previous genetic studies indicated polyembryony is mainly determined by a single locus, but the underlying molecular mechanism is still unclear. As a step towards identification and characterization of the gene or genes responsible for nucellar embryogenesis in Citrus, haplotype-specific physical maps around the polyembryony locus were constructed. By sequencing three BAC clones aligned on the polyembryony haplotype, a single contiguous draft sequence consisting of 380 kb containing 70 predicted open reading frames (ORFs) was reconstructed. Single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes detected in the sequenced genomic region showed strong association with embryo type in Citrus, indicating a common polyembryony locus is shared among widely diverse Citrus cultivars and species. The arrangement of the predicted ORFs in the characterized genomic region showed high collinearity to the genomic sequence of chromosome 4 of Vitis vinifera and linkage group VI of Populus trichocarpa, suggesting that the syntenic relationship among these species is conserved even though V. vinifera and P. trichocarpa are non-apomictic species. This is the first study to characterize in detail the genomic structure of an apomixis locus determining adventitious embryony. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Genetic Evidence for Causal Relationships Between Maternal Obesity-Related Traits and Birth Weight

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tyrrell, Jessica; Richmond, Rebecca C; Palmer, Tom M

    2016-01-01

    IMPORTANCE: Neonates born to overweight or obese women are larger and at higher risk of birth complications. Many maternal obesity-related traits are observationally associated with birth weight, but the causal nature of these associations is uncertain. OBJECTIVE: To test for genetic evidence...... of causal associations of maternal body mass index (BMI) and related traits with birth weight. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Mendelian randomization to test whether maternal BMI and obesity-related traits are potentially causally related to offspring birth weight. Data from 30,487 women in 18 studies...

  5. A Theory of Causal Learning in Children: Causal Maps and Bayes Nets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopnik, Alison; Glymour, Clark; Sobel, David M.; Schulz, Laura E.; Kushnir, Tamar; Danks, David

    2004-01-01

    The authors outline a cognitive and computational account of causal learning in children. They propose that children use specialized cognitive systems that allow them to recover an accurate "causal map" of the world: an abstract, coherent, learned representation of the causal relations among events. This kind of knowledge can be perspicuously…

  6. Further properties of causal relationship: causal structure stability, new criteria for isocausality and counterexamples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Parrado, Alfonso; Sanchez, Miguel

    2005-01-01

    Recently (Garcia-Parrado and Senovilla 2003 Class. Quantum Grav. 20 625-64) the concept of causal mapping between spacetimes, essentially equivalent in this context to the chronological map defined in abstract chronological spaces, and the related notion of causal structure, have been introduced as new tools to study causality in Lorentzian geometry. In the present paper, these tools are further developed in several directions such as (i) causal mappings-and, thus, abstract chronological ones-do not preserve two levels of the standard hierarchy of causality conditions (however, they preserve the remaining levels as shown in the above reference), (ii) even though global hyperbolicity is a stable property (in the set of all time-oriented Lorentzian metrics on a fixed manifold), the causal structure of a globally hyperbolic spacetime can be unstable against perturbations; in fact, we show that the causal structures of Minkowski and Einstein static spacetimes remain stable, whereas that of de Sitter becomes unstable, (iii) general criteria allow us to discriminate different causal structures in some general spacetimes (e.g. globally hyperbolic, stationary standard); in particular, there are infinitely many different globally hyperbolic causal structures (and thus, different conformal ones) on R 2 (iv) plane waves with the same number of positive eigenvalues in the frequency matrix share the same causal structure and, thus, they have equal causal extensions and causal boundaries

  7. CAUSAL INFERENCE WITH A GRAPHICAL HIERARCHY OF INTERVENTIONS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shpitser, Ilya; Tchetgen, Eric Tchetgen

    2016-12-01

    Identifying causal parameters from observational data is fraught with subtleties due to the issues of selection bias and confounding. In addition, more complex questions of interest, such as effects of treatment on the treated and mediated effects may not always be identified even in data where treatment assignment is known and under investigator control, or may be identified under one causal model but not another. Increasingly complex effects of interest, coupled with a diversity of causal models in use resulted in a fragmented view of identification. This fragmentation makes it unnecessarily difficult to determine if a given parameter is identified (and in what model), and what assumptions must hold for this to be the case. This, in turn, complicates the development of estimation theory and sensitivity analysis procedures. In this paper, we give a unifying view of a large class of causal effects of interest, including novel effects not previously considered, in terms of a hierarchy of interventions, and show that identification theory for this large class reduces to an identification theory of random variables under interventions from this hierarchy. Moreover, we show that one type of intervention in the hierarchy is naturally associated with queries identified under the Finest Fully Randomized Causally Interpretable Structure Tree Graph (FFRCISTG) model of Robins (via the extended g-formula), and another is naturally associated with queries identified under the Non-Parametric Structural Equation Model with Independent Errors (NPSEM-IE) of Pearl, via a more general functional we call the edge g-formula. Our results motivate the study of estimation theory for the edge g-formula, since we show it arises both in mediation analysis, and in settings where treatment assignment has unobserved causes, such as models associated with Pearl's front-door criterion.

  8. Campbell's and Rubin's Perspectives on Causal Inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Stephen G.; Thoemmes, Felix

    2010-01-01

    Donald Campbell's approach to causal inference (D. T. Campbell, 1957; W. R. Shadish, T. D. Cook, & D. T. Campbell, 2002) is widely used in psychology and education, whereas Donald Rubin's causal model (P. W. Holland, 1986; D. B. Rubin, 1974, 2005) is widely used in economics, statistics, medicine, and public health. Campbell's approach focuses on…

  9. mediation: R Package for Causal Mediation Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin Tingley

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we describe the R package mediation for conducting causal mediation analysis in applied empirical research. In many scientific disciplines, the goal of researchers is not only estimating causal effects of a treatment but also understanding the process in which the treatment causally affects the outcome. Causal mediation analysis is frequently used to assess potential causal mechanisms. The mediation package implements a comprehensive suite of statistical tools for conducting such an analysis. The package is organized into two distinct approaches. Using the model-based approach, researchers can estimate causal mediation effects and conduct sensitivity analysis under the standard research design. Furthermore, the design-based approach provides several analysis tools that are applicable under different experimental designs. This approach requires weaker assumptions than the model-based approach. We also implement a statistical method for dealing with multiple (causally dependent mediators, which are often encountered in practice. Finally, the package also offers a methodology for assessing causal mediation in the presence of treatment noncompliance, a common problem in randomized trials.

  10. Causal Mediation Analysis: Warning! Assumptions Ahead

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keele, Luke

    2015-01-01

    In policy evaluations, interest may focus on why a particular treatment works. One tool for understanding why treatments work is causal mediation analysis. In this essay, I focus on the assumptions needed to estimate mediation effects. I show that there is no "gold standard" method for the identification of causal mediation effects. In…

  11. A General Approach to Causal Mediation Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imai, Kosuke; Keele, Luke; Tingley, Dustin

    2010-01-01

    Traditionally in the social sciences, causal mediation analysis has been formulated, understood, and implemented within the framework of linear structural equation models. We argue and demonstrate that this is problematic for 3 reasons: the lack of a general definition of causal mediation effects independent of a particular statistical model, the…

  12. A Causal Model of Faculty Research Productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, John P.

    A causal model of faculty research productivity was developed through a survey of the literature. Models of organizational behavior, organizational effectiveness, and motivation were synthesized into a causal model of productivity. Two general types of variables were assumed to affect individual research productivity: institutional variables and…

  13. Causal Indicators Can Help to Interpret Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentler, Peter M.

    2016-01-01

    The latent factor in a causal indicator model is no more than the latent factor of the factor part of the model. However, if the causal indicator variables are well-understood and help to improve the prediction of individuals' factor scores, they can help to interpret the meaning of the latent factor. Aguirre-Urreta, Rönkkö, and Marakas (2016)…

  14. Quasi-Experimental Designs for Causal Inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yongnam; Steiner, Peter

    2016-01-01

    When randomized experiments are infeasible, quasi-experimental designs can be exploited to evaluate causal treatment effects. The strongest quasi-experimental designs for causal inference are regression discontinuity designs, instrumental variable designs, matching and propensity score designs, and comparative interrupted time series designs. This…

  15. Variations in the geomagnetic and gravitational background associated with two strong earthquakes of the May 2012 sequence in the Po Valley Plain (Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straser, Valentino

    2013-04-01

    Reawakening of seismic activity in the Emilian Po Valley Plain (Italy) resulted in 2,492 earthquakes over five and a half months: 2,270 with M= 7. The mainshock was recorded during the night of 20 May 2012, at 04:03:52 Italian time (02:03:52 UTC) with epicentre in Finale Emilia, at a depth of 6.3km, by the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV). A long sequence of telluric shocks occurred in the same seismic district in the areas between the provinces of Modena, Ferrara, Mantua, Reggio Emilia, Bologna and Rovigo. In addition to the general devastation plus damage to civil and industrial buildings and the historical heritage, the earthquakes resulted in a total of 27 victims. Concomitant with the two strongest quakes, recorded on 20 and 29 May 2012, respectively, as in the case of others, variations were noted in the geomagnetic background by the LTPA monitoring station in Rome (Italy). The geomagnetic background variations were associated with the appearance of radio-anomalies in a frequency range from 0.1 to 3.0Hz, as well as gravimetric variations found around 60km from the epicentre. The peak accelerations, detected in correspondence with the strongest shocks on 20 and 29 May 2012, were respectively 0.31g and 0.29g. The appearance of the radio-anomalies coincided, from a temporal point of view, with average gravimetric variations of approximately 30µGal around the epicentre areas, concurrent with the mainshock. In this study, both the appearance of radio-anomalies and the gravitational variations recorded before strong earthquakes were related to the dynamics of the fault and a progressive reduction in granulometry in the core of the fracture, until the point of dislocation was reached. The intense friction in the fault and the damping factors produced before the shock are hypothesized as being proportional to the number of radio-anomalies measured. The radio anomaly is an unknown radio emission that has no characteristics (duration

  16. Renormalization group approach to causal bulk viscous cosmological models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belinchon, J A; Harko, T; Mak, M K

    2002-01-01

    The renormalization group method is applied to the study of homogeneous and flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker type universes, filled with a causal bulk viscous cosmological fluid. The starting point of the study is the consideration of the scaling properties of the gravitational field equations, the causal evolution equation of the bulk viscous pressure and the equations of state. The requirement of scale invariance imposes strong constraints on the temporal evolution of the bulk viscosity coefficient, temperature and relaxation time, thus leading to the possibility of obtaining the bulk viscosity coefficient-energy density dependence. For a cosmological model with bulk viscosity coefficient proportional to the Hubble parameter, we perform the analysis of the renormalization group flow around the scale-invariant fixed point, thereby obtaining the long-time behaviour of the scale factor

  17. Heterogeneous Causal Effects and Sample Selection Bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breen, Richard; Choi, Seongsoo; Holm, Anders

    2015-01-01

    The role of education in the process of socioeconomic attainment is a topic of long standing interest to sociologists and economists. Recently there has been growing interest not only in estimating the average causal effect of education on outcomes such as earnings, but also in estimating how...... causal effects might vary over individuals or groups. In this paper we point out one of the under-appreciated hazards of seeking to estimate heterogeneous causal effects: conventional selection bias (that is, selection on baseline differences) can easily be mistaken for heterogeneity of causal effects....... This might lead us to find heterogeneous effects when the true effect is homogenous, or to wrongly estimate not only the magnitude but also the sign of heterogeneous effects. We apply a test for the robustness of heterogeneous causal effects in the face of varying degrees and patterns of selection bias...

  18. Repair of Partly Misspecified Causal Diagrams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oates, Chris J; Kasza, Jessica; Simpson, Julie A; Forbes, Andrew B

    2017-07-01

    Errors in causal diagrams elicited from experts can lead to the omission of important confounding variables from adjustment sets and render causal inferences invalid. In this report, a novel method is presented that repairs a misspecified causal diagram through the addition of edges. These edges are determined using a data-driven approach designed to provide improved statistical efficiency relative to de novo structure learning methods. Our main assumption is that the expert is "directionally informed," meaning that "false" edges provided by the expert would not create cycles if added to the "true" causal diagram. The overall procedure is cast as a preprocessing technique that is agnostic to subsequent causal inferences. Results based on simulated data and data derived from an observational cohort illustrate the potential for data-assisted elicitation in epidemiologic applications. See video abstract at, http://links.lww.com/EDE/B208.

  19. Causality, spin, and equal-time commutators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdel-Rahman, A.M.

    1975-01-01

    We study the causality constraints on the structure of the Lorentz-antisymmetric component of the commutator of two conserved isovector currents between fermion states of equal momenta. We discuss the sum rules that follow from causality and scaling, using the recently introduced refined infinite-momentum technique. The complete set of sum rules is found to include the spin-dependent fixed-mass sum rules obtained from light-cone commutators. The causality and scaling restrictions on the structure of the electromagnetic equal-time commutators are discussed, and it is found, in particular, that causality requires the spin-dependent part of the matrix element for the time-space electromagnetic equal-time commutator to vanish identically. It is also shown, in comparison with the electromagnetic case, that the corresponding matrix element for the time-space isovector current equal-time commutator is required, by causality, to have isospin-antisymmetric tensor and scalar operator Schwinger terms

  20. Causal ubiquity in quantum physics a superluminal and local-causal physical ontology

    CERN Document Server

    Neelamkavil, Raphael

    2014-01-01

    A fixed highest criterial velocity (of light) in STR (special theory of relativity) is a convention for a layer of physical inquiry. QM (Quantum Mechanics) avoids action-at-a-distance using this concept, but accepts non-causality and action-at-a-distance in EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Paradox) entanglement experiments. Even in such allegedly non-causal processes, something exists processually in extension-motion, between the causal and the non-causal. If STR theoretically allows real-valued superluminal communication between EPR entangled particles, quantum processes become fully causal. That

  1. Causality violations in Lovelock theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brustein, Ram; Sherf, Yotam

    2018-04-01

    Higher-derivative gravity theories, such as Lovelock theories, generalize Einstein's general relativity (GR). Modifications to GR are expected when curvatures are near Planckian and appear in string theory or supergravity. But can such theories describe gravity on length scales much larger than the Planck cutoff length scale? Here we find causality constraints on Lovelock theories that arise from the requirement that the equations of motion (EOM) of perturbations be hyperbolic. We find a general expression for the "effective metric" in field space when Lovelock theories are perturbed around some symmetric background solution. In particular, we calculate explicitly the effective metric for a general Lovelock theory perturbed around cosmological Friedman-Robertson-Walker backgrounds and for some specific cases when perturbed around Schwarzschild-like solutions. For the EOM to be hyperbolic, the effective metric needs to be Lorentzian. We find that, unlike for GR, the effective metric is generically not Lorentzian when the Lovelock modifications are significant. So, we conclude that Lovelock theories can only be considered as perturbative extensions of GR and not as truly modified theories of gravity. We compare our results to those in the literature and find that they agree with and reproduce the results of previous studies.

  2. Hippocampal-prefrontal engagement and dynamic causal interactions in the maturation of children's fact retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Soohyun; Metcalfe, Arron W S; Young, Christina B; Ryali, Srikanth; Geary, David C; Menon, Vinod

    2012-09-01

    Children's gains in problem-solving skills during the elementary school years are characterized by shifts in the mix of problem-solving approaches, with inefficient procedural strategies being gradually replaced with direct retrieval of domain-relevant facts. We used a well-established procedure for strategy assessment during arithmetic problem solving to investigate the neural basis of this critical transition. We indexed behavioral strategy use by focusing on the retrieval frequency and examined changes in brain activity and connectivity associated with retrieval fluency during arithmetic problem solving in second- and third-grade (7- to 9-year-old) children. Children with higher retrieval fluency showed elevated signal in the right hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus (PHG), lingual gyrus (LG), fusiform gyrus (FG), left ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC), bilateral dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), and posterior angular gyrus. Critically, these effects were not confounded by individual differences in problem-solving speed or accuracy. Psychophysiological interaction analysis revealed significant effective connectivity of the right hippocampus with bilateral VLPFC and DLPFC during arithmetic problem solving. Dynamic causal modeling analysis revealed strong bidirectional interactions between the hippocampus and the left VLPFC and DLPFC. Furthermore, causal influences from the left VLPFC to the hippocampus served as the main top-down component, whereas causal influences from the hippocampus to the left DLPFC served as the main bottom-up component of this retrieval network. Our study highlights the contribution of hippocampal-prefrontal circuits to the early development of retrieval fluency in arithmetic problem solving and provides a novel framework for studying dynamic developmental processes that accompany children's development of problem-solving skills.

  3. Capture Hi-C identifies a novel causal gene, IL20RA, in the pan-autoimmune genetic susceptibility region 6q23.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, Amanda; Schoenfelder, Stefan; Martin, Paul; Massey, Jonathan; Duffus, Kate; Plant, Darren; Yarwood, Annie; Pratt, Arthur G; Anderson, Amy E; Isaacs, John D; Diboll, Julie; Thalayasingam, Nishanthi; Ospelt, Caroline; Barton, Anne; Worthington, Jane; Fraser, Peter; Eyre, Stephen; Orozco, Gisela

    2016-11-01

    The identification of causal genes from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) is the next important step for the translation of genetic findings into biologically meaningful mechanisms of disease and potential therapeutic targets. Using novel chromatin interaction detection techniques and allele specific assays in T and B cell lines, we provide compelling evidence that redefines causal genes at the 6q23 locus, one of the most important loci that confers autoimmunity risk. Although the function of disease-associated non-coding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 6q23 is unknown, the association is generally assigned to TNFAIP3, the closest gene. However, the DNA fragment containing the associated SNPs interacts through chromatin looping not only with TNFAIP3, but also with IL20RA, located 680 kb upstream. The risk allele of the most likely causal SNP, rs6927172, is correlated with both a higher frequency of interactions and increased expression of IL20RA, along with a stronger binding of both the NFκB transcription factor and chromatin marks characteristic of active enhancers in T-cells. Our results highlight the importance of gene assignment for translating GWAS findings into biologically meaningful mechanisms of disease and potential therapeutic targets; indeed, monoclonal antibody therapy targeting IL-20 is effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, both with strong GWAS associations to this region.

  4. Long-term clinical protection from falciparum malaria is strongly associated with IgG3 antibodies to merozoite surface protein 3.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Roussilhon

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Surrogate markers of protective immunity to malaria in humans are needed to rationalize malaria vaccine discovery and development. In an effort to identify such markers, and thereby provide a clue to the complex equation malaria vaccine development is facing, we investigated the relationship between protection acquired through exposure in the field with naturally occurring immune responses (i.e., induced by the parasite to molecules that are considered as valuable vaccine candidates. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analyzed, under comparative conditions, the antibody responses of each of six isotypes to five leading malaria vaccine candidates in relation to protection acquired by exposure to natural challenges in 217 of the 247 inhabitants of the African village of Dielmo, Senegal (96 children and 121 older adolescents and adults. The status of susceptibility or resistance to malaria was determined by active case detection performed daily by medical doctors over 6 y from a unique follow-up study of this village. Of the 30 immune responses measured, only one, antibodies of the IgG3 isotype directed to merozoite surface protein 3 (MSP3, was strongly associated with clinical protection against malaria in all age groups, i.e., independently of age. This immunological parameter had a higher statistical significance than the sickle cell trait, the strongest factor of protection known against Plasmodium falciparum. A single determination of antibody was significantly associated with the clinical outcome over six consecutive years in children submitted to massive natural parasite challenges by mosquitoes (over three parasite inoculations per week. Finally, the target epitopes of these antibodies were found to be fully conserved. CONCLUSIONS: Since anti-MSP3 IgG3 antibodies can naturally develop along with protection against P. falciparum infection in young children, our results provide the encouraging indication that these antibodies should be

  5. Causality in Psychiatry: A Hybrid Symptom Network Construct Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald eYoung

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Causality or etiology in psychiatry is marked by standard biomedical, reductionistic models (symptoms reflect the construct involved that inform approaches to nosology, or classification, such as in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition; American Psychiatric Association, 2013. However, network approaches to symptom interaction (i.e., symptoms are formative of the construct; e.g., McNally, Robinaugh, Wu, Wang, Deserno, & Borsboom, 2014, for PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder are being developed that speak to bottom-up processes in mental disorder, in contrast to the typical top-down psychological construct approach. The present article presents a hybrid top-down, bottom-up model of the relationship between symptoms and mental disorder, viewing symptom expression and their causal complex as a reciprocally dynamic system with multiple levels, from lower-order symptoms in interaction to higher-order constructs affecting them. The hybrid model hinges on good understanding of systems theory in which it is embedded, so that the article reviews in depth nonlinear dynamical systems theory (NLDST. The article applies the concept of emergent circular causality (Young, 2011 to symptom development, as well. Conclusions consider that symptoms vary over several dimensions, including: subjectivity; objectivity; conscious motivation effort; and unconscious influences, and the degree to which individual (e.g., meaning and universal (e.g., causal processes are involved. The opposition between science and skepticism is a complex one that the article addresses in final comments.

  6. Causal attributions of cleft lip and palate across cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mednick, Lauren; Snyder, Julie; Schook, Carolyn; Blood, Emily A; Brown, Shan-Estelle; Weatherley-White, R C A

    2013-11-01

    Objective : To describe and compare the causal beliefs associated with cleft lips and/or palates across several different countries. Design : Cross-sectional survey. Setting : Operation Smile surgery screenings in six developing countries. Participants : Two hundred seventy-nine adult patients and parents of children with cleft lips and/or palates in Kenya, Russia, Cambodia, India, Egypt, and Peru. Interventions : In person interviews were conducted with interpreters. Main Outcome Measure : As part of a larger study, a semistructured questionnaire was created to explore cleft perceptions, belief systems that affect these perceptions, and social reactions to individuals with clefts. Results : Causal attributions were grouped by category (environment, self-blame, supernatural, chance, unknown, or other) and type of locus of control (external, internal, or unknown). Results indicate significant difference by country for both causal attribution category (P < .001) and type (P < .001). This difference was maintained in multivariate analyses, which controlled for differences by demographic variables between countries. Conclusions : This study provides evidence that causal attributions for clefts are influenced by culture. As harmful beliefs about cause may continue to impact affected individuals and their families even after a repair, it is insufficient to provide surgical care alone. Care of the entire person must include attempts to change misinformed cultural beliefs through educating the broader community.

  7. Modelling the rand and commodity prices: A Granger causality and cointegration analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xolani Ndlovu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the ‘commodity currency’ hypothesis of the Rand, that is, the postulate that the currency moves in line with commodity prices, and analyses the associated causality using nominal data between 1996 and 2010. We address both the short run and long run relationship between commodity prices and exchange rates. We find that while the levels of the series of both assets are difference stationary, they are not cointegrated. Further, we find the two variables are negatively related, with strong and significant causality running from commodity prices to the exchange rate and not vice versa, implying exogeneity in the determination of commodity prices with respect to the nominal exchange rate. The strength of the relationship is significantly weaker than other OECD commodity currencies. We surmise that the relationship is dynamic over time owing to the portfolio-rebalance argument and the Commodity Terms of Trade (CTT effect and, in the absence of an error correction mechanism, this disconnect may be prolonged. For commodity and currency market participants, this implies that while futures and forward commodity prices may be useful leading indicators of future currency movements, the price risk management strategies may need to be recalibrated over time.

  8. Causal Attributions about Disease-Onset and Relapse in Patients with Systemic Vasculitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, Peter C.; Amudala, Naomi A.; McAlear, Carol A.; Leduc, Renée L.; Shereff, Denise; Richesson, Rachel; Fraenkel, Liana; Merkel, Peter A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Patients vary in their beliefs related to the cause of serious illness. The impact of these beliefs among patients with systemic vasculitis is not known. This study aimed to describe causal attributions about disease-onset and relapse in systemic vasculitis and to examine whether causal beliefs a) differ by type of vasculitis; and b) are associated with negative health outcomes. Methods Patients with vasculitis were recruited to complete an online questionnaire. Categories of causal beliefs were assessed with the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R). Differences in beliefs about disease-onset versus relapse were compared across different forms of vasculitis. Causal beliefs were assessed in association with several health outcomes including fatigue, functional impairments, and personal understanding of the condition. Results 692 patients representing 9 forms of vasculitis completed the questionnaire. The majority (90%) of patients had beliefs about the cause of their illness. Causal attributions were highly variable, but altered immunity and stress were the most commonly agreed upon causal beliefs. Frequencies of causal beliefs were strikingly similar across different forms of vasculitis, with few notable exceptions primarily in Behçet’s disease. Beliefs differed about causes of disease-onset versus relapse. Specific beliefs about disease-onset and relapse were weakly associated with fatigue, functional impairments, and understanding of the condition. Conclusion Patient beliefs related to the cause of systemic vasculitis are highly variable. Patterns of causal beliefs are associated with important negative health outcomes. Clinicians who care for patients with vasculitis should be mindful of these associations and consider asking about patients’ causal beliefs. PMID:24634202

  9. Causal localizations in relativistic quantum mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castrigiano, Domenico P. L.; Leiseifer, Andreas D.

    2015-07-01

    Causal localizations describe the position of quantum systems moving not faster than light. They are constructed for the systems with finite spinor dimension. At the center of interest are the massive relativistic systems. For every positive mass, there is the sequence of Dirac tensor-localizations, which provides a complete set of inequivalent irreducible causal localizations. They obey the principle of special relativity and are fully Poincaré covariant. The boosters are determined by the causal position operator and the other Poincaré generators. The localization with minimal spinor dimension is the Dirac localization. Thus, the Dirac equation is derived here as a mere consequence of the principle of causality. Moreover, the higher tensor-localizations, not known so far, follow from Dirac's localization by a simple construction. The probability of localization for positive energy states results to be described by causal positive operator valued (PO-) localizations, which are the traces of the causal localizations on the subspaces of positive energy. These causal Poincaré covariant PO-localizations for every irreducible massive relativistic system were, all the more, not known before. They are shown to be separated. Hence, the positive energy systems can be localized within every open region by a suitable preparation as accurately as desired. Finally, the attempt is made to provide an interpretation of the PO-localization operators within the frame of conventional quantum mechanics attributing an important role to the negative energy states.

  10. Causal inference, probability theory, and graphical insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Stuart G

    2013-11-10

    Causal inference from observational studies is a fundamental topic in biostatistics. The causal graph literature typically views probability theory as insufficient to express causal concepts in observational studies. In contrast, the view here is that probability theory is a desirable and sufficient basis for many topics in causal inference for the following two reasons. First, probability theory is generally more flexible than causal graphs: Besides explaining such causal graph topics as M-bias (adjusting for a collider) and bias amplification and attenuation (when adjusting for instrumental variable), probability theory is also the foundation of the paired availability design for historical controls, which does not fit into a causal graph framework. Second, probability theory is the basis for insightful graphical displays including the BK-Plot for understanding Simpson's paradox with a binary confounder, the BK2-Plot for understanding bias amplification and attenuation in the presence of an unobserved binary confounder, and the PAD-Plot for understanding the principal stratification component of the paired availability design. Published 2013. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. Hypothyroidism and Hyponatremia: Rather Coincidence Than Causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Peter; Beiglböck, Hannes; Smaijs, Sabina; Wrba, Thomas; Rasoul-Rockenschaub, Susanne; Marculescu, Rodrig; Gessl, Alois; Luger, Anton; Winhofer, Yvonne; Krebs, Michael

    2017-05-01

    Hypothyroidism is referred to be a rare but possible cause of hyponatremia. However, there is only poor evidence supporting this association. Since hyponatremia and hypothyroidism are both common conditions themselves, co-occurrence does not have to be causal. To address a potential relationship, a retrospective analysis of data from the Division of Endocrinology of the Medical University of Vienna from April 2004 to February 2016 was performed. A total of 8053 hypothyroid patients (48 ± 18 years of age; 71% female) with thyrotropin >4.0 μIU/mL and available blood tests for free thyroxine and sodium (Na + ) within maximal ± seven days were included and screened for hyponatremia. Patients' records were searched for concomitant disease and medication when Na + concentration was causes of hyponatremia in 442/448 (98.88%) patients (i.e., side effects of medication, concomitant underlying disease, or other endocrine disorders). This distribution did not differ between patients suffering from clinical or subclinical hypothyroidism. No case of clinically relevant hyponatremia (Na + hypothyroidism. There was a very weak but statistically significant trend toward a positive association between thyroid function and serum Na + levels (Na + /thyrotropin: R = 0.022, p = 0.046; Na + /free thyroxine: R = -0.047, p hypothyroid patients with moderate to severe hyponatremia often have other potential explanations for their low serum Na + concentrations in routine care.

  12. Causal inference regarding infectious aetiology of chronic conditions: a systematic review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Orrskog

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The global burden of disease has shifted from communicable diseases in children to chronic diseases in adults. This epidemiologic shift varies greatly by region, but in Europe, chronic conditions account for 86% of all deaths, 77% of the disease burden, and up to 80% of health care expenditures. A number of risk factors have been implicated in chronic diseases, such as exposure to infectious agents. A number of associations have been well established while others remain uncertain. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We assessed the body of evidence regarding the infectious aetiology of chronic diseases in the peer-reviewed literature over the last decade. Causality was assessed with three different criteria: First, the total number of associations documented in the literature between each infectious agent and chronic condition; second, the epidemiologic study design (quality of the study; third, evidence for the number of Hill's criteria and Koch's postulates that linked the pathogen with the chronic condition. We identified 3136 publications, of which 148 were included in the analysis. There were a total of 75 different infectious agents and 122 chronic conditions. The evidence was strong for five pathogens, based on study type, strength and number of associations; they accounted for 60% of the associations documented in the literature. They were human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, Helicobacter pylori, hepatitis B virus, and Chlamydia pneumoniae and were collectively implicated in the aetiology of 37 different chronic conditions. Other pathogens examined were only associated with very few chronic conditions (≤ 3 and when applying the three different criteria of evidence the strength of the causality was weak. CONCLUSIONS: Prevention and treatment of these five pathogens lend themselves as effective public health intervention entry points. By concentrating research efforts on these promising areas, the human, economic, and societal

  13. Investigating cognitive transfer within the framework of music practice: genetic pleiotropy rather than causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosing, Miriam A; Madison, Guy; Pedersen, Nancy L; Ullén, Fredrik

    2016-05-01

    The idea of far transfer effects in the cognitive sciences has received much attention in recent years. One domain where far transfer effects have frequently been reported is music education, with the prevailing idea that music practice entails an increase in cognitive ability (IQ). While cross-sectional studies consistently find significant associations between music practice and IQ, randomized controlled trials, however, report mixed results. An alternative to the hypothesis of cognitive transfer effects is that some underlying factors, such as shared genes, influence practice behaviour and IQ causing associations on the phenotypic level. Here we explored the hypothesis of far transfer within the framework of music practice. A co-twin control design combined with classical twin-modelling based on a sample of more than 10,500 twins was used to explore causal associations between music practice and IQ as well as underlying genetic and environmental influences. As expected, phenotypic associations were moderate (r = 0.11 and r = 0.10 for males and females, respectively). However, the relationship disappeared when controlling for genetic and shared environmental influences using the co-twin control method, indicating that a highly practiced twin did not have higher IQ than the untrained co-twin. In line with that finding, the relationship between practice and IQ was mostly due to shared genetic influences. Findings strongly suggest that associations between music practice and IQ in the general population are non-causal in nature. The implications of the present findings for research on plasticity, modularity, and transfer are discussed. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Can chance cause cancer? A causal consideration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stensrud, Mats Julius; Strohmaier, Susanne; Valberg, Morten; Aalen, Odd Olai

    2017-04-01

    The role of randomness, environment and genetics in cancer development is debated. We approach the discussion by using the potential outcomes framework for causal inference. By briefly considering the underlying assumptions, we suggest that the antagonising views arise due to estimation of substantially different causal effects. These effects may be hard to interpret, and the results cannot be immediately compared. Indeed, it is not clear whether it is possible to define a causal effect of chance at all. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Mathematical implications of Einstein-Weyl causality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borchers, H.J.; Sen, R.N.

    2006-01-01

    The present work is the first systematic attempt at answering the following fundamental question: what mathematical structures does Einstein-Weyl causality impose on a point-set that has no other previous structure defined on it? The authors propose an axiomatization of Einstein-Weyl causality (inspired by physics), and investigate the topological and uniform structures that it implies. Their final result is that a causal space is densely embedded in one that is locally a differentiable manifold. The mathematical level required of the reader is that of the graduate student in mathematical physics. (orig.)

  17. The mistake of the causal relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    О. Д. Комаров

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with issues of the mistake of the causal relationship. The modern criminal law science approaches to the content of the mistake of the causal relationship and its significance to the qualification of the crime are described. It is proved that in cases of dolus generalis different mental attitude of the guilty person to two separate acts of his conduct exist. Consequently, in mentioned above cases mistake of the causal relationship does not have place. The rules of qualification of the crimes commited with the mistake of causation and in cases of dolus generalis are proposed .

  18. Identifying causal linkages between environmental variables and African conflicts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguy-Robertson, A. L.; Dartevelle, S.

    2017-12-01

    Environmental variables that contribute to droughts, flooding, and other natural hazards are often identified as factors contributing to conflict; however, few studies attempt to quantify these causal linkages. Recent research has demonstrated that the environment operates within a dynamical system framework and the influence of variables can be identified from convergent cross mapping (CCM) between shadow manifolds. We propose to use CCM to identify causal linkages between environmental variables and incidences of conflict. This study utilizes time series data from Climate Forecast System ver. 2 and MODIS satellite sensors processed using Google Earth Engine to aggregate country and regional trends. These variables are then compared to Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project observations at similar scales. Results provide relative rankings of variables and their linkage to conflict. Being able to identify which factors contributed more strongly to a conflict can allow policy makers to prepare solutions to mitigate future crises. Knowledge of the primary environmental factors can lead to the identification of other variables to examine in the causal network influencing conflict.

  19. Verification of causal influences of reasoning skills and epistemology on physics conceptual learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Ding

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This study seeks to test the causal influences of reasoning skills and epistemologies on student conceptual learning in physics. A causal model, integrating multiple variables that were investigated separately in the prior literature, is proposed and tested through path analysis. These variables include student preinstructional reasoning skills measured by the Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning, pre- and postepistemological views measured by the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey, and pre- and postperformance on Newtonian concepts measured by the Force Concept Inventory. Students from a traditionally taught calculus-based introductory mechanics course at a research university participated in the study. Results largely support the postulated causal model and reveal strong influences of reasoning skills and preinstructional epistemology on student conceptual learning gains. Interestingly enough, postinstructional epistemology does not appear to have a significant influence on student learning gains. Moreover, pre- and postinstructional epistemology, although barely different from each other on average, have little causal connection between them.

  20. Re-Ranking Sequencing Variants in the Post-GWAS Era for Accurate Causal Variant Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faye, Laura L.; Machiela, Mitchell J.; Kraft, Peter; Bull, Shelley B.; Sun, Lei

    2013-01-01

    Next generation sequencing has dramatically increased our ability to localize disease-causing variants by providing base-pair level information at costs increasingly feasible for the large sample sizes required to detect complex-trait associations. Yet, identification of causal variants within an established region of association remains a challenge. Counter-intuitively, certain factors that increase power to detect an associated region can decrease power to localize the causal variant. First, combining GWAS with imputation or low coverage sequencing to achieve the large sample sizes required for high power can have the unintended effect of producing differential genotyping error among SNPs. This tends to bias the relative evidence for association toward better genotyped SNPs. Second, re-use of GWAS data for fine-mapping exploits previous findings to ensure genome-wide significance in GWAS-associated regions. However, using GWAS findings to inform fine-mapping analysis can bias evidence away from the causal SNP toward the tag SNP and SNPs in high LD with the tag. Together these factors can reduce power to localize the causal SNP by more than half. Other strategies commonly employed to increase power to detect association, namely increasing sample size and using higher density genotyping arrays, can, in certain common scenarios, actually exacerbate these effects and further decrease power to localize causal variants. We develop a re-ranking procedure that accounts for these adverse effects and substantially improves the accuracy of causal SNP identification, often doubling the probability that the causal SNP is top-ranked. Application to the NCI BPC3 aggressive prostate cancer GWAS with imputation meta-analysis identified a new top SNP at 2 of 3 associated loci and several additional possible causal SNPs at these loci that may have otherwise been overlooked. This method is simple to implement using R scripts provided on the author's website. PMID:23950724

  1. Assessing students' beliefs, emotions and causal attribution ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: academic emotion; belief; causal attribution; statistical validation; students' conceptions of learning ... Sadi & Lee, 2015), through their effect on motivation and learning strategies .... to understand why they may or may not be doing.

  2. Granger Causality Testing with Intensive Longitudinal Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenaar, Peter C M

    2018-06-01

    The availability of intensive longitudinal data obtained by means of ambulatory assessment opens up new prospects for prevention research in that it allows the derivation of subject-specific dynamic networks of interacting variables by means of vector autoregressive (VAR) modeling. The dynamic networks thus obtained can be subjected to Granger causality testing in order to identify causal relations among the observed time-dependent variables. VARs have two equivalent representations: standard and structural. Results obtained with Granger causality testing depend upon which representation is chosen, yet no criteria exist on which this important choice can be based. A new equivalent representation is introduced called hybrid VARs with which the best representation can be chosen in a data-driven way. Partial directed coherence, a frequency-domain statistic for Granger causality testing, is shown to perform optimally when based on hybrid VARs. An application to real data is provided.

  3. Causality Between Urban Concentration and Environmental Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Pujiati

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Population is concentrated in urban areas can cause the external diseconomies on environment if it exceeds the carrying capacity of the space and the urban economy. Otherwise the quality of the environment is getting better, led to the concentration of population in urban areas are increasingly high. This study aims to analyze the relationship of causality between the urban concentration and environmental quality in urban agglomeration areas. The data used in the study of secondary data obtained from the Central Bureau of statistics and the City Government from 2000 to 2013. The analytical method used is the Granger causality and descriptive. Granger causality study results showed no pattern of reciprocal causality, between urban concentration and the quality of the environment, but there unidirectional relationship between the urban concentration and environmental quality. This means that increasing urban concentration led to decreased environmental quality.

  4. Selecting appropriate cases when tracing causal mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beach, Derek; Pedersen, Rasmus Brun

    2016-01-01

    The last decade has witnessed resurgence in the interest in studying the causal mechanisms linking causes and outcomes in the social sciences. This article explores the overlooked implications for case selection when tracing mechanisms using in-depth case studies. Our argument is that existing case...... selection guidelines are appropriate for research aimed at making cross-case claims about causal relationships, where case selection is primarily used to control for other causes. However, existing guidelines are not in alignment with case-based research that aims to trace mechanisms, where the goal...... is to unpack the causal mechanism between X and Y, enabling causal inferences to be made because empirical evidence is provided for how the mechanism actually operated in a particular case. The in-depth, within-case tracing of how mechanisms operate in particular cases produces what can be termed mechanistic...

  5. Rate-Agnostic (Causal) Structure Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plis, Sergey; Danks, David; Freeman, Cynthia; Calhoun, Vince

    2015-12-01

    Causal structure learning from time series data is a major scientific challenge. Extant algorithms assume that measurements occur sufficiently quickly; more precisely, they assume approximately equal system and measurement timescales. In many domains, however, measurements occur at a significantly slower rate than the underlying system changes, but the size of the timescale mismatch is often unknown. This paper develops three causal structure learning algorithms, each of which discovers all dynamic causal graphs that explain the observed measurement data, perhaps given undersampling. That is, these algorithms all learn causal structure in a "rate-agnostic" manner: they do not assume any particular relation between the measurement and system timescales. We apply these algorithms to data from simulations to gain insight into the challenge of undersampling.

  6. K-causality and degenerate spacetimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowker, H. F.; Garcia, R. S.; Surya, S.

    2000-11-01

    The causal relation K+ was introduced by Sorkin and Woolgar to extend the standard causal analysis of C2 spacetimes to those that are only C0. Most of their results also hold true in the case of metrics with degeneracies which are C0 but vanish at isolated points. In this paper we seek to examine K+ explicitly in the case of topology-changing `Morse histories' which contain degeneracies. We first demonstrate some interesting features of this relation in globally Lorentzian spacetimes. In particular, we show that K+ is robust and the Hawking and Sachs characterization of causal continuity translates into a natural condition in terms of K+. We then examine K+ in topology-changing Morse spacetimes with the degenerate points excised and then for the Morse histories in which the degenerate points are reinstated. We find further characterizations of causal continuity in these cases.

  7. Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins as a causal factor for cardiovascular disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, Peter P

    2016-01-01

    Approximately 25% of US adults are estimated to have hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride [TG] level ≥150 mg/dL [≥1.7 mmol/L]). Elevated TG levels are associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, and severe hypertriglyceridemia (TG levels ≥500 mg/dL [≥5.6 mmol/L]) is a well-established risk factor for acute pancreatitis. Plasma TG levels correspond to the sum of the TG content in TG-rich lipoproteins (TRLs; ie, very low-density lipoproteins plus chylomicrons) and their remnants. There remains some uncertainty regarding the direct causal role of TRLs in the progression of atherosclerosis and CVD, with cardiovascular outcome studies of TG-lowering agents, to date, having produced inconsistent results. Although low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) remains the primary treatment target to reduce CVD risk, a number of large-scale epidemiological studies have shown that elevated TG levels are independently associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular events, even in patients treated effectively with statins. Genetic studies have further clarified the causal association between TRLs and CVD. Variants in several key genes involved in TRL metabolism are strongly associated with CVD risk, with the strength of a variant's effect on TG levels correlating with the magnitude of the variant's effect on CVD. TRLs are thought to contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis and CVD via a number of direct and indirect mechanisms. They directly contribute to intimal cholesterol deposition and are also involved in the activation and enhancement of several proinflammatory, proapoptotic, and procoagulant pathways. Evidence suggests that non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the sum of the total cholesterol carried by atherogenic lipoproteins (including LDL, TRL, and TRL remnants), provides a better indication of CVD risk than LDL-C, particularly in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. This article aims to provide an overview of the available

  8. Detecting causal drivers and empirical prediction of the Indian Summer Monsoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Capua, G.; Vellore, R.; Raghavan, K.; Coumou, D.

    2017-12-01

    The Indian summer monsoon (ISM) is crucial for the economy, society and natural ecosystems on the Indian peninsula. Predict the total seasonal rainfall at several months lead time would help to plan effective water management strategies, improve flood or drought protection programs and prevent humanitarian crisis. However, the complexity and strong internal variability of the ISM circulation system make skillful seasonal forecasting challenging. Moreover, to adequately identify the low-frequency, and far-away processes which influence ISM behavior novel tools are needed. We applied a Response-Guided Causal Precursor Detection (RGCPD) scheme, which is a novel empirical prediction method which unites a response-guided community detection scheme with a causal discovery algorithm (CEN). These tool allow us to assess causal pathways between different components of the ISM circulation system and with far-away regions in the tropics, mid-latitudes or Arctic. The scheme has successfully been used to identify causal precursors of the Stratospheric polar vortex enabling skillful predictions at (sub) seasonal timescales (Kretschmer et al. 2016, J.Clim., Kretschmer et al. 2017, GRL). We analyze observed ISM monthly rainfall over the monsoon trough region. Applying causal discovery techniques, we identify several causal precursor communities in the fields of 2m-temperature, sea level pressure and snow depth over Eurasia. Specifically, our results suggest that surface temperature conditions in both tropical and Arctic regions contribute to ISM variability. A linear regression prediction model based on the identified set of communities has good hindcasting skills with 4-5 months lead times. Further we separate El Nino, La Nina and ENSO-neutral years from each other and find that the causal precursors are different dependent on ENSO state. The ENSO-state dependent causal precursors give even higher skill, especially for La Nina years when the ISM is relatively strong. These

  9. Efficient nonparametric estimation of causal mediation effects

    OpenAIRE

    Chan, K. C. G.; Imai, K.; Yam, S. C. P.; Zhang, Z.

    2016-01-01

    An essential goal of program evaluation and scientific research is the investigation of causal mechanisms. Over the past several decades, causal mediation analysis has been used in medical and social sciences to decompose the treatment effect into the natural direct and indirect effects. However, all of the existing mediation analysis methods rely on parametric modeling assumptions in one way or another, typically requiring researchers to specify multiple regression models involving the treat...

  10. Inference of Boundaries in Causal Sets

    OpenAIRE

    Cunningham, William

    2017-01-01

    We investigate the extrinsic geometry of causal sets in $(1+1)$-dimensional Minkowski spacetime. The properties of boundaries in an embedding space can be used not only to measure observables, but also to supplement the discrete action in the partition function via discretized Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary terms. We define several ways to represent a causal set using overlapping subsets, which then allows us to distinguish between null and non-null bounding hypersurfaces in an embedding space...

  11. The Continuum Limit of Causal Fermion Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Finster, Felix

    2016-01-01

    This monograph introduces the basic concepts of the theory of causal fermion systems, a recent approach to the description of fundamental physics. The theory yields quantum mechanics, general relativity and quantum field theory as limiting cases and is therefore a candidate for a unified physical theory. From the mathematical perspective, causal fermion systems provide a general framework for describing and analyzing non-smooth geometries and "quantum geometries." The dynamics is described by...

  12. Causal mediation analysis with multiple mediators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, R M; De Stavola, B L; Cousens, S N; Vansteelandt, S

    2015-03-01

    In diverse fields of empirical research-including many in the biological sciences-attempts are made to decompose the effect of an exposure on an outcome into its effects via a number of different pathways. For example, we may wish to separate the effect of heavy alcohol consumption on systolic blood pressure (SBP) into effects via body mass index (BMI), via gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), and via other pathways. Much progress has been made, mainly due to contributions from the field of causal inference, in understanding the precise nature of statistical estimands that capture such intuitive effects, the assumptions under which they can be identified, and statistical methods for doing so. These contributions have focused almost entirely on settings with a single mediator, or a set of mediators considered en bloc; in many applications, however, researchers attempt a much more ambitious decomposition into numerous path-specific effects through many mediators. In this article, we give counterfactual definitions of such path-specific estimands in settings with multiple mediators, when earlier mediators may affect later ones, showing that there are many ways in which decomposition can be done. We discuss the strong assumptions under which the effects are identified, suggesting a sensitivity analysis approach when a particular subset of the assumptions cannot be justified. These ideas are illustrated using data on alcohol consumption, SBP, BMI, and GGT from the Izhevsk Family Study. We aim to bridge the gap from "single mediator theory" to "multiple mediator practice," highlighting the ambitious nature of this endeavor and giving practical suggestions on how to proceed. © 2014 The Authors Biometrics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Biometric Society.

  13. Young Children's Understanding of Teaching and Learning and Their Theory of Mind Development: A Causal Analysis from a Cross-Cultural Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenlin Wang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Children's understanding of the concepts of teaching and learning is closely associated with their theory of mind (ToM ability and vital for school readiness. This study aimed to develop and validate a Preschool Teaching and Learning Comprehension Index (PTLCI across cultures and examine the causal relationship between children's comprehension of teaching and learning and their mental state understanding. Two hundred and twelve children from 3 to 6 years of age from Hong Kong and the United States participated in study. The results suggested strong construct validity of the PTLCI, and its measurement and structural equivalence within and across cultures. ToM and PTLCI were significantly correlated with a medium effect size, even after controlling for age, and language ability. Hong Kong children outperformed their American counterparts in both ToM and PTLCI. Competing structural equation models suggested that children's performance on the PTLCI causally predicted their ToM across countries.

  14. Causal strength induction from time series data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soo, Kevin W; Rottman, Benjamin M

    2018-04-01

    One challenge when inferring the strength of cause-effect relations from time series data is that the cause and/or effect can exhibit temporal trends. If temporal trends are not accounted for, a learner could infer that a causal relation exists when it does not, or even infer that there is a positive causal relation when the relation is negative, or vice versa. We propose that learners use a simple heuristic to control for temporal trends-that they focus not on the states of the cause and effect at a given instant, but on how the cause and effect change from one observation to the next, which we call transitions. Six experiments were conducted to understand how people infer causal strength from time series data. We found that participants indeed use transitions in addition to states, which helps them to reach more accurate causal judgments (Experiments 1A and 1B). Participants use transitions more when the stimuli are presented in a naturalistic visual format than a numerical format (Experiment 2), and the effect of transitions is not driven by primacy or recency effects (Experiment 3). Finally, we found that participants primarily use the direction in which variables change rather than the magnitude of the change for estimating causal strength (Experiments 4 and 5). Collectively, these studies provide evidence that people often use a simple yet effective heuristic for inferring causal strength from time series data. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Kant on causal laws and powers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henschen, Tobias

    2014-12-01

    The aim of the paper is threefold. Its first aim is to defend Eric Watkins's claim that for Kant, a cause is not an event but a causal power: a power that is borne by a substance, and that, when active, brings about its effect, i.e. a change of the states of another substance, by generating a continuous flow of intermediate states of that substance. The second aim of the paper is to argue against Watkins that the Kantian concept of causal power is not the pre-critical concept of real ground but the category of causality, and that Kant holds with Hume that causal laws cannot be inferred non-inductively (that he accordingly has no intention to show in the Second analogy or elsewhere that events fall under causal laws). The third aim of the paper is to compare the Kantian position on causality with central tenets of contemporary powers ontology: it argues that unlike the variants endorsed by contemporary powers theorists, the Kantian variants of these tenets are resistant to objections that neo-Humeans raise to these tenets.

  16. Causality violation, gravitational shockwaves and UV completion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hollowood, Timothy J.; Shore, Graham M. [Department of Physics, Swansea University,Swansea, SA2 8PP (United Kingdom)

    2016-03-18

    The effective actions describing the low-energy dynamics of QFTs involving gravity generically exhibit causality violations. These may take the form of superluminal propagation or Shapiro time advances and allow the construction of “time machines”, i.e. spacetimes admitting closed non-spacelike curves. Here, we discuss critically whether such causality violations may be used as a criterion to identify unphysical effective actions or whether, and how, causality problems may be resolved by embedding the action in a fundamental, UV complete QFT. We study in detail the case of photon scattering in an Aichelburg-Sexl gravitational shockwave background and calculate the phase shifts in QED for all energies, demonstrating their smooth interpolation from the causality-violating effective action values at low-energy to their manifestly causal high-energy limits. At low energies, these phase shifts may be interpreted as backwards-in-time coordinate jumps as the photon encounters the shock wavefront, and we illustrate how the resulting causality problems emerge and are resolved in a two-shockwave time machine scenario. The implications of our results for ultra-high (Planck) energy scattering, in which graviton exchange is modelled by the shockwave background, are highlighted.

  17. Evidence and causality assessment in environmental epidemiology: methodological aspects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valleron, A.J.

    2000-01-01

    There are usually three major steps in the study of the possible impact of environmental factors on health: 1) to demonstrate that there is an association between exposure to the factor and the disease under study; 2) to demonstrate that this association is causal; 3) to evaluate the health benefit that could be obtained by removing the source of exposure. Statistical methods are commonly assumed to provide an objective way of achieving these three steps. This paper reviews some of the conditions that have to be met to allow proper interpretations and to avoid some of the controversies that are often found in health-environment studies. First, it should be remembered that the so-called P value which is used to qualify 'statistically significant' associations between risk factors and diseases does not give any indication of the probability that this association is actual, while far too often it is believed that it does. The probability that an association between an environmental factor and a disease is real could, however, be estimated by using Bayesian methods. These methods require that the a priori probabilities be stated, which is difficult to do in practice. Some directions to overcome this difficulty are presented. Second, the analysis of causality cannot be carried out on statistical grounds alone and the so-called 'causality criteria' are of limited practical interest. Definition of what is a cause, and upon which conditions a candidate factor of a disease can be considered as a cause, deserves much research effort, and careful consideration of the huge literature (mostly outside of the epidemiological field, for example in logic) which is devoted to this subject. Finally, the measurement of the role of a factor in a disease is very often assessed through the use of 'attributable fraction' or 'attributable mortality'. This should be done only when it is demonstrated that the considered factor is causal. Moreover, the interpretation of attributable fractions

  18. The causal nexus between oil prices and equity market in the U.S.: A regime switching model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balcilar, Mehmet; Ozdemir, Zeynel Abidin

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to analyse the causal link between monthly oil futures price changes and a sub-grouping of S and P 500 stock index changes. The causal linkage between oil and stock markets is modelled using a vector autoregressive model with time-varying parameters so as to reflect changes in Granger causality over time. A Markov switching vector autoregressive (MS-VAR) model, in which causal link between the series is stochastic and governed by an unobservable Markov chain, is used for inferring time-varying causality. Although we do not find any lead–lag type Granger causality, the results based on the MS-VAR model clearly show that oil futures price has strong regime prediction power for a sub-grouping of S and P 500 stock index during various sub-periods in the sample, while there is a weak evidence for the regime prediction power of a sub-grouping of S and P 500 stock indexes. The regime-prediction non-causality tests on the MS-VAR model show that both variables are useful for making inference about the regime process and that the evidence on regime-prediction causality is primarily found in the equation describing a sub-grouping of S and P 500 stock market returns. The evidence from the conditional non-causality tests shows that past information on the other series fails to improve the one step ahead prediction for both oil futures and stock returns. - Highlights: • We analyse the causal links between oil futures price and a sub-grouping of S and P 500 index. • The causal links are modelled using a regime switching model. • We do not find any lead–lag type Granger causality between the series. • The results show that oil futures price has regime prediction power for a sub-grouping of S and P 500 stock index

  19. Illness causal beliefs in Turkish immigrants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klimidis Steven

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background People hold a wide variety of beliefs concerning the causes of illness. Such beliefs vary across cultures and, among immigrants, may be influenced by many factors, including level of acculturation, gender, level of education, and experience of illness and treatment. This study examines illness causal beliefs in Turkish-immigrants in Australia. Methods Causal beliefs about somatic and mental illness were examined in a sample of 444 members of the Turkish population of Melbourne. The socio-demographic characteristics of the sample were broadly similar to those of the Melbourne Turkish community. Five issues were examined: the structure of causal beliefs; the relative frequency of natural, supernatural and metaphysical beliefs; ascription of somatic, mental, or both somatic and mental conditions to the various causes; the correlations of belief types with socio-demographic, modernizing and acculturation variables; and the relationship between causal beliefs and current illness. Results Principal components analysis revealed two broad factors, accounting for 58 percent of the variation in scores on illness belief scales, distinctly interpretable as natural and supernatural beliefs. Second, beliefs in natural causes were more frequent than beliefs in supernatural causes. Third, some causal beliefs were commonly linked to both somatic and mental conditions while others were regarded as more specific to either somatic or mental disorders. Last, there was a range of correlations between endorsement of belief types and factors defining heterogeneity within the community, including with demographic factors, indicators of modernizing and acculturative processes, and the current presence of illness. Conclusion Results supported the classification of causal beliefs proposed by Murdock, Wilson & Frederick, with a division into natural and supernatural causes. While belief in natural causes is more common, belief in supernatural causes

  20. Illness causal beliefs in Turkish immigrants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minas, Harry; Klimidis, Steven; Tuncer, Can

    2007-07-24

    People hold a wide variety of beliefs concerning the causes of illness. Such beliefs vary across cultures and, among immigrants, may be influenced by many factors, including level of acculturation, gender, level of education, and experience of illness and treatment. This study examines illness causal beliefs in Turkish-immigrants in Australia. Causal beliefs about somatic and mental illness were examined in a sample of 444 members of the Turkish population of Melbourne. The socio-demographic characteristics of the sample were broadly similar to those of the Melbourne Turkish community. Five issues were examined: the structure of causal beliefs; the relative frequency of natural, supernatural and metaphysical beliefs; ascription of somatic, mental, or both somatic and mental conditions to the various causes; the correlations of belief types with socio-demographic, modernizing and acculturation variables; and the relationship between causal beliefs and current illness. Principal components analysis revealed two broad factors, accounting for 58 percent of the variation in scores on illness belief scales, distinctly interpretable as natural and supernatural beliefs. Second, beliefs in natural causes were more frequent than beliefs in supernatural causes. Third, some causal beliefs were commonly linked to both somatic and mental conditions while others were regarded as more specific to either somatic or mental disorders. Last, there was a range of correlations between endorsement of belief types and factors defining heterogeneity within the community, including with demographic factors, indicators of modernizing and acculturative processes, and the current presence of illness. Results supported the classification of causal beliefs proposed by Murdock, Wilson & Frederick, with a division into natural and supernatural causes. While belief in natural causes is more common, belief in supernatural causes persists despite modernizing and acculturative influences. Different

  1. Zika Virus Infection and Microcephaly: Evidence for a Causal Link

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Na Wang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Zika virus (ZIKV is a flavivirus related to the Dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. Since the explosive outbreaks of ZIKV in Latin America in 2015, a sudden increase in the number of microcephaly cases has been observed in infants of women who were pregnant when they contracted the virus. The severity of this condition raises grave concerns, and extensive studies on the possible link between ZIKV infection and microcephaly have been conducted. There is substantial evidence suggesting that there is a causal link between ZIKV and microcephaly, however, future studies are warranted to solidify this association. To summarize the most recent evidence on this issue and provide perspectives for future studies, we reviewed the literature to identify existing evidence of the causal link between ZIKV infection and microcephaly within research related to the epidemics, laboratory diagnosis, and possible mechanisms.

  2. Zika Virus Infection and Microcephaly: Evidence for a Causal Link.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jin-Na; Ling, Feng

    2016-10-20

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus related to the Dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. Since the explosive outbreaks of ZIKV in Latin America in 2015, a sudden increase in the number of microcephaly cases has been observed in infants of women who were pregnant when they contracted the virus. The severity of this condition raises grave concerns, and extensive studies on the possible link between ZIKV infection and microcephaly have been conducted. There is substantial evidence suggesting that there is a causal link between ZIKV and microcephaly, however, future studies are warranted to solidify this association. To summarize the most recent evidence on this issue and provide perspectives for future studies, we reviewed the literature to identify existing evidence of the causal link between ZIKV infection and microcephaly within research related to the epidemics, laboratory diagnosis, and possible mechanisms.

  3. Spontaneous breathing during lung-protective ventilation in an experimental acute lung injury model: high transpulmonary pressure associated with strong spontaneous breathing effort may worsen lung injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Takeshi; Uchiyama, Akinori; Matsuura, Nariaki; Mashimo, Takashi; Fujino, Yuji

    2012-05-01

    We investigated whether potentially injurious transpulmonary pressure could be generated by strong spontaneous breathing and exacerbate lung injury even when plateau pressure is limited to ventilation, each combined with weak or strong spontaneous breathing effort. Inspiratory pressure for low tidal volume ventilation was set at 10 cm H2O and tidal volume at 6 mL/kg. For moderate tidal volume ventilation, the values were 20 cm H2O and 7-9 mL/kg. The groups were: low tidal volume ventilation+spontaneous breathingweak, low tidal volume ventilation+spontaneous breathingstrong, moderate tidal volume ventilation+spontaneous breathingweak, and moderate tidal volume ventilation+spontaneous breathingstrong. Each group had the same settings for positive end-expiratory pressure of 8 cm H2O. Respiratory variables were measured every 60 mins. Distribution of lung aeration and alveolar collapse were histologically evaluated. Low tidal volume ventilation+spontaneous breathingstrong showed the most favorable oxygenation and compliance of respiratory system, and the best lung aeration. By contrast, in moderate tidal volume ventilation+spontaneous breathingstrong, the greatest atelectasis with numerous neutrophils was observed. While we applied settings to maintain plateau pressure at ventilation+spontaneous breathingstrong, transpulmonary pressure rose >33 cm H2O. Both minute ventilation and respiratory rate were higher in the strong spontaneous breathing groups. Even when plateau pressure is limited to mechanical ventilation, transpulmonary pressure and tidal volume should be strictly controlled to prevent further lung injury.

  4. Entanglement entropy in causal set theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorkin, Rafael D.; Yazdi, Yasaman K.

    2018-04-01

    Entanglement entropy is now widely accepted as having deep connections with quantum gravity. It is therefore desirable to understand it in the context of causal sets, especially since they provide in a natural manner the UV cutoff needed to render entanglement entropy finite. Formulating a notion of entanglement entropy in a causal set is not straightforward because the type of canonical hypersurface-data on which its definition typically relies is not available. Instead, we appeal to the more global expression given in Sorkin (2012 (arXiv:1205.2953)) which, for a Gaussian scalar field, expresses the entropy of a spacetime region in terms of the field’s correlation function within that region (its ‘Wightman function’ W(x, x') ). Carrying this formula over to the causal set, one obtains an entropy which is both finite and of a Lorentz invariant nature. We evaluate this global entropy-expression numerically for certain regions (primarily order-intervals or ‘causal diamonds’) within causal sets of 1  +  1 dimensions. For the causal-set counterpart of the entanglement entropy, we obtain, in the first instance, a result that follows a (spacetime) volume law instead of the expected (spatial) area law. We find, however, that one obtains an area law if one truncates the commutator function (‘Pauli–Jordan operator’) and the Wightman function by projecting out the eigenmodes of the Pauli–Jordan operator whose eigenvalues are too close to zero according to a geometrical criterion which we describe more fully below. In connection with these results and the questions they raise, we also study the ‘entropy of coarse-graining’ generated by thinning out the causal set, and we compare it with what one obtains by similarly thinning out a chain of harmonic oscillators, finding the same, ‘universal’ behaviour in both cases.

  5. CYP19A1 fine-mapping and Mendelian randomization: estradiol is causal for endometrial cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Deborah J; O'Mara, Tracy A; Glubb, Dylan M; Painter, Jodie N; Cheng, Timothy; Folkerd, Elizabeth; Doody, Deborah; Dennis, Joe; Webb, Penelope M; Gorman, Maggie; Martin, Lynn; Hodgson, Shirley; Michailidou, Kyriaki; Tyrer, Jonathan P; Maranian, Mel J; Hall, Per; Czene, Kamila; Darabi, Hatef; Li, Jingmei; Fasching, Peter A; Hein, Alexander; Beckmann, Matthias W; Ekici, Arif B; Dörk, Thilo; Hillemanns, Peter; Dürst, Matthias; Runnebaum, Ingo; Zhao, Hui; Depreeuw, Jeroen; Schrauwen, Stefanie; Amant, Frederic; Goode, Ellen L; Fridley, Brooke L; Dowdy, Sean C; Winham, Stacey J; Salvesen, Helga B; Trovik, Jone; Njolstad, Tormund S; Werner, Henrica M J; Ashton, Katie; Proietto, Tony; Otton, Geoffrey; Carvajal-Carmona, Luis; Tham, Emma; Liu, Tao; Mints, Miriam; Scott, Rodney J; McEvoy, Mark; Attia, John; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Montgomery, Grant W; Martin, Nicholas G; Nyholt, Dale R; Henders, Anjali K; Hopper, John L; Traficante, Nadia; Ruebner, Matthias; Swerdlow, Anthony J; Burwinkel, Barbara; Brenner, Hermann; Meindl, Alfons; Brauch, Hiltrud; Lindblom, Annika; Lambrechts, Diether; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Couch, Fergus J; Giles, Graham G; Kristensen, Vessela N; Cox, Angela; Bolla, Manjeet K; Wang, Qin; Bojesen, Stig E; Shah, Mitul; Luben, Robert; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Pharoah, Paul D P; Dunning, Alison M; Tomlinson, Ian; Dowsett, Mitch; Easton, Douglas F; Spurdle, Amanda B

    2016-01-01

    Candidate gene studies have reported CYP19A1 variants to be associated with endometrial cancer and with estradiol (E2) concentrations. We analyzed 2937 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 6608 endometrial cancer cases and 37 925 controls and report the first genome wide-significant association between endometrial cancer and a CYP19A1 SNP (rs727479 in intron 2, P=4.8×10−11). SNP rs727479 was also among those most strongly associated with circulating E2 concentrations in 2767 post-menopausal controls (P=7.4×10−8). The observed endometrial cancer odds ratio per rs727479 A-allele (1.15, CI=1.11–1.21) is compatible with that predicted by the observed effect on E2 concentrations (1.09, CI=1.03–1.21), consistent with the hypothesis that endometrial cancer risk is driven by E2. From 28 candidate-causal SNPs, 12 co-located with three putative gene-regulatory elements and their risk alleles associated with higher CYP19A1 expression in bioinformatical analyses. For both phenotypes, the associations with rs727479 were stronger among women with a higher BMI (Pinteraction=0.034 and 0.066 respectively), suggesting a biologically plausible gene-environment interaction. PMID:26574572

  6. Meta-analysis of associations between human brain volume and intelligence differences : How strong are they and what do they mean?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pietschnig, J.; Penke, L.; Wicherts, J.M.; Zeiler, M.; Voracek, M.

    2015-01-01

    Positive associations between human intelligence and brain size have been suspected for more than 150 years. Nowadays, modern non-invasive measures of in vivo brain volume (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) make it possible to reliably assess associations with IQ. By means of a systematic review of

  7. Implementation and reporting of causal mediation analysis in 2015: a systematic review in epidemiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shao-Hsien; Ulbricht, Christine M; Chrysanthopoulou, Stavroula A; Lapane, Kate L

    2016-07-20

    Causal mediation analysis is often used to understand the impact of variables along the causal pathway of an occurrence relation. How well studies apply and report the elements of causal mediation analysis remains unknown. We systematically reviewed epidemiological studies published in 2015 that employed causal mediation analysis to estimate direct and indirect effects of observed associations between an exposure on an outcome. We identified potential epidemiological studies through conducting a citation search within Web of Science and a keyword search within PubMed. Two reviewers independently screened studies for eligibility. For eligible studies, one reviewer performed data extraction, and a senior epidemiologist confirmed the extracted information. Empirical application and methodological details of the technique were extracted and summarized. Thirteen studies were eligible for data extraction. While the majority of studies reported and identified the effects of measures, most studies lacked sufficient details on the extent to which identifiability assumptions were satisfied. Although most studies addressed issues of unmeasured confounders either from empirical approaches or sensitivity analyses, the majority did not examine the potential bias arising from the measurement error of the mediator. Some studies allowed for exposure-mediator interaction and only a few presented results from models both with and without interactions. Power calculations were scarce. Reporting of causal mediation analysis is varied and suboptimal. Given that the application of causal mediation analysis will likely continue to increase, developing standards of reporting of causal mediation analysis in epidemiological research would be prudent.

  8. Evaluation of the causal framework used for setting national ambient air quality standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Julie E; Prueitt, Robyn L; Sax, Sonja N; Bailey, Lisa A; Rhomberg, Lorenz R

    2013-11-01

    Abstract A scientifically sound assessment of the potential hazards associated with a substance requires a systematic, objective and transparent evaluation of the weight of evidence (WoE) for causality of health effects. We critically evaluated the current WoE framework for causal determination used in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) assessments of the scientific data on air pollutants for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) review process, including its methods for literature searches; study selection, evaluation and integration; and causal judgments. The causal framework used in recent NAAQS evaluations has many valuable features, but it could be more explicit in some cases, and some features are missing that should be included in every WoE evaluation. Because of this, it has not always been applied consistently in evaluations of causality, leading to conclusions that are not always supported by the overall WoE, as we demonstrate using EPA's ozone Integrated Science Assessment as a case study. We propose additions to the NAAQS causal framework based on best practices gleaned from a previously conducted survey of available WoE frameworks. A revision of the NAAQS causal framework so that it more closely aligns with these best practices and the full and consistent application of the framework will improve future assessments of the potential health effects of criteria air pollutants by making the assessments more thorough, transparent, and scientifically sound.

  9. Testing strong interaction theories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ellis, J.

    1979-01-01

    The author discusses possible tests of the current theories of the strong interaction, in particular, quantum chromodynamics. High energy e + e - interactions should provide an excellent means of studying the strong force. (W.D.L.)

  10. The Relevance of Causal Social Construction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marques Teresa

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Social constructionist claims are surprising and interesting when they entail that presumably natural kinds are in fact socially constructed. The claims are interesting because of their theoretical and political importance. Authors like Díaz-León argue that constitutive social construction is more relevant for achieving social justice than causal social construction. This paper challenges this claim. Assuming there are socially salient groups that are discriminated against, the paper presents a dilemma: if there were no constitutively constructed social kinds, the causes of the discrimination of existing social groups would have to be addressed, and understanding causal social construction would be relevant to achieve social justice. On the other hand, not all possible constitutively socially constructed kinds are actual social kinds. If an existing social group is constitutively constructed as a social kind K, the fact that it actually exists as a K has social causes. Again, causal social construction is relevant. The paper argues that (i for any actual social kind X, if X is constitutively socially constructed as K, then it is also causally socially constructed; and (ii causal social construction is at least as relevant as constitutive social construction for concerns of social justice. For illustration, I draw upon two phenomena that are presumed to contribute towards the discrimination of women: (i the poor performance effects of stereotype threat, and (ii the silencing effects of gendered language use.

  11. Gravity and matter in causal set theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sverdlov, Roman; Bombelli, Luca

    2009-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to propose an approach to the formulation of dynamics for causal sets and coupled matter fields. We start from the continuum version of the action for a Klein-Gordon field coupled to gravity, and rewrite it first using quantities that have a direct correspondent in the case of a causal set, namely volumes, causal relations and timelike lengths, as variables to describe the geometry. In this step, the local Lagrangian density L(f;x) for a set of fields f is recast into a quasilocal expression L 0 (f;p,q) that depends on pairs of causally related points pprq and is a function of the values of f in the Alexandrov set defined by those points, and whose limit as p and q approach a common point x is L(f;x). We then describe how to discretize L 0 (f;p,q) and use it to define a causal-set-based action.

  12. How do practising clinicians and students apply newly learned causal information about mental disorders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Kwaadsteniet, Leontien; Kim, Nancy S; Yopchick, Jennelle E

    2013-02-01

    New causal theories explaining the aetiology of psychiatric disorders continuously appear in the literature. How might such new information directly impact clinical practice, to the degree that clinicians are aware of it and accept it? We investigated whether expert clinical psychologists and students use new causal information about psychiatric disorders according to rationalist norms in their diagnostic reasoning. Specifically, philosophical and Bayesian analyses suggest that it is rational to draw stronger inferences about the presence of a disorder when a client's presenting symptoms are from disparate locations in a causal theory of the disorder than when they are from proximal locations. In a controlled experiment, we presented experienced clinical psychologists and students with recently published causal theories for different disorders; specifically, these theories proposed how the symptoms of each disorder stem from a root cause. Participants viewed hypothetical clients with presenting proximal or diverse symptoms, and indicated either the likelihood that the client has the disorder, or what additional information they would seek out to help inform a diagnostic decision. Clinicians and students alike showed a strong preference for diverse evidence, over proximal evidence, in making diagnostic judgments and in seeking additional information. They did not show this preference in the control condition, in which they gave their own opinions prior to learning the causal information. These findings suggest that experienced clinical psychologists and students are likely to use newly learned causal knowledge in a normative, rational way in diagnostic reasoning. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. How causal analysis can reveal autonomy in models of biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, William; Kim, Hyunju; Walker, Sara I.; Tononi, Giulio; Albantakis, Larissa

    2017-11-01

    Standard techniques for studying biological systems largely focus on their dynamical or, more recently, their informational properties, usually taking either a reductionist or holistic perspective. Yet, studying only individual system elements or the dynamics of the system as a whole disregards the organizational structure of the system-whether there are subsets of elements with joint causes or effects, and whether the system is strongly integrated or composed of several loosely interacting components. Integrated information theory offers a theoretical framework to (1) investigate the compositional cause-effect structure of a system and to (2) identify causal borders of highly integrated elements comprising local maxima of intrinsic cause-effect power. Here we apply this comprehensive causal analysis to a Boolean network model of the fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) cell cycle. We demonstrate that this biological model features a non-trivial causal architecture, whose discovery may provide insights about the real cell cycle that could not be gained from holistic or reductionist approaches. We also show how some specific properties of this underlying causal architecture relate to the biological notion of autonomy. Ultimately, we suggest that analysing the causal organization of a system, including key features like intrinsic control and stable causal borders, should prove relevant for distinguishing life from non-life, and thus could also illuminate the origin of life problem. This article is part of the themed issue 'Reconceptualizing the origins of life'.

  14. Assessing the Causal Relationship of Maternal Height on Birth Size and Gestational Age at Birth: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ge; Bacelis, Jonas; Lengyel, Candice; Teramo, Kari; Hallman, Mikko; Helgeland, Øyvind; Johansson, Stefan; Myhre, Ronny; Sengpiel, Verena; Njølstad, Pål Rasmus; Jacobsson, Bo; Muglia, Louis

    2015-01-01

    Background Observational epidemiological studies indicate that maternal height is associated with gestational age at birth and fetal growth measures (i.e., shorter mothers deliver infants at earlier gestational ages with lower birth weight and birth length). Different mechanisms have been postulated to explain these associations. This study aimed to investigate the casual relationships behind the strong association of maternal height with fetal growth measures (i.e., birth length and birth weight) and gestational age by a Mendelian randomization approach. Methods and Findings We conducted a Mendelian randomization analysis using phenotype and genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data of 3,485 mother/infant pairs from birth cohorts collected from three Nordic countries (Finland, Denmark, and Norway). We constructed a genetic score based on 697 SNPs known to be associated with adult height to index maternal height. To avoid confounding due to genetic sharing between mother and infant, we inferred parental transmission of the height-associated SNPs and utilized the haplotype genetic score derived from nontransmitted alleles as a valid genetic instrument for maternal height. In observational analysis, maternal height was significantly associated with birth length (p = 6.31 × 10−9), birth weight (p = 2.19 × 10−15), and gestational age (p = 1.51 × 10−7). Our parental-specific haplotype score association analysis revealed that birth length and birth weight were significantly associated with the maternal transmitted haplotype score as well as the paternal transmitted haplotype score. Their association with the maternal nontransmitted haplotype score was far less significant, indicating a major fetal genetic influence on these fetal growth measures. In contrast, gestational age was significantly associated with the nontransmitted haplotype score (p = 0.0424) and demonstrated a significant (p = 0.0234) causal effect of every 1 cm increase in maternal

  15. A frequency domain subspace algorithm for mixed causal, anti-causal LTI systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fraanje, Rufus; Verhaegen, Michel; Verdult, Vincent; Pintelon, Rik

    2003-01-01

    The paper extends the subspacc identification method to estimate state-space models from frequency response function (FRF) samples, proposed by McKelvey et al. (1996) for mixed causal/anti-causal systems, and shows that other frequency domain subspace algorithms can be extended similarly. The method

  16. Depressive symptoms in middle-aged women are more strongly associated with physical health and social support than with socioeconomic factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aro, A R; Nyberg, N; Absetz, P

    2001-01-01

    The association of socioeconomic factors, health-related factors, and social support with depressive symptoms has been extensively studied. However, most epidemiological studies have focused on a few factors such as marital status, social class, and employment. In this study of middle-aged women we...... analyzed both univariate and multivariate associations of socioeconomic factors, perceived physical health factors, and social support with self-rated depressive symptoms measured with the Beck Depression Inventory. A nationwide sample (n = 1851) of Finnish women aged 48-50 years was analyzed....... Socioeconomic, health-related, and social support factors were all measured with single items. All variables, except level of urbanization, were significantly associated with depressive symptoms in univariate analyses. Multivariate associations were examined with standard multiple regression analyses in three...

  17. Tachyon kinematics and causality: A systematic, thorough analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recami, E.

    1985-01-01

    The chronological order of the events along a space-like path is not invariant under Lorentz transformations, as wellknown. This led to an early conviction that tachyons would give rise to causal anomalies. A relativistic version of the Stuckelberg-Feynman 'switching procedure' (SWP) has been invoked as the suitable tool to eliminate those anomalies. The application of the 'SWP' does eliminate the motions backwards in time, but interchanges the roles of source and detector. This fact triggered the proposal of a host of causal 'paradoxes'. Till now, however, it has not been recognized that such paradoxes can be sensibly discussed (and completely solved, at least 'in microphysics') only after having properly developed the tachyon relativistic mechanics. It is shown how to apply the 'SWP', both in the case of ordinary Special Relativity, and in the case with tachyons. Then, the kinematics of the tachyon-exchange between two (ordinary) bodies is carrefully exploited. Being finally able to tackle the tachyon-causality problem, the paradoxes are sucessively solved: (i) by Tolman-Regge; (ii) by Pirani; (iii) by Edmonds; (iv) by Bell. At last, a further new paradox associated with the transmission of signals by modulated tachyon beams is discussed. (Author) [pt

  18. Entropy and information causality in general probabilistic theories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnum, Howard; Leifer, Matthew; Spekkens, Robert; Barrett, Jonathan; Clark, Lisa Orloff; Stepanik, Nicholas; Wilce, Alex; Wilke, Robin

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the concept of entropy in probabilistic theories more general than quantum mechanics, with particular reference to the notion of information causality (IC) recently proposed by Pawlowski et al (2009 arXiv:0905.2292). We consider two entropic quantities, which we term measurement and mixing entropy. In the context of classical and quantum theory, these coincide, being given by the Shannon and von Neumann entropies, respectively; in general, however, they are very different. In particular, while measurement entropy is easily seen to be concave, mixing entropy need not be. In fact, as we show, mixing entropy is not concave whenever the state space is a non-simplicial polytope. Thus, the condition that measurement and mixing entropies coincide is a strong constraint on possible theories. We call theories with this property monoentropic. Measurement entropy is subadditive, but not in general strongly subadditive. Equivalently, if we define the mutual information between two systems A and B by the usual formula I(A: B)=H(A)+H(B)-H(AB), where H denotes the measurement entropy and AB is a non-signaling composite of A and B, then it can happen that I(A:BC)< I(A:B). This is relevant to IC in the sense of Pawlowski et al: we show that any monoentropic non-signaling theory in which measurement entropy is strongly subadditive, and also satisfies a version of the Holevo bound, is informationally causal, and on the other hand we observe that Popescu-Rohrlich boxes, which violate IC, also violate strong subadditivity. We also explore the interplay between measurement and mixing entropy and various natural conditions on theories that arise in quantum axiomatics.

  19. BioCause: Annotating and analysing causality in the biomedical domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihăilă, Claudiu; Ohta, Tomoko; Pyysalo, Sampo; Ananiadou, Sophia

    2013-01-16

    Biomedical corpora annotated with event-level information represent an important resource for domain-specific information extraction (IE) systems. However, bio-event annotation alone cannot cater for all the needs of biologists. Unlike work on relation and event extraction, most of which focusses on specific events and named entities, we aim to build a comprehensive resource, covering all statements of causal association present in discourse. Causality lies at the heart of biomedical knowledge, such as diagnosis, pathology or systems biology, and, thus, automatic causality recognition can greatly reduce the human workload by suggesting possible causal connections and aiding in the curation of pathway models. A biomedical text corpus annotated with such relations is, hence, crucial for developing and evaluating biomedical text mining. We have defined an annotation scheme for enriching biomedical domain corpora with causality relations. This schema has subsequently been used to annotate 851 causal relations to form BioCause, a collection of 19 open-access full-text biomedical journal articles belonging to the subdomain of infectious diseases. These documents have been pre-annotated with named entity and event information in the context of previous shared tasks. We report an inter-annotator agreement rate of over 60% for triggers and of over 80% for arguments using an exact match constraint. These increase significantly using a relaxed match setting. Moreover, we analyse and describe the causality relations in BioCause from various points of view. This information can then be leveraged for the training of automatic causality detection systems. Augmenting named entity and event annotations with information about causal discourse relations could benefit the development of more sophisticated IE systems. These will further influence the development of multiple tasks, such as enabling textual inference to detect entailments, discovering new facts and providing new

  20. Causal inheritance in plane wave quotients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hubeny, Veronika E.; Rangamani, Mukund; Ross, Simon F.

    2003-01-01

    We investigate the appearance of closed timelike curves in quotients of plane waves along spacelike isometries. First we formulate a necessary and sufficient condition for a quotient of a general spacetime to preserve stable causality. We explicitly show that the plane waves are stably causal; in passing, we observe that some pp-waves are not even distinguishing. We then consider the classification of all quotients of the maximally supersymmetric ten-dimensional plane wave under a spacelike isometry, and show that the quotient will lead to closed timelike curves iff the isometry involves a translation along the u direction. The appearance of these closed timelike curves is thus connected to the special properties of the light cones in plane wave spacetimes. We show that all other quotients preserve stable causality

  1. Inference of boundaries in causal sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, William J.

    2018-05-01

    We investigate the extrinsic geometry of causal sets in (1+1) -dimensional Minkowski spacetime. The properties of boundaries in an embedding space can be used not only to measure observables, but also to supplement the discrete action in the partition function via discretized Gibbons–Hawking–York boundary terms. We define several ways to represent a causal set using overlapping subsets, which then allows us to distinguish between null and non-null bounding hypersurfaces in an embedding space. We discuss algorithms to differentiate between different types of regions, consider when these distinctions are possible, and then apply the algorithms to several spacetime regions. Numerical results indicate the volumes of timelike boundaries can be measured to within 0.5% accuracy for flat boundaries and within 10% accuracy for highly curved boundaries for medium-sized causal sets with N  =  214 spacetime elements.

  2. Testing the causal theory of reference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domaneschi, Filippo; Vignolo, Massimiliano; Di Paola, Simona

    2017-04-01

    Theories of reference are a crucial research topic in analytic philosophy. Since the publication of Kripke's Naming and Necessity, most philosophers have endorsed the causal/historical theory of reference. The goal of this paper is twofold: (i) to discuss a method for testing experimentally the causal theory of reference for proper names by investigating linguistic usage and (ii) to present the results from two experiments conducted with that method. Data collected in our experiments confirm the causal theory of reference for people proper names and for geographical proper names. A secondary but interesting result is that the semantic domain affects reference assignment: while with people proper names speakers tend to assign the semantic reference, with geographical proper names they are prompted to assign the speaker's reference. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Bulk viscous cosmology with causal transport theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Piattella, Oliver F.; Fabris, Júlio C.; Zimdahl, Winfried

    2011-01-01

    We consider cosmological scenarios originating from a single imperfect fluid with bulk viscosity and apply Eckart's and both the full and the truncated Müller-Israel-Stewart's theories as descriptions of the non-equilibrium processes. Our principal objective is to investigate if the dynamical properties of Dark Matter and Dark Energy can be described by a single viscous fluid and how such description changes when a causal theory (Müller-Israel-Stewart's, both in its full and truncated forms) is taken into account instead of Eckart's non-causal one. To this purpose, we find numerical solutions for the gravitational potential and compare its behaviour with the corresponding ΛCDM case. Eckart's and the full causal theory seem to be disfavoured, whereas the truncated theory leads to results similar to those of the ΛCDM model for a bulk viscous speed in the interval 10 −11 || cb 2 ∼ −8

  4. Causal inheritance in plane wave quotients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubeny, Veronika E.; Rangamani, Mukund; Ross, Simon F.

    2004-01-01

    We investigate the appearance of closed timelike curves in quotients of plane waves along spacelike isometries. First we formulate a necessary and sufficient condition for a quotient of a general space-time to preserve stable causality. We explicitly show that the plane waves are stably causal; in passing, we observe that some pp waves are not even distinguishing. We then consider the classification of all quotients of the maximally supersymmetric ten-dimensional plane wave under a spacelike isometry, and show that the quotient will lead to closed timelike curves iff the isometry involves a translation along the u direction. The appearance of these closed timelike curves is thus connected to the special properties of the light cones in plane wave space-times. We show that all other quotients preserve stable causality.

  5. Exploring Work-Related Causal Attributions of Common Mental Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Ingrid Blø; Øverland, Simon; Reme, Silje Endresen; Løvvik, Camilla

    2015-09-01

    Common mental disorders (CMDs) are major causes of sickness absence and disability. Prevention requires knowledge of how individuals perceive causal mechanisms, and in this study we sought to examine work-related factors as causal attribution of CMDs. A trial sample of n = 1,193, recruited because they struggled with work participation due to CMDs, answered an open-ended questionnaire item about what they believed were the most important causes of their CMDs. The population included participants at risk of sickness absence, and participants with reduced work participation due to sickness absence, disability or unemployment. We used thematic content analysis and categorized responses from 487 participants who reported work-related factors as causal attributions of their CMDs. Gender differences in work-related causal attributions were also examined. The participants attributed their CMDs to the following work-related factors; work stress, leadership, reduced work participation, job dissatisfaction, work conflict, social work environment, job insecurity and change, workplace bullying, and physical strain. Women tended to attribute CMDs to social factors at work. Findings from this study suggest several work-related risk factors for CMDs. Both factors at the workplace, and reduced work participation, were perceived by study participants as contributing causes of CMDs. Thus, there is a need to promote work participation whilst at the same time targeting aversive workplace factors. Further, our findings indicate that work-related factors may affect women and men differently. This illustrates that the association between work participation and CMDs is complex, and needs to be explored further.

  6. Seminal Plasma HIV-1 RNA Concentration Is Strongly Associated with Altered Levels of Seminal Plasma Interferon-γ, Interleukin-17, and Interleukin-5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Jennifer C.; Anton, Peter A.; Baldwin, Gayle Cocita; Elliott, Julie; Anisman-Posner, Deborah; Tanner, Karen; Grogan, Tristan; Elashoff, David; Sugar, Catherine; Yang, Otto O.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Seminal plasma HIV-1 RNA level is an important determinant of the risk of HIV-1 sexual transmission. We investigated potential associations between seminal plasma cytokine levels and viral concentration in the seminal plasma of HIV-1-infected men. This was a prospective, observational study of paired blood and semen samples from 18 HIV-1 chronically infected men off antiretroviral therapy. HIV-1 RNA levels and cytokine levels in seminal plasma and blood plasma were measured and analyzed using simple linear regressions to screen for associations between cytokines and seminal plasma HIV-1 levels. Forward stepwise regression was performed to construct the final multivariate model. The median HIV-1 RNA concentrations were 4.42 log10 copies/ml (IQR 2.98, 4.70) and 2.96 log10 copies/ml (IQR 2, 4.18) in blood and seminal plasma, respectively. In stepwise multivariate linear regression analysis, blood HIV-1 RNA level (pplasma HIV-1 RNA level. After controlling for blood HIV-1 RNA level, seminal plasma HIV-1 RNA level was positively associated with interferon (IFN)-γ (p=0.03) and interleukin (IL)-17 (p=0.03) and negatively associated with IL-5 (p=0.0007) in seminal plasma. In addition to blood HIV-1 RNA level, cytokine profiles in the male genital tract are associated with HIV-1 RNA levels in semen. The Th1 and Th17 cytokines IFN-γ and IL-17 are associated with increased seminal plasma HIV-1 RNA, while the Th2 cytokine IL-5 is associated with decreased seminal plasma HIV-1 RNA. These results support the importance of genital tract immunomodulation in HIV-1 transmission. PMID:25209674

  7. Causal interpretation of stochastic differential equations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sokol, Alexander; Hansen, Niels Richard

    2014-01-01

    We give a causal interpretation of stochastic differential equations (SDEs) by defining the postintervention SDE resulting from an intervention in an SDE. We show that under Lipschitz conditions, the solution to the postintervention SDE is equal to a uniform limit in probability of postintervention...... structural equation models based on the Euler scheme of the original SDE, thus relating our definition to mainstream causal concepts. We prove that when the driving noise in the SDE is a Lévy process, the postintervention distribution is identifiable from the generator of the SDE....

  8. Morse theory on timelike and causal curves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Everson, J.; Talbot, C.J.

    1976-01-01

    It is shown that the set of timelike curves in a globally hyperbolic space-time manifold can be given the structure of a Hilbert manifold under a suitable definition of 'timelike.' The causal curves are the topological closure of this manifold. The Lorentzian energy (corresponding to Milnor's energy, except that the Lorentzian inner product is used) is shown to be a Morse function for the space of causal curves. A fixed end point index theorem is obtained in which a lower bound for the index of the Hessian of the Lorentzian energy is given in terms of the sum of the orders of the conjugate points between the end points. (author)

  9. Inferring causality from noisy time series data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mønster, Dan; Fusaroli, Riccardo; Tylén, Kristian

    2016-01-01

    Convergent Cross-Mapping (CCM) has shown high potential to perform causal inference in the absence of models. We assess the strengths and weaknesses of the method by varying coupling strength and noise levels in coupled logistic maps. We find that CCM fails to infer accurate coupling strength...... and even causality direction in synchronized time-series and in the presence of intermediate coupling. We find that the presence of noise deterministically reduces the level of cross-mapping fidelity, while the convergence rate exhibits higher levels of robustness. Finally, we propose that controlled noise...

  10. The naive CD4+ count in HIV-1-infected patients at time of initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy is strongly associated with the level of immunological recovery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michael, OG; Kirk, O; Mathiesen, Lars Reinhardt

    2002-01-01

    CD4 + count followed a triphasic pattern, reflecting an initial phase of rapid redistribution from lymphoid tissues, followed by a slow increase, partially due to an increase in naive CD4+ cell count. From Month 18 onwards, both naive and total CD4 + cell counts stabilized, although viral suppression......-infected patients. The focus was on the naive CD4 + cell time course and associations between naive CD4 + cell counts and established prognostic markers. Total and naive CD4 + cell counts were measured using flow cytometry. The HIV-RNA detection limit was 20 copies/ml. During 36 months of HAART, the total...... was sustained. There was no association between plasma viral load and the increase in naive CD4 + cell count. Importantly, baseline naive CD4 + cell count was significantly associated with the change in naive CD4 + cell count, suggesting that the naive cell count at baseline does influence the immunological...

  11. Characteristics Associated With Urethral and Rectal Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Diagnoses in a US National Sample of Gay and Bisexual Men: Results From the One Thousand Strong Panel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grov, Christian; Cain, Demetria; Rendina, H Jonathan; Ventuneac, Ana; Parsons, Jeffrey T

    2016-03-01

    Gay and bisexual men are at elevated risk for Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis (GC/CT). Rectal GC/CT symptoms may be less obvious than urethral, increasing opportunities for undiagnosed rectal GC/CT. A US national sample of 1071 gay and bisexual men completed urethral and rectal GC/CT testing and an online survey. In total, 6.2% were GC/CT positive (5.3% rectal, 1.7% urethral). We calculated adjusted (for education, race, age, relationship status, having health insurance, and income) odds ratios for factors associated with rectal and urethral GC/CT diagnoses. Age was inversely associated with urethral and rectal GC/CT. Compared with white men, Latinos had significantly greater odds of rectal GC/CT. Among men who reported anal sex, those reporting only insertive sex had lower odds of rectal GC/CT than did men who reported both insertive and receptive. There was a positive association between rectal GC/CT and number of male partners (<12 months), the number of anal receptive acts, receptive condomless anal sex (CAS) acts, and insertive CAS acts. Compared with those who had engaged in both insertive and receptive anal sex, those who engaged in only receptive anal sex had lower odds of urethral GC/CT. The number of male partners (<12 months) was associated with increased odds of urethral GC/CT. Rectal GC/CT was more common than urethral and associated with some demographic and behavioral characteristics. Our finding that insertive CAS acts was associated with rectal GC/CT highlights that providers should screen patients for GC/CT via a full range of transmission routes, lest GC/CT go undiagnosed.

  12. On the notion of causality in medicine: addressing Austin Bradford Hill and John L. Mackie

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís Fernando S. C. de Araújo

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Almost 50 years ago appeared the seminal article by Austin Bradford Hill where he presented parameters for inferring causes from statistical associations, which became known as Hill’s causal criteria. This was a milestone for the renewal of the idea of cause in medicine. Our article revisits his contribution in light of the ideas from the Australian philosopher John L. Mackie, whose important works on causality reached an audience distinct from Hill’s. We suggest that both the British epidemiologist and the Australian philosopher share the purpose of articulating probabilistic determinism and multi-causality, the first with a predominantly probabilistic model and the second with an analytical approach. This article explores the possible consequences of addressing these authors jointly in regard to causal inferences in medicine, especially in respect to mental disorders.

  13. Genetic effects of PDGFRB and MARCH1 identified in GWAS revealing strong associations with semen production traits in Chinese Holstein bulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuli; Yin, Hongwei; Li, Cong; Qin, Chunhua; Cai, Wentao; Cao, Mingyue; Zhang, Shengli

    2017-07-03

    Using a genome-wide association study strategy, our previous study discovered 19 significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to semen production traits in Chinese Holstein bulls. Among them, three SNPs were within or close to the phosphodiesterase 3A (PDE3A), membrane associated ring-CH-type finger 1 (MARCH1) and platelet derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRB) genes. The present study was designed with the objectives of identifying genetic polymorphism of the PDE3A, PDGFRB and MARCH1 genes and their effects on semen production traits in a Holstein bull population. A total of 20 SNPs were detected and genotyped in 730 bulls. Association analyses using de-regressed estimated breeding values of each semen production trait revealed four statistically significant SNPs for one or more semen production traits (P semen volume per ejaculate. Furthermore, high expression of the MARCH1 gene was observed in sperm cells. One SNP (rs43445726) in the regulatory region of MARCH1 had a significant effect on gene expression. Our study demonstrated the significant associations of genetic variants of the PDGFRB and MARCH1 genes with semen production traits. The identified SNPs may serve as genetic markers to optimize breeding programs for semen production traits in Holstein bull populations.

  14. Strong association between failure of T cell homeostasis and the syncytium-inducing phenotype among HIV-1-infected men in the Amsterdam Cohort Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, J. J.; Gange, S. J.; Schuitemaker, H.; Coutinho, R. A.; van Leeuwen, R.; Margolick, J. B.

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between T cell homeostasis and its failure and 1.) the occurrence of AIDS and 2.) the switch from the non-syncytium-inducing (NSI) to the syncytium-inducing (SI) HIV virus phenotype. METHODS: For each of 325 homosexual men in the Amsterdam Cohort Study, the slope

  15. Diabetes distress is more strongly associated with HbA1c than depressive symptoms in adolescents with type 1 diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hagger, Virginia; Hendrieckx, Christel; Cameron, Fergus

    2018-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is higher during adolescence than at any other life stage. Some research among adolescents indicates that depressive symptoms are associated with suboptimal HbA1c. However, research among adults suggests diabetes distress is a stronger predictor of HbA1c th...

  16. Grip strength is strongly associated with height, weight and gender in childhood : a cross sectional study of 2241 children and adolescents providing reference values

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploegmakers, Joris J. W.; Hepping, Ann M.; Geertzen, Jan H. B.; Bulstra, Sjoerd K.; Stevens, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Question: What are reference values for grip strength in children and adolescents based on a large and heterogeneous study population? What is the association of grip strength with age, gender, weight, and height in this population? Design: Cross-sectional study. Participants: Participants were

  17. Strong-interaction nonuniversality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volkas, R.R.; Foot, R.; He, X.; Joshi, G.C.

    1989-01-01

    The universal QCD color theory is extended to an SU(3) 1 direct product SU(3) 2 direct product SU(3) 3 gauge theory, where quarks of the ith generation transform as triplets under SU(3)/sub i/ and singlets under the other two factors. The usual color group is then identified with the diagonal subgroup, which remains exact after symmetry breaking. The gauge bosons associated with the 16 broken generators then form two massive octets under ordinary color. The interactions between quarks and these heavy gluonlike particles are explicitly nonuniversal and thus an exploration of their physical implications allows us to shed light on the fundamental issue of strong-interaction universality. Nonuniversality and weak flavor mixing are shown to generate heavy-gluon-induced flavor-changing neutral currents. The phenomenology of these processes is studied, as they provide the major experimental constraint on the extended theory. Three symmetry-breaking scenarios are presented. The first has color breaking occurring at the weak scale, while the second and third divorce the two scales. The third model has the interesting feature of radiatively induced off-diagonal Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix elements

  18. Association of Low-Moderate Arsenic Exposure and Arsenic Metabolism with Incident Diabetes and Insulin Resistance in the Strong Heart Family Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grau-Perez, Maria; Kuo, Chin-Chi; Gribble, Matthew O; Balakrishnan, Poojitha; Jones Spratlen, Miranda; Vaidya, Dhananjay; Francesconi, Kevin A; Goessler, Walter; Guallar, Eliseo; Silbergeld, Ellen K; Umans, Jason G; Best, Lyle G; Lee, Elisa T; Howard, Barbara V; Cole, Shelley A; Navas-Acien, Ana

    2017-12-20

    High arsenic exposure has been related to diabetes, but at low-moderate levels the evidence is mixed. Arsenic metabolism, which is partly genetically controlled and may rely on certain B vitamins, plays a role in arsenic toxicity. We evaluated the prospective association of arsenic exposure and metabolism with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. We included 1,838 American Indian men and women free of diabetes (median age, 36 y). Arsenic exposure was assessed as the sum of inorganic arsenic (iAs), monomethylarsonate (MMA), and dimethylarsinate (DMA) urine concentrations (ΣAs). Arsenic metabolism was evaluated by the proportions of iAs, MMA, and DMA over their sum (iAs%, MMA%, and DMA%). Homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR) was measured at baseline and follow-up visits. Incident diabetes was evaluated at follow-up. Median ΣAs, iAs%, MMA%, and DMA% was 4.4 μg/g creatinine, 9.5%, 14.4%, and 75.6%, respectively. Over 10,327 person-years of follow-up, 252 participants developed diabetes. Median HOMA2-IR at baseline was 1.5. The fully adjusted hazard ratio [95% confidence interval (CI)] for incident diabetes per an interquartile range increase in ΣAs was 1.57 (95% CI: 1.18, 2.08) in participants without prediabetes at baseline. Arsenic metabolism was not associated with incident diabetes. ΣAs was positively associated with HOMA2-IR at baseline but negatively with HOMA2-IR at follow-up. Increased MMA% was associated with lower HOMA2-IR when either iAs% or DMA% decreased. The association of arsenic metabolism with HOMA2-IR differed by B-vitamin intake and AS3MT genetics variants. Among participants without baseline prediabetes, arsenic exposure was associated with incident diabetes. Low MMA% was cross-sectional and prospectively associated with higher HOMA2-IR. Research is needed to confirm possible interactions of arsenic metabolism with B vitamins and AS3MT variants on diabetes risk. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2566.

  19. The Relative Predictive Contribution and Causal Role of Phoneme Awareness, Rhyme Awareness, and Verbal Short-Term Memory in Reading Skills: A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melby-Lervag, Monica

    2012-01-01

    The acknowledgement that educational achievement is highly dependent on successful reading development has led to extensive research on its underlying factors. A strong argument has been made for a causal relationship between reading and phoneme awareness; similarly, causal relations have been suggested for reading with short-term memory and rhyme…

  20. Strong Associations Exist among Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Biomarkers in the Circulating, Cellular and Urinary Anatomical Compartments in Guatemalan Children from the Western Highlands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María J Soto-Méndez

    Full Text Available A series of antioxidant enzymes and non-enzymatic compounds act to protect cells from uncontrolled propagation of free radicals. It is poorly understood, though, to what extent and how their interaction is harmonized.To explore associative interactions among a battery of urinary and blood biomarkers of oxidative stress and enzymatic and non-enzymatic markers of the antioxidant defense system in children from low income households.For this cross-sectional descriptive study, urine, red cells, and plasma were sampled in 82 preschool children attending three daycare centers in Quetzaltenango Guatemala. The urinary oxidative stress biomarkers studied were F2-isoprostanes and 8-hydroxy-deoxy-guanosine. Red cell enzyme activities measured were: catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase. Circulating non-enzymatic antioxidants selected were: retinol, tocopherols, β-carotene and coenzymes Q9 and Q10.In a Spearman rank-order correlation hemi-matrix, of 55 paired combinations of the 11 biomarkers, 28 (51% were significantly correlated among each other (p ≤ 0.05, with the strongest association being retinol and tocopherols (r = 0.697, p 0.5 to ≤ 0.10. F2-isoprostanes showed the greatest number of cross-associations, having significant interactions with 8 of the 10 remaining biomarkers. Goodness-of-fit modeling improved or maintained the r value for 24 of the significant interactions and for one of the 5 borderline associations. Multiple regression backward stepwise analysis indicated that plasma retinol, β-carotene and coenzyme Q10 were independent predictors of urinary F2-isoprostanes.Numerous significant associations resulted among biomarkers of oxidation and responders to oxidation. Interesting findings were the apparent patterns of harmonious interactions among the elements of the oxidation-antioxidation systems in this population.