WorldWideScience

Sample records for understand biological information

  1. Understanding the Information Needs of Academic Scholars in Agricultural and Biological Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuruppu, Pali U.; Gruber, Anne Marie

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates the information needs of faculty and graduate students in agricultural and biological sciences. Qualitative research methods, interviews and focus groups, were used to examine what types of information these scholars need for their research, teaching and learning, how they seek that information, and perceptions. The…

  2. Quantum biological information theory

    CERN Document Server

    Djordjevic, Ivan B

    2016-01-01

    This book is a self-contained, tutorial-based introduction to quantum information theory and quantum biology. It serves as a single-source reference to the topic for researchers in bioengineering, communications engineering, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, biology, computer science, and physics. The book provides all the essential principles of the quantum biological information theory required to describe the quantum information transfer from DNA to proteins, the sources of genetic noise and genetic errors as well as their effects. Integrates quantum information and quantum biology concepts; Assumes only knowledge of basic concepts of vector algebra at undergraduate level; Provides a thorough introduction to basic concepts of quantum information processing, quantum information theory, and quantum biology; Includes in-depth discussion of the quantum biological channel modelling, quantum biological channel capacity calculation, quantum models of aging, quantum models of evolution, quantum models o...

  3. Understanding Biological Regulation Through Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashor, Caleb J; Collins, James J

    2018-03-16

    Engineering synthetic gene regulatory circuits proceeds through iterative cycles of design, building, and testing. Initial circuit designs must rely on often-incomplete models of regulation established by fields of reductive inquiry-biochemistry and molecular and systems biology. As differences in designed and experimentally observed circuit behavior are inevitably encountered, investigated, and resolved, each turn of the engineering cycle can force a resynthesis in understanding of natural network function. Here, we outline research that uses the process of gene circuit engineering to advance biological discovery. Synthetic gene circuit engineering research has not only refined our understanding of cellular regulation but furnished biologists with a toolkit that can be directed at natural systems to exact precision manipulation of network structure. As we discuss, using circuit engineering to predictively reorganize, rewire, and reconstruct cellular regulation serves as the ultimate means of testing and understanding how cellular phenotype emerges from systems-level network function. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biophysics Volume 47 is May 20, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  4. UNDERSTANDING INFORMAL CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen M. Griffin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Amid much recent American work on the problem of informal constitutional change, this article stakes out a distinctive position. I argue that theories of constitutional change in the US must address the question of the relationship between the “small c” and “big C” Constitution and treat seriously the possibility of conflict between them. I stress the unavoidable role the text of the Constitution and structural doctrines of federalism and separation of powers play in this relationship and thus in constitutional change, both formal and informal. I therefore counsel against theories that rely solely on a practice-based approach or analogies between “small c” constitutional developments and British or Commonwealth traditions of the “unwritten” constitution and constitutional “conventions.” The alternative I advocate is to approach constitutional change from a historicist perspective that focuses attention on state building and the creation of new institutional capacities. This approach will allow us to make progress by highlighting that there can be multiple constitutional orders in a given historical era, thus accounting for the conflictual nature of contemporary constitutional development in the US.

  5. Understanding computer and information technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choi, Yun Cheol; Han, Tack Don; Im, Sun Beom

    2009-01-15

    This book consists of four parts. The first part describes IT technology and information community understanding of computer system, constitution of software system and information system and application of software. The second part is about computer network, information and communication, application and internet service. The third part contains application and multi media, application of mobile computer, ubiquitous computing and ubiquitous environment and computer and digital life. The last part explains information security and ethics of information-oriented society, information industry and IT venture, digital contents technology and industry and the future and development of information-oriented society.

  6. Evolution, Entropy, & Biological Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jacob

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Information Visualization for Biological Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czauderna, Tobias; Schreiber, Falk

    2017-01-01

    Visualization is a powerful method to present and explore a large amount of data. It is increasingly important in the life sciences and is used for analyzing different types of biological data, such as structural information, high-throughput data, and biochemical networks. This chapter gives a brief introduction to visualization methods for bioinformatics, presents two commonly used techniques in detail, and discusses a graphical standard for biological networks and cellular processes.

  8. Building Capacity in Understanding Foundational Biology Concepts: A K-12 Learning Progression in Genetics Informed by Research on Children's Thinking and Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmesky, Rowhea

    2013-06-01

    This article describes the substance, structure, and rationale of a learning progression in genetics spanning kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12). The learning progression is designed to build a foundation towards understanding protein structure and activity and should be viewed as one possible pathway to understanding concepts of genetics and ultimately protein expression, based on the existing research. The kindergarten through fifth grade segment reflects findings that show children have a rich knowledge base and sophisticated cognitive abilities, and therefore, is designed so that elementary-aged children can learn content in deep and abstract manners, as well as apply scientific explanations appropriate to their knowledge level. The article also details the LP segment facilitating secondary students' understanding by outlining the overlapping conceptual frames which guide student learning from cell structures and functions to cell splitting (both cell division and gamete formation) to genetics as trait transmission, culminating in genetics as protein expression. The learning progression product avoids the use of technical language, which has been identified as a prominent source of student misconceptions in learning cellular biology, and explicit connections between cellular and macroscopic phenomena are encouraged.

  9. Biological and Chemical Information Technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amos, Martyn; Dittrich, Peter; McCaskill, John

    2011-01-01

    Biological and chemical information technologies (bio/chem IT) have the potential to reshape the scientific and technological landscape. In this paper we briefly review the main challenges and opportunities in the field, before presenting several case studies based on ongoing FP7 research projects....

  10. PREFACE: Scales of understanding in biological development Scales of understanding in biological development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Timothy

    2011-08-01

    The development of an adult organism from a fertilized egg remains one of the deep mysteries of biology. Great strides have been made in the past three decades, primarily through ever more sophisticated genetic analyses and the advent of live-cell imaging, yet the underlying principles governing development are elusive. Recently, a new generation of biological physicists has entered the field, attracted by the hallmarks of development— coordinated dynamics and pattern formation arising from cell-cell interactions—which reflect tantalizing analogs with many-body systems in condensed matter physics and related fields. There have been corresponding influxes of researchers from other quantitative disciplines. With new workers come new questions and foci at different scales in space, time and complexity. The reductionist philosophy of developmental genetics has become increasingly complemented by a search for effective mechanisms at higher scales, a strategy which has a proven track record of success in the study of complex systems in physics. Are there new and universal mechanisms of development, supra-genetic in nature, waiting to be discovered by focusing on higher scales, or is development fundamentally the intricately scripted unfolding of complex genetic instructions? In this special focus issue of Physical Biology, we present cutting-edge research into embryo development from a broad spectrum of groups representing cell and developmental biology, biological physics, bioengineering and biomathematics. We are provided with a sense of how this multidisciplinary community views the fundamental issue of scale in development and are given some excellent examples of how we can bridge these scales through interdisciplinary collaboration, in order to create new levels of understanding. We start with two reviews which will provide newcomers with a guide to some of the outstanding questions in the field. Winklbauer and Müller use the phenomenon of mesoderm spreading as

  11. Parallel Information Phenomena of Biology and Astrophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frieden, B. Roy; Soffer, Bernard H.

    The realms of biology and astrophysics are usually regarded as distinct, to be studied within individual frameworks. However, current searches for life in the universe, and the expectation of positive results, are guiding us toward a unification of biology and astrophysics called astrobiology. In this chapter the unifying aspect of Fisher information is shown to form two bridges of astrobiology: (i) In Section 5.1 quarter-power laws are found to both describe attributes of biology, such as metabolism rate, and attributes of the cosmos, in particular its universal constants, (ii) In Section 5.2 we find that the Lotka-Volterra growth equations of biology follow from quantum mechanics. Both these bridges follow, ultimately, from the extreme physical information EPI principle and, hence, are examples of the “cooperative” universe discussed in Chapter 1. That is, the universe cooperates with our goal of understanding it, through participatory observation. The participatory aspect of the effect (i) is the observation of biological and cosmological attributes obeying quarter-power laws. In the Lotka-Volterra quantum effect (ii) the participation is the observation of a general particle member that undergoes scattering by a complex potential. This potential causes the growth or depletion of the particle population levels to obey Lotka-Volterra equations. Effectively, the interaction potentials of a standard Hartree view of the scattering process become corresponding fitness coefficients of the L-V growth equations. The two ostensibly unrelated effects of scattering and biological growth are thereby intimately related; out of a common flow of Fisher information to the observer.

  12. Defining Kidney Biology to Understand Renal Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Melissa H.; Brown, Dennis; Humphreys, Benjamin D.; McMahon, Andrew P.; Miner, Jeffrey H.; Sands, Jeff M.; Weisz, Ora A.; Mullins, Chris

    2014-01-01

    The Kidney Research National Dialogue represents a novel effort by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to solicit and prioritize research objectives from the renal research and clinical communities. The present commentary highlights selected scientific opportunities specific to the study of renal development, physiology, and cell biology. Describing such fundamental kidney biology serves as a necessary foundation for translational and clinical studies that will advance disease care and prevention. It is intended that these objectives foster and focus scientific efforts in these areas in the coming decade and beyond. PMID:24370769

  13. Information Literacy in Biology Education: An Example from an Advanced Cell Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, John R.

    2005-01-01

    Information literacy skills are critically important for the undergraduate biology student. The ability to find, understand, evaluate, and use information, whether from the scientific literature or from Web resources, is essential for a good understanding of a topic and for the conduct of research. A project in which students receive information…

  14. Applied Epistemology and Understanding in Information Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorichanaz, Tim

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Applied epistemology allows information studies to benefit from developments in philosophy. In information studies, epistemic concepts are rarely considered in detail. This paper offers a review of several epistemic concepts, focusing on understanding, as a call for further work in applied epistemology in information studies. Method:…

  15. Understanding Together: Sensemaking in Collaborative Information Seeking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Sharoda A.

    2010-01-01

    In recent years researchers have found that people often collaborate during information seeking activities. Collaborative information seeking (CIS) is composed of multiple different activities like seeking, sharing, understanding, and using information together. However, most studies of CIS have focused on how people find and retrieve information…

  16. Biological information systems: Evolution as cognition-based information management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, William B

    2018-05-01

    An alternative biological synthesis is presented that conceptualizes evolutionary biology as an epiphenomenon of integrated self-referential information management. Since all biological information has inherent ambiguity, the systematic assessment of information is required by living organisms to maintain self-identity and homeostatic equipoise in confrontation with environmental challenges. Through their self-referential attachment to information space, cells are the cornerstone of biological action. That individualized assessment of information space permits self-referential, self-organizing niche construction. That deployment of information and its subsequent selection enacted the dominant stable unicellular informational architectures whose biological expressions are the prokaryotic, archaeal, and eukaryotic unicellular forms. Multicellularity represents the collective appraisal of equivocal environmental information through a shared information space. This concerted action can be viewed as systematized information management to improve information quality for the maintenance of preferred homeostatic boundaries among the varied participants. When reiterated in successive scales, this same collaborative exchange of information yields macroscopic organisms as obligatory multicellular holobionts. Cognition-Based Evolution (CBE) upholds that assessment of information precedes biological action, and the deployment of information through integrative self-referential niche construction and natural cellular engineering antecedes selection. Therefore, evolutionary biology can be framed as a complex reciprocating interactome that consists of the assessment, communication, deployment and management of information by self-referential organisms at multiple scales in continuous confrontation with environmental stresses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Marine biological data and information management system

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarupria, J.S.

    Indian National Oceanographic Data Centre (INODC) is engaged in developing a marine biological data and information management system (BIODIMS). This system will contain the information on zooplankton in the water column, zoobenthic biomass...

  18. Epistemological Predictors of Prospective Biology Teachers' Nature of Science Understandings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köseoglu, Pinar; Köksal, Mustafa Serdar

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate epistemological predictors of nature of science understandings of 281 prospective biology teachers surveyed using the Epistemological Beliefs Scale Regarding Science and the Nature of Science Scale. The findings on multiple linear regression showed that understandings about definition of science and…

  19. The Road to Independently Understandable Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habermann, T.; Robinson, E.

    2017-12-01

    The turn of the 21st century was a pivotal time in the Earth and Space Science information ecosystem. The Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) had existed for nearly a decade and ambitious new standards were just emerging. The U.S. Federal Geospatial Data Committee (FGDC) had extended many of the concepts from CSDGM into the International community with ISO 19115:2003 and the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) had migrated their Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model into an international standard (ISO 14721:2003). The OAIS model outlined the roles and responsibilities of archives with the principle role being preserving information and making it available to users, a "designated community", as a service to the data producer. It was mandatory for the archive to ensure that information is "independently understandable" to the designated community and to maintain that understanding through on-going partnerships between archives and designated communities. Standards can play a role in supporting these partnerships as designated communities expand across disciplinary and geographic boundaries. The ISO metadata standards include many capabilities that might make critical contributions to this goal. These include connections to resources outside of the metadata record (i.e. documentation) and mechanisms for ongoing incorporation of user feedback into the metadata stream. We will demonstrate these capabilities with examples of how they can increase understanding.

  20. Cancer patients' understanding of prognostic information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Laura A; Dumenci, Levent; Siminoff, Laura A; Matsuyama, Robin K

    2014-06-01

    Prognostic information is necessary for cancer patients to be fully informed about the likely course of their disease. This information is needed for practical planning and treatment decisions. This study sought to examine how cancer patients understand the prognosis information available to them. The setting is an urban safety net hospital. Six focus groups with cancer patients (N = 39) were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim then analyzed using phases of content analysis. Participants in all groups discussed the prognosis almost exclusively in terms of mortality and reported that their physicians and nurses mostly provided prognostic information in terms of months or years for survival. This finding held across all cancer types and stages. Patients tend to think of prognosis information as being only estimated limited survival and find the idea upsetting. Due to this view on prognosis, patients need further explanation regarding where the prognosis information comes from and what prognostic information can tell them in order to make use of it.

  1. Information technology developments within the national biological information infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotter, G.; Frame, M.T.

    2000-01-01

    Looking out an office window or exploring a community park, one can easily see the tremendous challenges that biological information presents the computer science community. Biological information varies in format and content depending whether or not it is information pertaining to a particular species (i.e. Brown Tree Snake), or a specific ecosystem, which often includes multiple species, land use characteristics, and geospatially referenced information. The complexity and uniqueness of each individual species or ecosystem do not easily lend themselves to today's computer science tools and applications. To address the challenges that the biological enterprise presents the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) (http://www.nbii.gov) was established in 1993. The NBII is designed to address these issues on a National scale within the United States, and through international partnerships abroad. This paper discusses current computer science efforts within the National Biological Information Infrastructure Program and future computer science research endeavors that are needed to address the ever-growing issues related to our Nation's biological concerns.

  2. The role of genetics in students' understandings of biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Mary Frances

    2001-10-01

    An important element of an education is an understanding of biology. Science education researchers have shown that both high school and college biology students finish their biology instruction with a poor understanding of evolution, an important unifying concept of the discipline. The goal of this study is to examine the role of genetics in students understanding of evolution. Eight introductory college biology students' understandings of evolutionary biology and their use of genetics concepts as they addressed problems in evolution were examined. Data collected included students' classwork and individual student interviews. Data analysis began with an examination of each students understanding of evolution concepts. The framework for this analysis was based on Mayr's (1982) description of Darwin's five theories: evolution as such, common descent, natural selection, gradualism, and multiplication of species. The descriptions of students' understandings of evolution are followed by an account of how students used genetics concepts to support their explanations of evolutionary processes. The data from this study illustrate how students used transmission genetics, molecular biology and population genetics to support their understandings of evolution. The students in this study constructed syntheses of genetics and evolution concepts that they employed to solve problems. These syntheses fell into three categories: productive, semi-productive and obstructive. Students who achieved a productive synthesis of genetics and evolution concepts also held appropriate understandings of common descent, natural selection, gradualism, and speciation. Students who constructed either a semi-productive or obstructive synthesis of genetics and evolution did not benefit in the same way. Productive synthesis students benefited from their syntheses of genetics and evolution concepts in three ways. They were able to construct complete problem solutions for evolutionary problems, to

  3. Pragmatic information in biology and physics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roederer, Juan G

    2016-03-13

    I will show how an objective definition of the concept of information and the consideration of recent results about information processing in the human brain help clarify some fundamental aspects of physics and biology. Rather than attempting to define information ab initio, I introduce the concept of interaction between material bodies as a primary concept. Two distinct categories can be identified: (i) interactions which can always be reduced to a superposition of physical interactions (forces) between elementary constituents; and (ii) interactions between complex bodies which cannot be expressed as a superposition of interactions between parts, and in which patterns and forms (in space and/or time) play the determining role. Pragmatic information is then defined as the link between a given pattern and the ensuing pattern-specific change. I will show that pragmatic information is a biological concept; it plays no active role in the purely physical domain-it only does so when a living organism intervenes. The consequences for physics (including foundations of quantum mechanics) and biology (including brain function) will be discussed. This will include speculations about three fundamental transitions, from the quantum to the classical domain, from natural inanimate to living systems, and from subhuman to human brain information-processing operations, introduced here in their direct connection with the concept of pragmatic information. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Participants' Understanding of Informed Consent for Biobanking: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, Elizabeth R; Tait, Alan R; Rieh, Soo Young; Arslanian-Engoren, Cynthia M

    2017-07-01

    Nurses are increasingly asked to obtain consent from participants for biobanking studies. Biobanking has added unique complexities to informed consent. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate participants' level of understanding of the information presented during the informed consent process unique to the donation of biological specimens for research. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were utilized to conduct the review. PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Scopus, Web of Science, and ProQuest bibliographic databases were searched. Results indicated that elements of informed consent unique to biobanking were poorly understood. Most studies had authors or funding associated with a biobank. Only one study disclosed and assessed participants' understanding of moral risks. Increased disclosures, values-clarification, and presenting information via multiple modalities may facilitate understanding. There is a need to improve the quality of informed consent for biobanking studies by utilizing standardized instruments, definitions, and encouraging research about informed choice outside the biobanking industry.

  5. Saccharomyces genome database informs human biology

    OpenAIRE

    Skrzypek, Marek S; Nash, Robert S; Wong, Edith D; MacPherson, Kevin A; Hellerstedt, Sage T; Engel, Stacia R; Karra, Kalpana; Weng, Shuai; Sheppard, Travis K; Binkley, Gail; Simison, Matt; Miyasato, Stuart R; Cherry, J Michael

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD; http://www.yeastgenome.org) is an expertly curated database of literature-derived functional information for the model organism budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. SGD constantly strives to synergize new types of experimental data and bioinformatics predictions with existing data, and to organize them into a comprehensive and up-to-date information resource. The primary mission of SGD is to facilitate research into the biology of yeast and...

  6. Teaching information literacy skills to sophomore-level biology majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Leigh; Blankinship, Lisa Ann

    2015-05-01

    Many undergraduate students lack a sound understanding of information literacy. The skills that comprise information literacy are particularly important when combined with scientific writing for biology majors as they are the foundation skills necessary to complete upper-division biology course assignments, better train students for research projects, and prepare students for graduate and professional education. To help undergraduate biology students develop and practice information literacy and scientific writing skills, a series of three one-hour hands-on library sessions, discussions, and homework assignments were developed for Biological Literature, a one-credit, one-hour-per-week, required sophomore-level course. The embedded course librarian developed a learning exercise that reviewed how to conduct database and web searches, the difference between primary and secondary sources, source credibility, and how to access articles through the university's databases. Students used the skills gained in the library training sessions for later writing assignments including a formal lab report and annotated bibliography. By focusing on improving information literacy skills as well as providing practice in scientific writing, Biological Literature students are better able to meet the rigors of upper-division biology courses and communicate research findings in a more professional manner.

  7. Understanding the Intersections between Metabolism and Cancer Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Heiden, Matthew G; DeBerardinis, Ralph J

    2017-02-09

    Transformed cells adapt metabolism to support tumor initiation and progression. Specific metabolic activities can participate directly in the process of transformation or support the biological processes that enable tumor growth. Exploiting cancer metabolism for clinical benefit requires defining the pathways that are limiting for cancer progression and understanding the context specificity of metabolic preferences and liabilities in malignant cells. Progress toward answering these questions is providing new insight into cancer biology and can guide the more effective targeting of metabolism to help patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Understanding the intersections between metabolism and cancer biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiden, Matthew G. Vander; DeBerardinis, Ralph J.

    2017-01-01

    Transformed cells adapt metabolism to support tumor initiation and progression. Specific metabolic activities can participate directly in the process of transformation or support the biological processes that enable tumor growth. Exploiting cancer metabolism for clinical benefit requires defining the pathways that are limiting for cancer progression and understanding the context specificity of metabolic preferences and liabilities in malignant cells. Progress towards answering these questions is providing new insight into cancer biology and can guide the more effective targeting of metabolism to help patients. PMID:28187287

  9. New Approaches in Cancer Biology Can Inform the Biology Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Lynda; Gordon, Diana; Zelinski, Mary

    2018-03-01

    Students tend to be very interested in medical issues that affect them and their friends and family. Using cancer as a hook, the ART of Reproductive Medicine: Oncofertility curriculum (free, online, and NIH sponsored) has been developed to supplement the teaching of basic biological concepts and to connect biology and biomedical research. This approach allows integration of up-to-date information on cancer and cancer treatment, cell division, male and female reproductive anatomy and physiology, cryopreservation, fertility preservation, stem cells, ethics, and epigenetics into an existing biology curriculum. Many of the topics covered in the curriculum relate to other scientific disciplines, such as the latest developments in stem cell research including tissue bioengineering and gene therapy for inherited mitochondrial disease, how epigenetics occurs chemically to affect gene expression or suppression and how it can be passed down through the generations, and the variety of biomedical careers students could pursue. The labs are designed to be open-ended and inquiry-based, and extensions to the experiments are provided so that students can explore questions further. Case studies and ethical dilemmas are provided to encourage thoughtful discussion. In addition, each chapter of the curriculum includes links to scientific papers, additional resources on each topic, and NGSS alignment.

  10. Cognition and biology: perspectives from information theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Rodrick

    2014-02-01

    The intimate relation between biology and cognition can be formally examined through statistical models constrained by the asymptotic limit theorems of communication theory, augmented by methods from statistical mechanics and nonequilibrium thermodynamics. Cognition, often involving submodules that act as information sources, is ubiquitous across the living state. Less metabolic free energy is consumed by permitting crosstalk between biological information sources than by isolating them, leading to evolutionary exaptations that assemble shifting, tunable cognitive arrays at multiple scales, and levels of organization to meet dynamic patterns of threat and opportunity. Cognition is thus necessary for life, but it is not sufficient: An organism represents a highly patterned outcome of path-dependent, blind, variation, selection, interaction, and chance extinction in the context of an adequate flow of free energy and an environment fit for development. Complex, interacting cognitive processes within an organism both record and instantiate those evolutionary and developmental trajectories.

  11. Students' Energy Understanding Across Biology, Chemistry, and Physics Contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opitz, S. T.; Neumann, K.; Bernholt, S.; Harms, U.

    2017-07-01

    Energy is considered both as a disciplinary core idea and as a concept cutting across science disciplines. Most previous approaches studied progressing energy understanding in specific disciplinary contexts, while disregarding the relation of understanding across them. Hence, this study provides a systematic analysis of cross-disciplinary energy learning. On the basis of a cross-sectional study with n = 742 students from grades 6, 8, and 10, we analyze students' progression in understanding energy across biology, chemistry, and physics contexts. The study is guided by three hypothetical scenarios that describe how the connection between energy understanding in the three disciplinary contexts changes across grade levels. These scenarios are compared using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The results suggest that, from grade 6 to grade 10, energy understanding in the three disciplinary contexts is highly interrelated, thus indicating a parallel progression of energy understanding in the three disciplinary contexts. In our study, students from grade 6 onwards appeared to have few problems to apply one energy understanding across the three disciplinary contexts. These findings were unexpected, as previous research concluded that students likely face difficulties in connecting energy learning across disciplinary boundaries. Potential reasons for these results and the characteristics of the observed cross-disciplinary energy understanding are discussed in the light of earlier findings and implications for future research, and the teaching of energy as a core idea and a crosscutting concept are addressed.

  12. Using biological networks to improve our understanding of infectious diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J. Mulder

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, particularly in developing countries. Although many drugs are available for treating the most common infectious diseases, in many cases the mechanism of action of these drugs or even their targets in the pathogen remain unknown. In addition, the key factors or processes in pathogens that facilitate infection and disease progression are often not well understood. Since proteins do not work in isolation, understanding biological systems requires a better understanding of the interconnectivity between proteins in different pathways and processes, which includes both physical and other functional interactions. Such biological networks can be generated within organisms or between organisms sharing a common environment using experimental data and computational predictions. Though different data sources provide different levels of accuracy, confidence in interactions can be measured using interaction scores. Connections between interacting proteins in biological networks can be represented as graphs and edges, and thus studied using existing algorithms and tools from graph theory. There are many different applications of biological networks, and here we discuss three such applications, specifically applied to the infectious disease tuberculosis, with its causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host, Homo sapiens. The applications include the use of the networks for function prediction, comparison of networks for evolutionary studies, and the generation and use of host–pathogen interaction networks.

  13. Informing biological design by integration of systems and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolke, Christina D; Silver, Pamela A

    2011-03-18

    Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology faster and more predictable. In contrast, systems biology focuses on the interaction of myriad components and how these give rise to the dynamic and complex behavior of biological systems. Here, we examine the synergies between these two fields. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Cognition and Rhetoric: Biological Basis of Meaning and Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Arenas-Dolz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is twofold: on the one hand, to explore those approaches that understand cognitive processes as embodied and as a result of our interaction with the environment, and not merely as as a information processing system; and, on the other hand, to show their connexion with the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying meaning and understanding, giving and overview of some of the insights from recent studies in neurorhetorics.

  15. Biological and social understanding of human nature: biopolitical dimension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Kostiuchkov

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the position of the biopolitical nature of man as a biosocial being given supplies of both the two spheres of life – natural, biological and social. The necessity of understanding of human nature, which by definition are bio-social importance of the approach to the definition of man as an integral, binary-konnotovanoyi of the «social individual – a species» which is characterized by symmetrical opposition – upposition social and biological. It was found that the main task of modern political science, and in particular bio-political studies presented appeals to rethink the political picture of the world in order to predict the development of a new order or a new chaos. Understanding the formation of a new global civilization worldview is today one of the most important problems, which is connected with the main problem of the modern world – the task of preserving life on the planet. It is concluded that the contradictions of human nature – between the biological and the social, physical and spiritual, universal and the particular, natural and artificial, rational and emotional – in today’s conditions are extremely sharp. The said situation requires more in-depth scientific analysis of human nature, the study of the structural level as human biosocial system.

  16. Systems biology approaches to understand natural products biosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cuauhtemoc eLicona-Cassani

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Actinomycetes populate soils and aquatic sediments which impose biotic and abiotic challenges for their survival. As a result, actinomycetes metabolism and genomes have evolved to produce an overwhelming diversity of specialized molecules. Polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, post-translationally modified peptides, lactams and terpenes are well known bioactive natural products with enormous industrial potential. Accessing such biological diversity has proven difficult due to the complex regulation of cellular metabolism in actinomycetes and to the sparse knowledge of their physiology. The past decade, however, has seen the development of omics technologies that have significantly contributed to our better understanding of their biology. Key observations have contributed towards a shift in the exploitation of actinomycetes biology, such as using their full genomic potential, activating entire pathways through key metabolic elicitors and pathway engineering to improve biosynthesis. Here, we review recent efforts devoted to achieving enhanced discovery, activation and manipulation of natural product biosynthetic pathways in model actinomycetes using genome-scale biological datasets.

  17. Saccharomyces genome database informs human biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzypek, Marek S; Nash, Robert S; Wong, Edith D; MacPherson, Kevin A; Hellerstedt, Sage T; Engel, Stacia R; Karra, Kalpana; Weng, Shuai; Sheppard, Travis K; Binkley, Gail; Simison, Matt; Miyasato, Stuart R; Cherry, J Michael

    2018-01-04

    The Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD; http://www.yeastgenome.org) is an expertly curated database of literature-derived functional information for the model organism budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. SGD constantly strives to synergize new types of experimental data and bioinformatics predictions with existing data, and to organize them into a comprehensive and up-to-date information resource. The primary mission of SGD is to facilitate research into the biology of yeast and to provide this wealth of information to advance, in many ways, research on other organisms, even those as evolutionarily distant as humans. To build such a bridge between biological kingdoms, SGD is curating data regarding yeast-human complementation, in which a human gene can successfully replace the function of a yeast gene, and/or vice versa. These data are manually curated from published literature, made available for download, and incorporated into a variety of analysis tools provided by SGD. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  18. Systems biology for understanding and engineering of heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Beom Gi; Kim, Minsuk; Kim, Joonwon; Yoo, Heewang; Kim, Byung-Gee

    2017-01-01

    Heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms continue to draw interest as they can accumulate a large amount of lipids which is a promising feedstock for the production of biofuels and oleochemicals. Nutrient limitation, especially nitrogen limitation, is known to effectively trigger the lipid production in these microorganisms. For the aim of developing improved strains, the mechanisms behind the lipid production have been studied for a long time. Nowadays, system-level understanding of their metabolism and associated metabolic switches is attainable with modern systems biology tools. This work reviews the systems biology studies, based on (i) top-down, large-scale 'omics' tools, and (ii) bottom-up, mathematical modeling methods, on the heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms with an emphasis on further application to metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Understanding Casual-Leisure Information Behaviour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elsweiler, David; Wilson, Max L.; Lunn, Brian Kirkegaard

    2011-01-01

    Originally grounded in library and information science, the majority of information behaviour and information-seeking theories focus on task-based scenarios where users try to resolve information needs. While other theories exist, such as how people unexpectedly encounter information, for example......, they are typically related back to tasks, motivated by work or personal goals. This chapter, however, focuses on casual-leisure scenarios that are typically motivated by hedonistic needs rather than information needs, where people engage in searching behaviours for pleasure rather than to find information....... This chapter describes two studies on (1) television information behaviour and (2) the casual information behaviours described by users of Twitter. The first study focuses on a specific casual-leisure domain that is familiar to many, while the second indicates that our findings generalise to many other casual...

  20. Using functional genetics to understand breast cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, Alan; Bernards, Rene

    2010-07-01

    Genetic screens were for long the prerogative of those that studied model organisms. The discovery in 2001 that gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) can also be brought about in mammalian cells paved the way for large scale loss-of-function genetic screens in higher organisms. In this article, we describe how functional genetic studies can help us understand the biology of breast cancer, how it can be used to identify novel targets for breast cancer therapy, and how it can help in the identification of those patients that are most likely to respond to a given therapy.

  1. Information Literacy in Biology Education: An Example from an Advanced Cell Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Information literacy skills are critically important for the undergraduate biology student. The ability to find, understand, evaluate, and use information, whether from the scientific literature or from Web resources, is essential for a good understanding of a topic and for the conduct of research. A project in which students receive information literacy instruction and then proceed to select, update, and write about a current research topic in an upper-level cell biology course is described. Students research the chosen topic using paper and electronic resources, generate a list of relevant articles, prepare abstracts based on papers read, and, finally, prepare a “state-of-the-art” paper on the topic. This approach, which extends over most of one semester, has resulted in a number of well-researched and well-written papers that incorporate some of the latest research in cell biology. The steps in this project have also led to students who are prepared to address future projects on new and complex topics. The project is part of an undergraduate course in cell biology, but parts of the assignments can be modified to fit a variety of subject areas and levels. PMID:16341261

  2. Understanding Information Culture: Conceptual and Implementation Issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver, Gillian

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Information culture is a concept with multiple and sometimes conflicting definitions. Nevertheless at a time when social and cognitive aspects of information and communication systems are recognized as being of similar significance as the technological functionality, the concept of information culture is demonstrating considerable value. This paper explains the concept of information culture and considers its value from two main perspectives: firstly as providing an analytical tool, and secondly as a means of providing practitioners with insight and sensitivity to the organisational contexts of their workplaces.

  3. Information theory applications for biological sequence analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinga, Susana

    2014-05-01

    Information theory (IT) addresses the analysis of communication systems and has been widely applied in molecular biology. In particular, alignment-free sequence analysis and comparison greatly benefited from concepts derived from IT, such as entropy and mutual information. This review covers several aspects of IT applications, ranging from genome global analysis and comparison, including block-entropy estimation and resolution-free metrics based on iterative maps, to local analysis, comprising the classification of motifs, prediction of transcription factor binding sites and sequence characterization based on linguistic complexity and entropic profiles. IT has also been applied to high-level correlations that combine DNA, RNA or protein features with sequence-independent properties, such as gene mapping and phenotype analysis, and has also provided models based on communication systems theory to describe information transmission channels at the cell level and also during evolutionary processes. While not exhaustive, this review attempts to categorize existing methods and to indicate their relation with broader transversal topics such as genomic signatures, data compression and complexity, time series analysis and phylogenetic classification, providing a resource for future developments in this promising area.

  4. A Guide to Understanding Data Remanence in Automated Information Systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of A Guide to Understanding Data Remanence in Automated Information Systems is to provide information to personnel responsible for the secure handling of sensitive automated information system (AIS...

  5. Biomarkers in anal cancer: from biological understanding to stratified treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Christopher M; Goh, Vicky; Sebag-Montefiore, David; Gilbert, Duncan C

    2017-01-17

    Squamous cell carcinomas of the anus and anal canal represent a model of a cancer and perhaps the first where level 1 evidence supported primary chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in treating locoregional disease with curative intent. The majority of tumours are associated with infection with oncogenic subtypes of human papilloma virus and this plays a significant role in their sensitivity to treatment. However, not all tumours are cured with CRT and there remain opportunities to improve outcomes in terms of oncological control and also reducing late toxicities. Understanding the biology of ASCC promises to allow a more personalised approach to treatment, with the development and validation of a range of biomarkers and associated techniques that are the focus of this review.

  6. Next-Generation Sequencing: From Understanding Biology to Personalized Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Meder

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Within just a few years, the new methods for high-throughput next-generation sequencing have generated completely novel insights into the heritability and pathophysiology of human disease. In this review, we wish to highlight the benefits of the current state-of-the-art sequencing technologies for genetic and epigenetic research. We illustrate how these technologies help to constantly improve our understanding of genetic mechanisms in biological systems and summarize the progress made so far. This can be exemplified by the case of heritable heart muscle diseases, so-called cardiomyopathies. Here, next-generation sequencing is able to identify novel disease genes, and first clinical applications demonstrate the successful translation of this technology into personalized patient care.

  7. Understanding the biological responses of nanostructured metals and surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Terry C.; Reiss, Rebecca A.

    2014-08-01

    Metals produced by Severe Plastic Deformation (SPD) offer distinct advantages for medical applications such as orthopedic devices, in part because of their nanostructured surfaces. We examine the current theoretical foundations and state of knowledge for nanostructured biomaterials surface optimization within the contexts that apply to bulk nanostructured metals, differentiating how their microstructures impact osteogenesis, in particular, for Ultrafine Grained (UFG) titanium. Then we identify key gaps in the research to date, pointing out areas which merit additional focus within the scientific community. For example, we highlight the potential of next-generation DNA sequencing techniques (NGS) to reveal gene and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) expression changes induced by nanostructured metals. While our understanding of bio-nano interactions is in its infancy, nanostructured metals are already being marketed or developed for medical devices such as dental implants, spinal devices, and coronary stents. Our ability to characterize and optimize the biological response of cells to SPD metals will have synergistic effects on advances in materials, biological, and medical science.

  8. Understanding Information Hiding in iOS

    OpenAIRE

    Caviglione, Luca; Mazurczyk, Wojciech

    2014-01-01

    The Apple operating system (iOS) has so far proved resistant to information-hiding techniques, which help attackers covertly communicate. However, Siri - a native iOS service that controls iPhones and iPads via voice commands - could change this trend.

  9. Understanding cultural heritage experts’ information seeking needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.K. Amin (Alia); J.R. van Ossenbruggen (Jacco); L. Hardman (Lynda); A. van Nispen

    2008-01-01

    htmlabstractWe report on our user study on the information seeking behavior of cultural heritage experts and the sources they use to carry out search tasks. Seventeen experts from nine cultural heritage institutes in the Netherlands were interviewed and asked to answer questionnaires about their

  10. Mediated Teaching for Information Presenting and Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantinas Danaitis

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays media is readily moving into various spheres of life. The computer, projector and screen replace trivial chalk and board. Slides are used in various designated areas: promotional presentations at meetings as a form of communication between participants and also as visual presentation of lecture material content of the report. It was found that a human catches up and remembers only about 10% of what he has read, 20% of what he has heard and even 50% of what he heard and saw. Therefore, high-quality and Professional presentation of information in the slide form has a significant impact on the uptake. The authors present a solution how to present the study material qualitatively and use the media system effectively for teaching computer graphics course. This course is taught for VGTU first or second year students of almost all specialities. This presentation of study materials facilitates the teacher's work and improves the readability and solutions of study materials.

  11. Understanding The Resistance to Health Information Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ackah

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available User resistance is users’ opposition to system implementation. Resistance often occurs as a result of a mismatch between management goals and employee preferences. There are two types of resistance to health iformation system namely active resistance and passive resistance. The manifestation of active resistance are being critical,  blaming/accusing, blocking, fault finding, sabotaging, undermining, ridiculing, intimidating/threatening, starting rumors, appealing to fear, manipulating arguing, using facts selectively, distorting facts and  raising objections. The manifestation of passive resistance are agreeing verbally but not following through, failing to implement change, procrastinating/dragging feet, feigning ignorance, withholding information, suggestions, help or support, and standing by and allowing the change to fail.

  12. The Language of Information Literacy: Do Students Understand?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaub, Gayle; Cadena, Cara; Bravender, Patricia; Kierkus, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    To effectively access and use the resources of the academic library and to become information-literate, students must understand the language of information literacy. This study analyzes undergraduate students' understanding of fourteen commonly used information-literacy terms. It was found that some of the terms least understood by students are…

  13. Understanding the biological and environmental implications of nanomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Sijie

    quantified by UV-vis spectrophotometry and fitted with the Freundlich isothem. Effects of the adsorption of QDs on the photosynthetic activities of the algae are evaluated using O2 evolution and CO2 depletion assays, and the ecological impact of such adsorption is discussed. To understand the effects of nanomaterials on the cell membrane, nanoparticles (Au, TiO2, and QDs) of different surface charges and chemical compositions are introduced to HT-29 mammalian cells in Chapter 4. The polarization of the cell membrane is investigated using a FLIPR membrane potential kit. The phase of the cell membrane, in the presence of both positively and negatively charged nanoparticles, are examined using laurden, a lipophilic dye that serves as a molecular reporter on the fluidic or gel phase of the host membrane. To address the effects of nanomaterials on biological and ecological systems within the same context, Chapter 5 offers a first parallel comparison between mammalian and plant cell responses to nanomaterials. This study is conducted using a plant cell viability assay, complimented by bright field, fluorescence, and electron microscopy imaging. Discussions of this study are presented based on the hydrophobicity and solubility of C60(OH) 20 and of supramolecular complex C70-NOM, hydrophobicity and porous structure of the plant Allium cepa cell wall, and the amphiphilic structure and endocytosis of the plasma cell membrane of both Allium cepa and HT-29 cells. Chapter 6 summarizes and rationalizes results obtained from the entire dissertation research. Future work inspired by this research is presented at the end of the chapter. Specifically, this dissertation is structured to embody the following essential and complementary chapters: (1) Chapter 1: Literature review (2) Chapter 2: Nano-Eco interactions at the whole organism level; (3) Chapter 3: Nano-Eco interactions at the cellular level; (4) Chapter 4: Nano-Bio interactions at the cellular level; (5) Chapter 5: Parallel comparison

  14. Cognitive biology dealing with information from bacteria to minds

    CERN Document Server

    Auletta, Gennaro

    2011-01-01

    Providing a new conceptual scaffold for further research in biology and cognition, this text introduces the new field of cognitive biology, treating developing organisms as information processors which use cognition to control and modify their environments.

  15. Molecular eyes: proteins that transform light into biological information

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kennis, J.T.M.; Mathes, T.

    2013-01-01

    Most biological photoreceptors are protein/cofactor complexes that induce a physiological reaction upon absorption of a photon. Therefore, these proteins represent signal converters that translate light into biological information. Researchers use this property to stimulate and study various

  16. From structure of the complex to understanding of the biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rossmann, Michael G., E-mail: mr@purdue.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Arisaka, Fumio [Graduate School and School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 5249 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama 226-8501-B39 (Japan); Battisti, Anthony J.; Bowman, Valorie D.; Chipman, Paul R.; Fokine, Andrei; Hafenstein, Susan [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Kanamaru, Shuji [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Graduate School and School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 5249 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama 226-8501-B39 (Japan); Kostyuchenko, Victor A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V.; Shneider, Mikhail M. [Laboratory of Molecular Bioengineering, Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, 16/10 Miklukho-Maklaya Street, Moscow, 117997 (Russian Federation); Morais, Marc C.; Leiman, Petr G. [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Palermo, Laura M.; Parrish, Colin R. [James A. Baker Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Xiao, Chuan [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States)

    2007-01-01

    The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy single-particle reconstructions. This paper concerns itself with the study of the macromolecular complexes that constitute viruses, using structural hybrid techniques. The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) single-particle reconstructions. Both techniques lean heavily on imposing icosahedral symmetry, thereby obscuring any deviation from the assumed symmetry. However, tailed bacteriophages have icosahedral or prolate icosahedral heads that have one obvious unique vertex where the genome can enter for DNA packaging and exit when infecting a host cell. The presence of the tail allows cryo-EM reconstructions in which the special vertex is used to orient the head in a unique manner. Some very large dsDNA icosahedral viruses also develop special vertices thought to be required for infecting host cells. Similarly, preliminary cryo-EM data for the small ssDNA canine parvovirus complexed with receptor suggests that these viruses, previously considered to be accurately icosahedral, might have some asymmetric properties that generate one preferred receptor-binding site on the viral surface. Comparisons are made between rhinoviruses that bind receptor molecules uniformly to all 60 equivalent binding sites, canine parvovirus, which appears to have a preferred receptor-binding site, and bacteriophage T4, which gains major biological advantages on account of its unique vertex and tail organelle.

  17. Context Dependence of Students' Views about the Role of Equations in Understanding Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become…

  18. Membrane Binding of Recoverin: From Mechanistic Understanding to Biological Functionality

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Timr, S.; Pleskot, Roman; Kadlec, J.; Kohagen, M.; Magarkar, A.; Jungwirth, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 8 (2017), s. 868-874 ISSN 2374-7943 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : recoverin * membrane * myristoyl Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 7.481, year: 2016

  19. Advances in metabolome information retrieval: turning chemistry into biology. Part II: biological information recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tebani, Abdellah; Afonso, Carlos; Bekri, Soumeya

    2017-08-25

    This work reports the second part of a review intending to give the state of the art of major metabolic phenotyping strategies. It particularly deals with inherent advantages and limits regarding data analysis issues and biological information retrieval tools along with translational challenges. This Part starts with introducing the main data preprocessing strategies of the different metabolomics data. Then, it describes the main data analysis techniques including univariate and multivariate aspects. It also addresses the challenges related to metabolite annotation and characterization. Finally, functional analysis including pathway and network strategies are discussed. The last section of this review is devoted to practical considerations and current challenges and pathways to bring metabolomics into clinical environments.

  20. Pathogen refuge: a key to understanding biological control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kenneth B

    2010-01-01

    Pathogen refuge is the idea that some potentially infectious pathogen propagules are not susceptible to the influence of an antagonistic microbial agent. The existence of a refuge can be attributable to one or more factors, including temporal, spatial, structural, and probabilistic, or to the pathogen's evolved ability to acquire antagonist-free space prior to ingress into a plant host. Within a specific pathosystem, refuge size can be estimated in experiments by measuring the proportion of pathogen propagules that remain infective as a function of the amount of antagonist introduced to the system. Refuge size is influenced by qualities of specific antagonists and by environment but less so by the quantity of antagonist. Consequently, most efforts to improve and optimize biological control are in essence efforts to reduce refuge size. Antagonist mixtures, optimal timing of antagonist introductions, integrated biological and chemical control, environmental optimization, and the utilization of disarmed pathogens as antagonists are strategies with potential to minimize a pathogen refuge.

  1. Understanding of the management information system based on MVC pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Sida

    2018-04-01

    With the development of the society, people have come to realize the significance of information, not only linguistically but also in the written form. To build an effective and efficient working flow, a new subject called Management Information System (MIS) came up. MIS is an integrated discipline, which utilizes comprehensive and systematical methods to manage information, and it enhances the work efficiency through building structured information platform. This paper demonstrates the Management Information System from shallow too deep with the understanding of MVC pattern, including its basic structure and application with ASP.NET. Also some discussions about its features are made in the last section.

  2. Creating databases for biological information: an introduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Lincoln

    2013-06-01

    The essence of bioinformatics is dealing with large quantities of information. Whether it be sequencing data, microarray data files, mass spectrometric data (e.g., fingerprints), the catalog of strains arising from an insertional mutagenesis project, or even large numbers of PDF files, there inevitably comes a time when the information can simply no longer be managed with files and directories. This is where databases come into play. This unit briefly reviews the characteristics of several database management systems, including flat file, indexed file, relational databases, and NoSQL databases. It compares their strengths and weaknesses and offers some general guidelines for selecting an appropriate database management system. Copyright 2013 by JohnWiley & Sons, Inc.

  3. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students' Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Kathryn E.; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P.; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary…

  4. The use of information theory in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adami, Christoph

    2012-05-01

    Information is a key concept in evolutionary biology. Information stored in a biological organism's genome is used to generate the organism and to maintain and control it. Information is also that which evolves. When a population adapts to a local environment, information about this environment is fixed in a representative genome. However, when an environment changes, information can be lost. At the same time, information is processed by animal brains to survive in complex environments, and the capacity for information processing also evolves. Here, I review applications of information theory to the evolution of proteins and to the evolution of information processing in simulated agents that adapt to perform a complex task. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  5. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding collective cell migration in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Linus J; Kulesa, Paul M; McLennan, Rebecca; Baker, Ruth E; Maini, Philip K

    2016-06-01

    Mathematical models are becoming increasingly integrated with experimental efforts in the study of biological systems. Collective cell migration in developmental biology is a particularly fruitful application area for the development of theoretical models to predict the behaviour of complex multicellular systems with many interacting parts. In this context, mathematical models provide a tool to assess the consistency of experimental observations with testable mechanistic hypotheses. In this review, we showcase examples from recent years of multidisciplinary investigations of neural crest cell migration. The neural crest model system has been used to study how collective migration of cell populations is shaped by cell-cell interactions, cell-environmental interactions and heterogeneity between cells. The wide range of emergent behaviours exhibited by neural crest cells in different embryonal locations and in different organisms helps us chart out the spectrum of collective cell migration. At the same time, this diversity in migratory characteristics highlights the need to reconcile or unify the array of currently hypothesized mechanisms through the next generation of experimental data and generalized theoretical descriptions. © 2016 The Authors.

  6. Quality of Life Philosophy III. Towards a New Biology: Understanding the Biological Connection between Quality of Life, Disease, and Healing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soren Ventegodt

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses (in a philosophical way the complex and enigmatic interface between matter, life, and consciousness in modern medical science. The problem today in understanding living matter is not at the molecular level, but at the macro level where all molecular activities in the individual cell are coordinated, and especially at a higher level, where the activities of all the organism’s cells are coordinated. Although we understand very much of the body’s chemistry, we have only just started to get the gist of the tremendous organization of living matter. We are just beginning to acknowledge the enormous flow of information that is needed to make everything function in a healthy organism, including consciousness, where every cell does exactly what it has to do to make the organs function.A concept that seems to be able to bridge the scientifically very different domains of matter, life, and consciousness seems to be “biological information”. If a cell is seen as a liquid crystal in which the cell’s molecules constantly connect in firm mutual relationships only to dissolve again and become fluid and free, whenever the cell needs it, the backbone of the cell seems to be the information that organizes the cell. For example, in cell motion a cell is able to crawl with the help of a skeleton of fibers that can be created guided by biological information, whenever the cell needs the solidity provided by the fibers. The moment it has finished crawling or intends to crawl in another direction, these fibers will dissolve again. The fibers are made of millions of molecules that connect in an arranged pattern, and they dissolve when these molecules again let go of each other. How the cell precisely regulates such processes is today a complete mystery. How cells cocreate consciousness is also an enigma. All we can do is describe the cell and the organisms arising from its cells as filled with energy and information as well as an

  7. Lipids in cell biology: how can we understand them better?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muro, Eleonora; Atilla-Gokcumen, G. Ekin; Eggert, Ulrike S.

    2014-01-01

    Lipids are a major class of biological molecules and play many key roles in different processes. The diversity of lipids is on the same order of magnitude as that of proteins: cells express tens of thousands of different lipids and hundreds of proteins to regulate their metabolism and transport. Despite their clear importance and essential functions, lipids have not been as well studied as proteins. We discuss here some of the reasons why it has been challenging to study lipids and outline technological developments that are allowing us to begin lifting lipids out of their “Cinderella” status. We focus on recent advances in lipid identification, visualization, and investigation of their biophysics and perturbations and suggest that the field has sufficiently advanced to encourage broader investigation into these intriguing molecules. PMID:24925915

  8. SpaceTime Environmental Image Information for Scene Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    framework for real-time foreground detection . J Real-Time Image Process . 2015;10:423–433. 36. Tu Z, Zheng A, Yang E, Luo B, Hussain A. A biologically...important to incorporate space- and time-varying environmental image information from the very beginning of the data collection process so that the recorded...of Congress), and c) nuclear power plant , Bushehr, Iran (photo courtesy of Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

  9. How to build public information and understanding : some French examples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bergeonneau, P.

    1998-01-01

    Public perception of nuclear issues and of the environmental impact is largely dependent on the general public's knowledge and understanding of complex scientific and technical matters which characterize the nuclear world, and on information provided by mass media which primarily tends to emphasize dramatic aspects. Consequently public information must be provided as completely and in as straightforward a manner as possible, and be adapted for people who do not have a clear understanding of nuclear technologies. Information must be objective in all cases, in order to increase credibility over time. This is important because confidence in scientists, and more generally in technical progress, has been eroded. In addition, when providing information, one has to anticipate events as much as possible in order to avoid misunderstandings when crises occur. Explanations during crises will then be better understood and confidence will be maintained. Examples of campaigns undertaken by the French Atomic Energy Commission are given in this paper. (author)

  10. Information theory in systems biology. Part I: Gene regulatory and metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousavian, Zaynab; Kavousi, Kaveh; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2016-03-01

    "A Mathematical Theory of Communication", was published in 1948 by Claude Shannon to establish a framework that is now known as information theory. In recent decades, information theory has gained much attention in the area of systems biology. The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of those contributions that have applied information theory in inferring or understanding of biological systems. Based on the type of system components and the interactions between them, we classify the biological systems into 4 main classes: gene regulatory, metabolic, protein-protein interaction and signaling networks. In the first part of this review, we attempt to introduce most of the existing studies on two types of biological networks, including gene regulatory and metabolic networks, which are founded on the concepts of information theory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: understanding its molecular biology at a fine scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Prosenjit; Deka, Himangshu; Malakar, Arup K; Halder, Binata; Chakraborty, Supriyo

    2018-01-01

    Among all cancers, the incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is quite high in the endemic regions. NPC is a head and neck cancer with poor survival rate, and is rare throughout most of the world but common in certain geographic areas, like southern Asia and some regions of North East India (Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram). A clear understanding of its etiology is still lacking, but NPC is widely suspected to be the result of both genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental factors or Epstein-Barr virus infection. Diagnosis in the early stages needs a high index of clinical acumen, and, although most cross-sectional imaging investigations show the tumor with precision, confirmation is dependent on histology. This article reviews all related research reports on NPC histopathological classifications worldwide that have been published within the past 20 years. Genome-wide association studies suggested that there might be common disease mechanisms between that disease and NPC. Personalized management rules, quality assessment of life in patients, and an understanding of the essential mechanisms of recurrence could be directed toward research into recurrent NPC. Hence, this literature would offer otolaryngologists a deeper insight into the etiological and management aspects of NPC.

  12. Understanding the basic biology underlying the flavor world of children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie A. MENNELLA, Alison K. VENTURA

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Health organizations worldwide recommend that adults and children minimize intakes of excess energy and salty, sweet, and fatty foods (all of which are highly preferred tastes and eat diets richer in whole grains, low- and non- fat dairy products, legumes, fish, lean meat, fruits, and vegetables (many of which taste bitter. Despite such recommendations and the well-established benefits of these foods to human health, adults are not complying, nor are their children. A primary reason for this difficulty is the remarkably potent rewarding properties of the tastes and flavors of foods high in sweetness, saltiness, and fatness. While we cannot easily change children’s basic ingrained biology of liking sweets and avoiding bitterness, we can modulate their flavor preferences by providing early exposure, starting in utero, to a wide variety of flavors within healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Because the flavors of foods mothers eat during pregnancy and lactation also flavor amniotic fluid and breast milk and become preferred by infants, pregnant and lactating women should widen their food choices to include as many flavorful and healthy foods as possible. These experiences, combined with repeated exposure to nutritious foods and flavor variety during the weaning period and beyond, should maximize the chances that children will select and enjoy a healthier diet [Current Zoology 56 (6: 834–841, 2010].

  13. A New World Information Order for Better Human Understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masmoudi, Mustapha

    Many studies, particularly the report of the International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems (ICSCP), have tried to define a new world information order for better human understanding. What appears to be needed is the establishment of a new, open-ended, conceptual framework leading to a freer, more efficient, more equitable,…

  14. How Information Visualization Systems Change Users' Understandings of Complex Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allendoerfer, Kenneth Robert

    2009-01-01

    User-centered evaluations of information systems often focus on the usability of the system rather its usefulness. This study examined how a using an interactive knowledge-domain visualization (KDV) system affected users' understanding of a domain. Interactive KDVs allow users to create graphical representations of domains that depict important…

  15. Understanding information retrieval systems management, types, and standards

    CERN Document Server

    Bates, Marcia J

    2011-01-01

    In order to be effective for their users, information retrieval (IR) systems should be adapted to the specific needs of particular environments. The huge and growing array of types of information retrieval systems in use today is on display in Understanding Information Retrieval Systems: Management, Types, and Standards, which addresses over 20 types of IR systems. These various system types, in turn, present both technical and management challenges, which are also addressed in this volume. In order to be interoperable in a networked environment, IR systems must be able to use various types of

  16. Using STOQS to Understand Molecular Biology and Oceanographic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, M. P.; Ryan, J. P.; Messié, M.; Harvey, J.; Cline, D.; Michisaki, R.

    2014-12-01

    Advances in technology enable us to collect massive amounts of diverse data. With the ability to collect more data, the problem of comparative analysis becomes increasing difficult. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) designed the Spatial Temporal Oceanographic Query System (STOQS) to create new capabilities for scientists to gain insight from data collected by oceanographic platforms. STOQS uses a geospatial database and a web-based user interface (UI) to allow scientists to explore large collections of data. The UI is optimized to provide a quick overview of data in spatial and temporal dimensions, as well as in parameter and platform space. A user may zoom into a feature of interest and select it, initiating a filter operation updating the UI with an overview of all the data in the new filtered selection. When details are desired, radio buttons and check boxes can be selected to generate a number of different types of visualizations. These include color-filled temporal section plots, parameter-parameter plots, and both 2D and 3D spatial visualizations. The ISO/IEC 19775-1, Extensible 3D (X3D) standard provides the technology for presenting 3D data in a web browser. STOQS has been in use at MBARI for four years and is helping us manage and visualize data from month-long multi-platform observational campaigns. These campaigns produce tens of millions of diverse measurements. These volumes are too great to really understand - even with an effective data exploration UI. Effective management of these diverse data in STOQS is achieved through a two-step harmonization process: 1) conversion of all data to OGC CF-NetCDF Discrete Sampling Geometry feature types and 2) loading all data into the STOQS data model. Having all of the data easily accessible via this data model made development of the UI possible. This same method of access is also being used for development of visualization and analysis programs for tasks that cannot be executed within the UI

  17. Understanding the biological concept "bird": A kindergarten case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Dilek

    The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case study of 14 students in a metropolitan public school in the Deep South was to find out, during a period of three months, what these kindergarten-aged children knew about birds, whether this knowledge represented current scientific thought, if such science instruction meaningfully affected their prior knowledge, and if so, what the factors during instruction that seemed to influence their understanding of the concept of bird were. The research was conducted in three phases; preinstruction interviews, instruction, and postinstruction interviews. The theoretical framework for this research was based on the Human Constructivism theory of learning (Mintzes, Wandersee and Novak, 1997). Instructional materials consisted of carefully chosen books (both fiction and non-fiction), guest speakers, field trips, a live bird in the classroom, students' observation journals, teacher-made classification and sorting activities, and picture-based concept maps. The findings suggest that young children's knowledge of birds was limited chiefly to birds' anatomical and morphological characteristics, with repeated references being made by the children to human characteristics. There was a positive, significant difference in young children's pre- and postinstruction scientific knowledge of birds. Although performance varied from child to child after instruction, most children were able to identify some common birds by name. Just one child resisted conceptual change. Kindergarten children's basic knowledge of bird behavior was limited to flight and eating. Although the children had more conceptual knowledge at the end, understanding still appeared to be shallow. The children did develop their skill in observing markedly. It also became evident that these kindergarten children needed more (a) experience in asking questions, (b) practice in techniques of visual representation, and (c) language development in order to be able to explain what they

  18. Biological risk factors in informal recyclers of Medellin city, 2005

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana L. Ballesteros

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The informal recyclers constitute a vulnerable population to problems of health by their constant exhibition to biological, chemical, physical and social risks, without protection. Objective: this work identify the biological risk facts to which the informal recyclers of the Bazaar of the Bridges of Medellin city. Methods: it was performed a Cross-sectional study. The sample was no probabilistic with 88 recyclers and the analysis unit was the informal recycler. It was applied a survey, a guide of observation of the activity of the recycler and were studied variables of person, place, time, type of biological risk facts, frequency of exhibition, felt morbidity and measures of protection. The analysis was statistical descriptive. Results: it was identified biological risk facts related to the contact with material in decomposition (96.6%, contaminated material (96.6%, animals (62.5% and arthropoda (79.5%. The se The se--curity measures to protect them from biological risk facts are used in less than 52% of recyclers; in addition, only 13.6% of the population were vaccinated, which increases the probability of becoming ill in this population. Conclusions: that the informal recyclers are exposed to different biological risk facts with little prevention, causing that population be vulnerable for the acquisition of infectious diseases.

  19. Pathogenesis of biliary atresia: defining biology to understand clinical phenotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asai, Akihiro; Miethke, Alexander; Bezerra, Jorge A.

    2016-01-01

    Biliary atresia is a severe cholangiopathy of early infancy that destroys extrahepatic bile ducts and disrupts bile flow. With a poorly defined disease pathogenesis, treatment consists of the surgical removal of duct remnants followed by hepatoportoenterostomy. Although this approach can improve the short-term outcome, the liver disease progresses to end-stage cirrhosis in most children. Further improvement in outcome will require a greater understanding of the mechanisms of biliary injury and fibrosis. Here, we review progress in the field, which has been fuelled by collaborative studies in larger patient cohorts and the development of cell culture and animal model systems to directly test hypotheses. Advances include the identification of phenotypic subgroups and stages of disease based on clinical, pathological and molecular features. Stronger evidence exists for viruses, toxins and gene sequence variations in the aetiology of biliary atresia, triggering a proinflammatory response that injures the duct epithelium and produces a rapidly progressive cholangiopathy. The immune response also activates the expression of type 2 cytokines that promote epithelial cell proliferation and extracellular matrix production by nonparenchymal cells. These advances provide insight into phenotype variability and might be relevant to the design of personalized trials to block progression of liver disease. PMID:26008129

  20. Contribution of global and local biological motion information to speed perception and discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Kentaro; Watanabe, Katsumi

    2018-03-01

    To respond to movements of others and understand the intention of others' actions, it is important to accurately extract motion information from body movements. Here, using original and spatially scrambled point-light biological motions in upright and inverted orientations, we investigated the effect of global and local biological motion information on speed perception and sensitivity. The speed discrimination task revealed that speed sensitivity was higher for the original than for scrambled stimuli (Experiment 1) and higher for upright than for inverted stimuli (Experiment 2). Perceived motion speed was slower for the original than for scrambled stimuli (Experiment 2), but regardless of the orientation of the display (Experiment 1). A subsequent experiment comparing different scrambled stimuli of the same actions showed that the higher speed discrimination sensitivity to upright stimuli was preserved even in the scrambled biological motions (Experiment 3). Taken together, our findings suggest that perception of the speed of biological movements emanates from both global and local biological motion signals.

  1. Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Compost from Food Waste: Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

    Science.gov (United States)

    This page contains information about the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar Series titled Compost from Food Waste:Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

  2. Graduate Curriculum for Biological Information Specialists: A Key to Integration of Scale in Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carole L. Palmer

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Scientific data problems do not stand in isolation. They are part of a larger set of challenges associated with the escalation of scientific information and changes in scholarly communication in the digital environment. Biologists in particular are generating enormous sets of data at a high rate, and new discoveries in the biological sciences will increasingly depend on the integration of data across multiple scales. This work will require new kinds of information expertise in key areas. To build this professional capacity we have developed two complementary educational programs: a Biological Information Specialist (BIS masters degree and a concentration in Data Curation (DC. We believe that BISs will be central in the development of cyberinfrastructure and information services needed to facilitate interdisciplinary and multi-scale science. Here we present three sample cases from our current research projects to illustrate areas in which we expect information specialists to make important contributions to biological research practice.

  3. Biologi Komunikasi melalui Implementasi “Information Communications Technology”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deni Darmawan

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The Biological communication Behavior has been constructed through the explanation of  the phenomena of their specific part of activies encompassing: Prefrontal, Frontal, Parietal, Central, Occipital and Parasagital which have been significantly tested in terms of their impacts in learning acceleration starting from Elementary School to College level. This study is conducted by means of constructive approach, meaning that it employs both the Quantitative and Qualitative techniques.The study outcomes show that: (1 designing of learning information with instructional model of communication and information  technology based their significant impacts on the learning acceleration controlled by the communication biology; (2 The biological communication behaviors that take place between the left brain and the right one is done by the specific parts as can be observed in such of learning activities; (3 Biological Communication is reliably tested scientifically from the  science point of view, especially from the intrapersonal and interpersonal perspective study.

  4. Understanding dementia: effective information access from the Deaf community's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Alys; Ferguson-Coleman, Emma; Keady, John

    2016-01-01

    This study concerns older Deaf sign language users in the UK. Its aim was to explore how to enable effective information access and promote awareness and understanding of dementia from a culturally Deaf perspective. A purposive sample of 26 Deaf people without dementia participated in one of three focus groups facilitated directly in British Sign Language (BSL) without an intermediate interpreter. The sample was differentiated by age, role in the Deaf community, and diversity of educational attainment and professional experience. A phenomenological approach underpinned the thematic analysis of data. The findings demonstrate: (i) translation into (BSL) is a necessary but not sufficient condition to support understanding. Attention to culturally preferred means of engagement with information is vital; (ii) the content of information is best presented utilising structures and formats which cohere with Deaf people's visual cognitive strengths; and (iii) the importance of cultural values and cultural practices in raising awareness and building understanding of dementia. These include collective rather than individual responsibility for knowledge transfer and the pan-national nature of knowledge transfer among Deaf people(s). The discussion demonstrates how these specific features of effective information access and awareness building have universal implications relevant to public engagement and the promotion of general knowledge consistent with the National Dementia Strategy (England). © 2014 The Authors. Health and Social Care in the Community Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Statistical approach for selection of biologically informative genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Samarendra; Rai, Anil; Mishra, D C; Rai, Shesh N

    2018-05-20

    Selection of informative genes from high dimensional gene expression data has emerged as an important research area in genomics. Many gene selection techniques have been proposed so far are either based on relevancy or redundancy measure. Further, the performance of these techniques has been adjudged through post selection classification accuracy computed through a classifier using the selected genes. This performance metric may be statistically sound but may not be biologically relevant. A statistical approach, i.e. Boot-MRMR, was proposed based on a composite measure of maximum relevance and minimum redundancy, which is both statistically sound and biologically relevant for informative gene selection. For comparative evaluation of the proposed approach, we developed two biological sufficient criteria, i.e. Gene Set Enrichment with QTL (GSEQ) and biological similarity score based on Gene Ontology (GO). Further, a systematic and rigorous evaluation of the proposed technique with 12 existing gene selection techniques was carried out using five gene expression datasets. This evaluation was based on a broad spectrum of statistically sound (e.g. subject classification) and biological relevant (based on QTL and GO) criteria under a multiple criteria decision-making framework. The performance analysis showed that the proposed technique selects informative genes which are more biologically relevant. The proposed technique is also found to be quite competitive with the existing techniques with respect to subject classification and computational time. Our results also showed that under the multiple criteria decision-making setup, the proposed technique is best for informative gene selection over the available alternatives. Based on the proposed approach, an R Package, i.e. BootMRMR has been developed and available at https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/BootMRMR. This study will provide a practical guide to select statistical techniques for selecting informative genes

  6. Perceptual Influence of Ugandan Biology Students' Understanding of HIV/AIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutonyi, Harriet; Nashon, Samson; Nielsen, Wendy S.

    2010-08-01

    In Uganda, curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS has largely depended on public and private media messages about the disease. Media campaigns based on Uganda’s cultural norms of communication are metaphorical, analogical and simile-like. The topic of HIV/AIDS has been introduced into the Senior Three (Grade 11) biology curriculum in Uganda. To what extent do students’ pre-conceptions of the disease, based on these media messages influence students’ development of conceptual understanding of the disease, its transmission and prevention? Of significant importance is the impact the conceptions students have developed from the indirect media messages on classroom instruction on HIV/AIDS. The study is based in a theoretical framework of conceptual change in science learning. An interpretive case study to determine the impact of Ugandan students’ conceptions or perceptions on classroom instruction about HIV/AIDS, involving 160 students aged 15-17, was conducted in four different Ugandan high schools: girls boarding, boys boarding, mixed boarding, and mixed day. Using questionnaires, focus group discussions, recorded biology lessons and informal interviews, students’ preconceptions of HIV/AIDS and how these impact lessons on HIV/AIDS were discerned. These preconceptions fall into four main categories: religious, political, conspiracy and traditional African worldviews. Results of data analysis suggest that students’ prior knowledge is persistent even after biology instructions. This has implications for current teaching approaches, which are mostly teacher-centred in Ugandan schools. A rethinking of the curriculum with the intent of offering science education programs that promote understanding of the science of HIV/AIDS as opposed to what is happening now—insensitivity to misconceptions about the disease—is needed.

  7. Conceptions of Memorizing and Understanding in Learning, and Self-Efficacy Held by University Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tzu-Chiang; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2015-02-01

    This study aims to explore Taiwanese university students' conceptions of learning biology as memorizing or as understanding, and their self-efficacy. To this end, two questionnaires were utilized to survey 293 Taiwanese university students with biology-related majors. A questionnaire for measuring students' conceptions of memorizing and understanding was validated through an exploratory factor analysis of participants' responses. As for the questionnaire regarding the students' biology learning self-efficacy (BLSE), an exploratory factor analysis revealed a total of four factors including higher-order cognitive skills (BLSE-HC), everyday application (BLSE-EA), science communication (BLSE-SC), and practical works (BLSE-PW). The results of the cluster analysis according to the participants' conceptions of learning biology indicated that students in the two major clusters either viewed learning biology as understanding or possessed mixed-conceptions of memorizing and understanding. The students in the third cluster mainly focused on memorizing in their learning while the students in the fourth cluster showed less agreement with both conceptions of memorizing and understanding. This study further revealed that the conception of learning as understanding was positively associated with the BLSE of university students with biology-related majors. However, the conception of learning as memorizing may foster students' BLSE only when such a notion co-exists with the conception of learning with understanding.

  8. Non-professional user`s understanding of Geographic Information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arleth, Mette

    2003-01-01

    Public participation in the planning process requires well developed communication between the authorities and the public; communication in wich various types of geographic information (GI) plays an important role. With the growth of the Internet this communication has been enriched with the assets......-based online services and comprehend the information contents? Using the Gi-based online services qualitatively in the participatory process obviously requires knowledge of the non-professional user`s understanding and use of GI. This paper discusses the needs for research into this field as well as relevant...

  9. Understanding the Role of Biology in the Global Environment: NASA'S Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, William F.

    1996-01-01

    NASA has long used the unique perspective of space as a means of expanding our understanding of how the Earth's environment functions. In particular, the linkages between land, air, water, and life-the elements of the Earth system-are a focus for NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. This approach, called Earth system science, blends together fields like meteorology, biology, oceanography, and atmospheric science. Mission to Planet Earth uses observations from satellites, aircraft, balloons, and ground researchers as the basis for analysis of the elements of the Earth system, the interactions between those elements, and possible changes over the coming years and decades. This information is helping scientists improve our understanding of how natural processes affect us and how we might be affecting them. Such studies will yield improved weather forecasts, tools for managing agriculture and forests, information for fishermen and local planners, and, eventually, an enhanced ability to predict how the climate will change in the future. NASA has designed Mission to Planet Earth to focus on five primary themes: Land Cover and Land Use Change; Seasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction; Natural Hazards; Long-Term Climate Variability; and Atmosphere Ozone.

  10. Conceptions of Memorizing and Understanding in Learning, and Self-Efficacy Held by University Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tzu-Chiang; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to explore Taiwanese university students' conceptions of learning biology as memorizing or as understanding, and their self-efficacy. To this end, two questionnaires were utilized to survey 293 Taiwanese university students with biology-related majors. A questionnaire for measuring students' conceptions of memorizing and…

  11. Analyzing Students' Understanding of Models and Modeling Referring to the Disciplines Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krell, Moritz; Reinisch, Bianca; Krüger, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    In this study, secondary school students' (N?=?617; grades 7 to 10) understanding of models and modeling was assessed using tasks which explicitly refer to the scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics and, as a control, to no scientific discipline. The students' responses are interpreted as their biology-, chemistry-, and…

  12. "Evo in the News:" Understanding Evolution and Students' Attitudes toward the Relevance of Evolutionary Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Infanti, Lynn M.; Wiles, Jason R.

    2014-01-01

    This investigation evaluated the effects of exposure to the "Evo in the News" section of the "Understanding Evolution" website on students' attitudes toward biological evolution in undergraduates in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at Syracuse University. Students' attitudes toward evolution and changes therein were…

  13. Lehrman's dictum: information and explanation in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Paul E

    2013-01-01

    The integration of concepts from evolutionary developmental biology, such as the homology concept, into developmental psychobiology has great potential. However, evolutionary developmental biology is an attempt to integrate evolutionary and developmental explanation and developmental psychobiology has traditionally been concerned to avoid conflating these two kinds of explanation. This article examines a recent attempt to explain development in terms of "inherited information." The resulting explanation is an evolutionary explanation of development of a kind typical of evolutionary developmental biology. But its proponent mistakes it for an actual developmental explanation. Any integration of evolutionary developmental biology and developmental psychobiology should pay close attention to longstanding concerns about conflating evolutionary and developmental explanations. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. A Framework for Understanding Post-Merger Information Systems Integration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alaranta, Maria; Kautz, Karlheinz

    2012-01-01

    that researchers and managers of post-merger IS integration should pay particular attention to the IS and organizational merger contexts; the need to build relationships and collaboration between the merging parties; power struggles; and, perhaps most importantly, understanding and treating post......This paper develops a theoretical framework for the integration of information systems (IS) after a merger or an acquisition. The framework integrates three perspectives: a structuralist, an individualist, and an interactive process perspective to analyze and understand such integrations....... The framework is applied to a longitudinal case study of a manufacturing company that grew through an acquisition. The management decided to integrate the production control IS via tailoring a new system that blends together features of existing IS. The application of the framework in the case study confirms...

  15. Quantum Information Biology: From Information Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics to Applications in Molecular Biology and Cognitive Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asano, Masanari; Basieva, Irina; Khrennikov, Andrei; Ohya, Masanori; Tanaka, Yoshiharu; Yamato, Ichiro

    2015-10-01

    We discuss foundational issues of quantum information biology (QIB)—one of the most successful applications of the quantum formalism outside of physics. QIB provides a multi-scale model of information processing in bio-systems: from proteins and cells to cognitive and social systems. This theory has to be sharply distinguished from "traditional quantum biophysics". The latter is about quantum bio-physical processes, e.g., in cells or brains. QIB models the dynamics of information states of bio-systems. We argue that the information interpretation of quantum mechanics (its various forms were elaborated by Zeilinger and Brukner, Fuchs and Mermin, and D' Ariano) is the most natural interpretation of QIB. Biologically QIB is based on two principles: (a) adaptivity; (b) openness (bio-systems are fundamentally open). These principles are mathematically represented in the framework of a novel formalism— quantum adaptive dynamics which, in particular, contains the standard theory of open quantum systems.

  16. Construction of a Linux based chemical and biological information system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnár, László; Vágó, István; Fehér, András

    2003-01-01

    A chemical and biological information system with a Web-based easy-to-use interface and corresponding databases has been developed. The constructed system incorporates all chemical, numerical and textual data related to the chemical compounds, including numerical biological screen results. Users can search the database by traditional textual/numerical and/or substructure or similarity queries through the web interface. To build our chemical database management system, we utilized existing IT components such as ORACLE or Tripos SYBYL for database management and Zope application server for the web interface. We chose Linux as the main platform, however, almost every component can be used under various operating systems.

  17. Landauer in the Age of Synthetic Biology: Energy Consumption and Information Processing in Biochemical Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj; Lang, Alex H.; Schwab, David J.

    2016-03-01

    A central goal of synthetic biology is to design sophisticated synthetic cellular circuits that can perform complex computations and information processing tasks in response to specific inputs. The tremendous advances in our ability to understand and manipulate cellular information processing networks raises several fundamental physics questions: How do the molecular components of cellular circuits exploit energy consumption to improve information processing? Can one utilize ideas from thermodynamics to improve the design of synthetic cellular circuits and modules? Here, we summarize recent theoretical work addressing these questions. Energy consumption in cellular circuits serves five basic purposes: (1) increasing specificity, (2) manipulating dynamics, (3) reducing variability, (4) amplifying signal, and (5) erasing memory. We demonstrate these ideas using several simple examples and discuss the implications of these theoretical ideas for the emerging field of synthetic biology. We conclude by discussing how it may be possible to overcome these limitations using "post-translational" synthetic biology that exploits reversible protein modification.

  18. Context dependence of students' views about the role of equations in understanding biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-06-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become especially relevant. However, as documented in research in physics education, students' epistemologies are not always stable and fixed entities; they can be dynamic and context-dependent. In this paper, we examine an interview with an introductory student in which she discusses the use of equations in her reformed biology course. In one part of the interview, she expresses what sounds like an entrenched negative stance toward the role equations can play in understanding biology. However, later in the interview, when discussing a different biology topic, she takes a more positive stance toward the value of equations. These results highlight how a given student can have diverse ways of thinking about the value of bringing physics and math into biology. By highlighting how attitudes can shift in response to different tasks, instructional environments, and contextual cues, we emphasize the need to attend to these factors, rather than treating students' beliefs as fixed and stable.

  19. Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to the Maximum: Learning and Teaching Biology with Limited Digital Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooy, Wilhelmina S.

    2012-01-01

    Background: The ubiquity, availability and exponential growth of digital information and communication technology (ICT) creates unique opportunities for learning and teaching in the senior secondary school biology curriculum. Digital technologies make it possible for emerging disciplinary knowledge and understanding of biological processes…

  20. Information in the Biosphere: Biological and Digital Worlds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillings, Michael R; Hilbert, Martin; Kemp, Darrell J

    2016-03-01

    Evolution has transformed life through key innovations in information storage and replication, including RNA, DNA, multicellularity, and culture and language. We argue that the carbon-based biosphere has generated a cognitive system (humans) capable of creating technology that will result in a comparable evolutionary transition. Digital information has reached a similar magnitude to information in the biosphere. It increases exponentially, exhibits high-fidelity replication, evolves through differential fitness, is expressed through artificial intelligence (AI), and has facility for virtually limitless recombination. Like previous evolutionary transitions, the potential symbiosis between biological and digital information will reach a critical point where these codes could compete via natural selection. Alternatively, this fusion could create a higher-level superorganism employing a low-conflict division of labor in performing informational tasks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Effect of Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Learning on Non-majors Biology Students' Understanding of Biological Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, Breann M.

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL) on non-majors college biology students' understanding of biological classification. This study addressed an area of science instruction, POGIL in the non-majors college biology laboratory, which has yet to be qualitatively and quantitatively researched. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods approach was used. Students' understanding of biological classification was measured in two areas: scores on pre and posttests (consisting of 11 multiple choice questions), and conceptions of classification as elicited in pre and post interviews and instructor reflections. Participants were Minnesota State University, Mankato students enrolled in BIOL 100 Summer Session. One section was taught with the traditional curriculum (n = 6) and the other section in the POGIL curriculum (n = 10) developed by the researcher. Three students from each section were selected to take part in pre and post interviews. There were no significant differences within each teaching method (p group may have scored higher on the posttest (M = 8.830 +/- .477 vs. M = 7.330 +/- .330; z =-1.729, p = .084) and the traditional group may have scored higher on the pretest than the posttest (M = 8.333 +/- .333 vs M = 7.333 +/- .333; z = -1.650 , p = .099). Two themes emerged after the interviews and instructor reflections: 1) After instruction students had a more extensive understanding of classification in three areas: vocabulary terms, physical characteristics, and types of evidence used to classify. Both groups extended their understanding, but only POGIL students could explain how molecular evidence is used in classification. 2) The challenges preventing students from understanding classification were: familiar animal categories and aquatic habitats, unfamiliar organisms, combining and subdividing initial groupings, and the hierarchical nature of classification. The POGIL students were the only group to

  2. Patient and parent understanding of informed consent in orthodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Micah G; Kiyak, H Asuman; Omnell, Lena

    2003-11-01

    In both medical and dental settings, researchers have found that patients do not adequately comprehend the information given during informed consent discussions, especially the less educated, low-income patients. Because of the importance of patient compliance with orthodontic treatment regimens, this study examined patient and parent understanding of the child's Phase I orthodontic treatment in a public dental clinic with ethnically diverse, low-income patients. Interviews were conducted with 29 children (ages 6-12) and their parents or guardians at the orthodontic case presentation appointment. The orthodontist explained the reasons for treatment, the orthodontic procedures to be used, the risks, the alternatives, and patient and parent responsibilities during treatment; the session was audiotaped. Interviews were conducted immediately after this discussion and the results compared with the orthodontists' presentations. In general, both children and parents recalled significantly fewer reasons for treatment (1.10, 1.66, and 2.34 items, respectively), procedures (1.55, 1.59, and 2.45, respectively), risks associated with treatment (0.66, 1.48, and 4.66, respectively), and responsibilities of the child during treatment (2.21, 2.07, and 3.38, respectively) than what the orthodontist had told them. They were also less likely to recall the reasons, procedures, and risks that were most frequently cited by the orthodontist. These findings raise concerns about the effectiveness of current informed consent techniques with public health populations, especially the low recall rates within 30 minutes of the case presentations. Low recall of risks by children and their parents, particularly for critical risks such as relapse, caries, and periodontal problems, raises concerns about treatment compliance, success, and more importantly, the effectiveness of the informed consent process itself. Future research should focus on methods to improve the informed consent process among

  3. Methods of information theory and algorithmic complexity for network biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenil, Hector; Kiani, Narsis A; Tegnér, Jesper

    2016-03-01

    We survey and introduce concepts and tools located at the intersection of information theory and network biology. We show that Shannon's information entropy, compressibility and algorithmic complexity quantify different local and global aspects of synthetic and biological data. We show examples such as the emergence of giant components in Erdös-Rényi random graphs, and the recovery of topological properties from numerical kinetic properties simulating gene expression data. We provide exact theoretical calculations, numerical approximations and error estimations of entropy, algorithmic probability and Kolmogorov complexity for different types of graphs, characterizing their variant and invariant properties. We introduce formal definitions of complexity for both labeled and unlabeled graphs and prove that the Kolmogorov complexity of a labeled graph is a good approximation of its unlabeled Kolmogorov complexity and thus a robust definition of graph complexity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. A Thai pre-service teacher's understanding of nature of science in biology teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srisawat, Akkarawat; Aiemsum-ang, Napapan; Yuenyong, Chokchai

    2018-01-01

    This study was conducted on the effect of understanding and instruction of the nature of science of Ms. Wanida, a pre-service student under science education program in biology, Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University. Wanida was a teaching practicum student majoring in biology at Khon Kaen University Demonstration School (Modindaeng). She was teaching biology for 38 Grade 10 students. Methodology regarded interpretive paradigm. The study aimed to examine 1) Wanida's understanding of the nature of science, 2) Wanida's instruction of the nature of science, 3 students' understanding of the nature of science from Wanida's instruction, and 4) the effects of Wanida's understanding and instruction of the nature of science on students' understanding of the nature of science from Wanida's instruction. Tools of interpretation included teaching observation, a semi-structured interview, open-ended questionnaire, and an observation record form for the instruction of the nature of science. The data obtained was interpreted, encoded, and classified, using the descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that Wanida held good understanding of the nature of science. She could apply the deficient nature of science approach mostly, followed by the implicit nature of science approach. Unfortunately, she could not show her teaching as explicit nature of science. However, her students' the understanding of the nature of science was good.

  5. Quantum information and the problem of mechanisms of biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melkikh, Alexey V

    2014-01-01

    One of the most important conditions for replication in early evolution is the de facto elimination of the conformational degrees of freedom of the replicators, the mechanisms of which remain unclear. In addition, realistic evolutionary timescales can be established based only on partially directed evolution, further complicating this issue. A division of the various evolutionary theories into two classes has been proposed based on the presence or absence of a priori information about the evolving system. A priori information plays a key role in solving problems in evolution. Here, a model of partially directed evolution, based on the learning automata theory, which includes a priori information about the fitness space, is proposed. A potential repository of such prior information is the states of biologically important molecules. Thus, the need for extended evolutionary synthesis is discussed. Experiments to test the hypothesis of partially directed evolution are proposed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Exploring the Possible Use of Information Barriers for future Biological Weapons Verification Regimes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luke, S J

    2011-12-20

    genetic information associated with the various pathogens. In addition, it has been determined that a suitable information barrier could be applied to this technology when the verification regime has been defined. Finally, the report posits a path forward for additional development of information barriers in a biological weapons verification regime. This path forward has shown that a new analysis approach coined as Information Loss Analysis might need to be pursued so that a numerical understanding of how information can be lost in specific measurement systems can be achieved.

  7. Experimental and Modeling Approaches for Understanding the Effect of Gene Expression Noise in Biological Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Holloway

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Biological development involves numerous chemical and physical processes which must act in concert to reliably produce a cell, a tissue, or a body. To be successful, the developing organism must be robust to variability at many levels, such as the environment (e.g., temperature, moisture, upstream information (such as long-range positional information gradients, or intrinsic noise due to the stochastic nature of low concentration chemical kinetics. The latter is especially relevant to the regulation of gene expression in cell differentiation. The temporal stochasticity of gene expression has been studied in single celled organisms for nearly two decades, but only recently have techniques become available to gather temporally-resolved data across spatially-distributed gene expression patterns in developing multicellular organisms. These demonstrate temporal noisy “bursting” in the number of gene transcripts per cell, raising the question of how the transcript number defining a particular cell type is produced, such that one cell type can reliably be distinguished from a neighboring cell of different type along a tissue boundary. Stochastic spatio-temporal modeling of tissue-wide expression patterns can identify signatures for specific types of gene regulation, which can be used to extract regulatory mechanism information from experimental time series. This Perspective focuses on using this type of approach to study gene expression noise during the anterior-posterior segmentation of the fruit fly embryo. Advances in experimental and theoretical techniques will lead to an increasing quantification of expression noise that can be used to understand how regulatory mechanisms contribute to embryonic robustness across a range of developmental processes.

  8. Spies and Bloggers: New Synthetic Biology Tools to Understand Microbial Processes in Soils and Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiello, C. A.; Silberg, J. J.; Cheng, H. Y.; Del Valle, I.; Fulk, E. M.; Gao, X.; Bennett, G. N.

    2017-12-01

    Microbes can be programmed through synthetic biology to report on their behavior, informing researchers when their environment has triggered changes in their gene expression (e.g. in response to shifts in O2 or H2O), or when they have participated in a specific step of an elemental cycle (e.g. denitrification). This use of synthetic biology has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of microbes' roles in elemental and water cycling, because it allows reporting on the environment from the perspective of a microbe, matching the measurement scale exactly to the scale that a microbe experiences. However, synthetic microbes have not yet seen wide use in soil and sediment laboratory experiments because synthetic organisms typically report by fluorescing, making their signals difficult to detect outside the petri dish. We are developing a new suite of microbial programs that report instead by releasing easily-detected gases, allowing the real-time, noninvasive monitoring of behaviors in sediments and soils. Microbial biosensors can, in theory, be programmed to detect dynamic processes that contribute to a wide range of geobiological processes, including C cycling (biofilm production, methanogenesis, and synthesis of extracellular enzymes that degrade organic matter), N cycling (expression of enzymes that underlie different steps of the N cycle) and potentially S cycling. We will provide an overview of the potential uses of gas-reporting biosensors in soil and sediment lab experiments, and will report the development of the systematics of these sensors. Successful development of gas biosensors for laboratory use will require addressing issues including: engineering the intensity and selectivity of microbial gas production to maximize the signal to noise ratio; normalizing the gas reporter signal to cell population size, managing gas diffusion effects on signal shape; and developing multiple gases that can be used in parallel.

  9. Design of the RFID for Storage of Biological Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang-Hee Son

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in RFID (radio frequency identification technology promises to create a wireless circuitry capable of interfacing with biological systems for acquisition, identification and processing of biological data based on radio frequency interaction. Thus, the RFID tag can be attached not only to consumer products and form part of the supply chain, but also to animals, plants and in particular human body. This paper describes the strategy for the design of a novel RFID tag, which stores vital biological information such as body temperature and blood pressure and heartbeat in accordance with the EPC global Class-1 standard. Biological data is obtained from a sensor technology that is based on resistance deviation-to-pulse width converter. The integrated chip consists of an analog front end, command interpreter, collision avoidance block, data storage, sensors, and interface circuitry. The system is capable of supporting heartbeats in the range of 40~200 beats per a minute and blood pressure 0~300mmHg. The proposed system employs collision free algorithm that supports access to single tag within a multiple tag environment. The approach facilitates intelligent management of patients in hospitals as part of an integrated healthcare management system.

  10. Current Challenge in Consumer Health Informatics: Bridging the Gap between Access to Information and Information Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurence Alpay

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The number of health-related websites has proliferated over the past few years. Health information consumers confront a myriad of health related resources on the internet that have varying levels of quality and are not always easy to comprehend. There is thus a need to help health information consumers to bridge the gap between access to information and information understanding—i.e. to help consumers understand health related web-based resources so that they can act upon it. At the same time health information consumers are becoming not only more involved in their own health care but also more information technology minded. One way to address this issue is to provide consumers with tailored information that is contextualized and personalized e.g. directly relevant and easily comprehensible to the person’s own health situation. This paper presents a current trend in Consumer Health Informatics which focuses on theory-based design and development of contextualized and personalized tools to allow the evolving consumer with varying backgrounds and interests to use online health information efficiently. The proposed approach uses a theoretical framework of communication in order to support the consumer’s capacity to understand health-related web-based resources.

  11. Understanding family health information seeking: a test of the theory of motivated information management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovick, Shelly R

    2014-01-01

    Although a family health history can be used to assess disease risk and increase health prevention behaviors, research suggests that few people have collected family health information. Guided by the Theory of Motivated Information Management, this study seeks to understand the barriers to and facilitators of interpersonal information seeking about family health history. Individuals who were engaged to be married (N = 306) were surveyed online and in person to understand how factors such as uncertainty, expectations for an information search, efficacy, and anxiety influence decisions and strategies for obtaining family health histories. The results supported the Theory of Motivated Information Management by demonstrating that individuals who experienced uncertainty discrepancies regarding family heath history had greater intention to seek information from family members when anxiety was low, outcome expectancy was high, and communication efficacy was positive. Although raising uncertainty about family health history may be an effective tool for health communicators to increase communication among family members, low-anxiety situations may be optimal for information seeking. Health communication messages must also build confidence in people's ability to communicate with family to obtain the needed health information.

  12. Two faces of entropy and information in biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrokhin, Yuriy

    2014-10-21

    The article attempts to overcome the well-known paradox of contradictions between the emerging biological organization and entropy production in biological systems. It is assumed that quality, speculative correlation between entropy and antientropy processes taking place both in the past and today in the metabolic and genetic cellular systems may be perfectly authorized for adequate description of the evolution of biological organization. So far as thermodynamic entropy itself cannot compensate for the high degree of organization which exists in the cell, we discuss the mode of conjunction of positive entropy events (mutations) in the genetic systems of the past generations and the formation of organized structures of current cells. We argue that only the information which is generated in the conditions of the information entropy production (mutations and other genome reorganization) in genetic systems of the past generations provides the physical conjunction of entropy and antientropy processes separated from each other in time generations. It is readily apparent from the requirements of the Second law of thermodynamics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Understanding travel information search behaviors by levels of information technology adoption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junghye Angela Kah; Christine A. Vogt; Kelly MacKay

    2007-01-01

    Although the signifi cance of the Internet has been widely discussed in previous studies, the research of e-commerce has focused primarily on organizational and business perspectives (Sigala 2004). The growing number of Internet users allows a better understanding of online tourists who seek travel information and book or purchase travel products. The levels of...

  14. Assessing Lay Understanding of Common Presentations of Earthquake Hazard Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, K. J.; Krantz, D. H.

    2010-12-01

    The Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (WGCEP) includes, in its introduction to earthquake rupture forecast maps, the assertion that "In daily living, people are used to making decisions based on probabilities -- from the flip of a coin (50% probability of heads) to weather forecasts (such as a 30% chance of rain) to the annual chance of being killed by lightning (about 0.0003%)." [3] However, psychology research identifies a large gap between lay and expert perception of risk for various hazards [2], and cognitive psychologists have shown in numerous studies [1,4-6] that people neglect, distort, misjudge, or misuse probabilities, even when given strong guidelines about the meaning of numerical or verbally stated probabilities [7]. The gap between lay and expert use of probability needs to be recognized more clearly by scientific organizations such as WGCEP. This study undertakes to determine how the lay public interprets earthquake hazard information, as presented in graphical map form by the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF), compiled by the WGCEP and other bodies including the USGS and CGS. It also explores alternate ways of presenting hazard data, to determine which presentation format most effectively translates information from scientists to public. Participants both from California and from elsewhere in the United States are included, to determine whether familiarity -- either with the experience of an earthquake, or with the geography of the forecast area -- affects people's ability to interpret an earthquake hazards map. We hope that the comparisons between the interpretations by scientific experts and by different groups of laypeople will both enhance theoretical understanding of factors that affect information transmission and assist bodies such as the WGCEP in their laudable attempts to help people prepare themselves and their communities for possible natural hazards. [1] Kahneman, D & Tversky, A (1979). Prospect

  15. Inherit the policy: A sociocultural approach to understanding evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural and historical influences at all levels of the policy process. Lipsky (1980/2010) and others have identified teachers as de facto policy makers, exercising broad discretion in the execution of their work. This study looks to Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior as an initial framework to inform how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at different levels of the policy process. The results of this study indicate that actors in the state's evolutionary biology policy process draw upon a myriad of Discourses (Gee, 1999/2005). These Discourses shape cultural dynamics and the agency of the policy actors as they navigate conflicting messages between testing mandates and evolutionary biology policy. There indeed exist gaps between how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at the different levels of the policy process. Evidence from this study suggests that appropriation-level policy actors must be brought into the Discourse related to the critical analysis of evolutionary biology and academic freedom legislation must be enacted if South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 is to realize practical significance in educational policy.

  16. The physics of complex systems in information and biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Dylan

    study the interaction between popularity and quality, we introduce simple stochastic models of user behavior that approximate differing user quality and susceptibility to the common notion of popularity. We define a metric to quantify user reputation in a manner that is self-consistent, adaptable and content-blind and shows good correlation with the probability that a user behaves in an optimal fashion. We further construct a mechanism for ranking documents that take into account user reputation and provides substantial improvement in the time-critical performance of the system. The structure of complex systems have been well studied in the context of both information and biological systems. More recently, dynamics in complex systems that occur over the background of the underlying network has received a great deal of attention. In particular, the study of fluctuations in complex systems has emerged as an issue central to understanding dynamical behavior. We approach the problem of collective effects of the underlying network on dynamical fluctuations by considering the protein-protein interaction networks for the system of the living cell. We consider two types of fluctuations in the mass-action equilibrium in protein binding networks. The first type is driven by relatively slow changes in total concentrations (copy numbers) of interacting proteins. The second type, to which we refer to as spontaneous, is caused by quickly decaying thermodynamic deviations away from the mass-action equilibrium of the system. As such they are amenable to methods of equilibrium statistical mechanics used in our study. We investigate the effects of network connectivity on these fluctuations by comparing them to different scenarios in which the interacting pair is isolated form the rest of the network. Such comparison allows us to analytically derive upper and lower bounds on network fluctuations. The collective effects are shown to sometimes lead to relatively large amplification of

  17. Understanding schizophrenia as a disorder of consciousness: biological correlates and translational implications from quantum theory perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan

    2015-04-30

    From neurophenomenological perspectives, schizophrenia has been conceptualized as "a disorder with heterogeneous manifestations that can be integrally understood to involve fundamental perturbations in consciousness". While these theoretical constructs based on consciousness facilitate understanding the 'gestalt' of schizophrenia, systematic research to unravel translational implications of these models is warranted. To address this, one needs to begin with exploration of plausible biological underpinnings of "perturbed consciousness" in schizophrenia. In this context, an attractive proposition to understand the biology of consciousness is "the orchestrated object reduction (Orch-OR) theory" which invokes quantum processes in the microtubules of neurons. The Orch-OR model is particularly important for understanding schizophrenia especially due to the shared 'scaffold' of microtubules. The initial sections of this review focus on the compelling evidence to support the view that "schizophrenia is a disorder of consciousness" through critical summary of the studies that have demonstrated self-abnormalities, aberrant time perception as well as dysfunctional intentional binding in this disorder. Subsequently, these findings are linked with 'Orch-OR theory' through the research evidence for aberrant neural oscillations as well as microtubule abnormalities observed in schizophrenia. Further sections emphasize the applicability and translational implications of Orch-OR theory in the context of schizophrenia and elucidate the relevance of quantum biology to understand the origins of this puzzling disorder as "fundamental disturbances in consciousness".

  18. Understanding and Enhancing Soil Biological Health: The Solution for Reversing Soil Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Michael Lehman

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Our objective is to provide an optimistic strategy for reversing soil degradation by increasing public and private research efforts to understand the role of soil biology, particularly microbiology, on the health of our world’s soils. We begin by defining soil quality/soil health (which we consider to be interchangeable terms, characterizing healthy soil resources, and relating the significance of soil health to agroecosystems and their functions. We examine how soil biology influences soil health and how biological properties and processes contribute to sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services. We continue by examining what can be done to manipulate soil biology to: (i increase nutrient availability for production of high yielding, high quality crops; (ii protect crops from pests, pathogens, weeds; and (iii manage other factors limiting production, provision of ecosystem services, and resilience to stresses like droughts. Next we look to the future by asking what needs to be known about soil biology that is not currently recognized or fully understood and how these needs could be addressed using emerging research tools. We conclude, based on our perceptions of how new knowledge regarding soil biology will help make agriculture more sustainable and productive, by recommending research emphases that should receive first priority through enhanced public and private research in order to reverse the trajectory toward global soil degradation.

  19. Reef sharks: recent advances in ecological understanding to inform conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osgood, G J; Baum, J K

    2015-12-01

    Sharks are increasingly being recognized as important members of coral-reef communities, but their overall conservation status remains uncertain. Nine of the 29 reef-shark species are designated as data deficient in the IUCN Red List, and three-fourths of reef sharks had unknown population trends at the time of their assessment. Fortunately, reef-shark research is on the rise. This new body of research demonstrates reef sharks' high site restriction, fidelity and residency on coral reefs, their broad trophic roles connecting reef communities and their high population genetic structure, all information that should be useful for their management and conservation. Importantly, recent studies on the abundance and population trends of the three classic carcharhinid reef sharks (grey reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus and whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus) may contribute to reassessments identifying them as more vulnerable than currently realized. Because over half of the research effort has focused on only these three reef sharks and the nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum in only a few locales, there remain large taxonomic and geographic gaps in reef-shark knowledge. As such, a large portion of reef-shark biodiversity remains uncharacterized despite needs for targeted research identified in their red list assessments. A research agenda for the future should integrate abundance, life history, trophic ecology, genetics, habitat use and movement studies, and expand the breadth of such research to understudied species and localities, in order to better understand the conservation requirements of these species and to motivate effective conservation solutions. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  20. Overcoming Information Aesthetics: In Defense of a Non-Quantitative Informational Understanding of Artworks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Hernández-Ramírez

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Attempts to describe aesthetic artefacts through informational models have existed at least since the late 1950s; but they have not been as successful as their proponents expected nor are they popular among art scholars because of their (mostly quantitative nature. However, given how information technology has deeply shifted every aspect of our world, it is fair to ask whether aesthetic value continues to be immune to informational interpretations. This paper discusses the ideas of the late Russian biophysicist, Mikhail Volkenstein concerning art and aesthetic value. It contrasts them with Max Bense’s ‘information aesthetics’, and with contemporary philosophical understandings of information. Overall, this paper shows that an informational but not necessarily quantitative approach serves not only as an effective means to describe our interaction with artworks, but also contributes to explain why purely quantitative models struggle to formalise aesthetic value. Finally, it makes the case that adopting an informational outlook helps overcome the ‘analogue vs digital’ dichotomy by arguing the distinction is epistemological rather than ontological, and therefore the two notions need not be incompatible.

  1. Human Development V: Biochemistry Unable to Explain the Emergence of Biological Form (Morphogenesis and Therefore a New Principle as Source of Biological Information is Needed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Ventegodt

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Today's biomedicine builds on the conviction that biochemistry can explain the creation of the body, its anatomy and physiology. Unfortunately there are still deep mysteries strangely “fighting back” when we try to define and understand the organism and its creation in the ontogenesis as emerging from biochemistry. In analysing this from a theoretical perspective using a mathematical model focusing on the noise in complex chemical systems we argue that evolving biological structure cannot in principle be a product of chemistry. In this paper we go through the chemical gradient model and argue that this is not able to explain the ontogenesis. We discuss the used gradients as information carriers in chemical self-organizing systems and argue that by use of the “Turing structures” we are only able to modelling the mostly simple biological systems. The bio-chemical model is only able to model simple organization but not to explain the complexity of biological phenomena. We conclude that we seemingly have presented a formal proof (a NO-GO theorem that the self-organizing chemical systems that are using chemical gradients are not able to explain complex biological matters as the ontogenesis. We need a fundamentally new, information-carrying principle to understand biological information and biological order.

  2. Biological Information Document, Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biggs, J.

    1995-01-01

    This document is intended to act as a baseline source material for risk assessments which can be used in Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements. The current Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility (RLWTF) does not meet current General Design Criteria for Non-reactor Nuclear Facilities and could be shut down affecting several DOE programs. This Biological Information Document summarizes various biological studies that have been conducted in the vicinity of new Proposed RLWTF site and an Alternative site. The Proposed site is located on Mesita del Buey, a mess top, and the Alternative site is located in Mortandad Canyon. The Proposed Site is devoid of overstory species due to previous disturbance and is dominated by a mixture of grasses, forbs, and scattered low-growing shrubs. Vegetation immediately adjacent to the site is a pinyon-juniper woodland. The Mortandad canyon bottom overstory is dominated by ponderosa pine, willow, and rush. The south-facing slope was dominated by ponderosa pine, mountain mahogany, oak, and muhly. The north-facing slope is dominated by Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, and oak. Studies on wildlife species are limited in the vicinity of the proposed project and further studies will be necessary to accurately identify wildlife populations and to what extent they utilize the project area. Some information is provided on invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, and small mammals. Additional species information from other nearby locations is discussed in detail. Habitat requirements exist in the project area for one federally threatened wildlife species, the peregrine falcon, and one federal candidate species, the spotted bat. However, based on surveys outside of the project area but in similar habitats, these species are not expected to occur in either the Proposed or Alternative RLWTF sites. Habitat Evaluation Procedures were used to evaluate ecological functioning in the project area

  3. Biological Information Document, Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biggs, J.

    1995-12-31

    This document is intended to act as a baseline source material for risk assessments which can be used in Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements. The current Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility (RLWTF) does not meet current General Design Criteria for Non-reactor Nuclear Facilities and could be shut down affecting several DOE programs. This Biological Information Document summarizes various biological studies that have been conducted in the vicinity of new Proposed RLWTF site and an Alternative site. The Proposed site is located on Mesita del Buey, a mess top, and the Alternative site is located in Mortandad Canyon. The Proposed Site is devoid of overstory species due to previous disturbance and is dominated by a mixture of grasses, forbs, and scattered low-growing shrubs. Vegetation immediately adjacent to the site is a pinyon-juniper woodland. The Mortandad canyon bottom overstory is dominated by ponderosa pine, willow, and rush. The south-facing slope was dominated by ponderosa pine, mountain mahogany, oak, and muhly. The north-facing slope is dominated by Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, and oak. Studies on wildlife species are limited in the vicinity of the proposed project and further studies will be necessary to accurately identify wildlife populations and to what extent they utilize the project area. Some information is provided on invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, and small mammals. Additional species information from other nearby locations is discussed in detail. Habitat requirements exist in the project area for one federally threatened wildlife species, the peregrine falcon, and one federal candidate species, the spotted bat. However, based on surveys outside of the project area but in similar habitats, these species are not expected to occur in either the Proposed or Alternative RLWTF sites. Habitat Evaluation Procedures were used to evaluate ecological functioning in the project area.

  4. Systematic synergy modeling: understanding drug synergy from a systems biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Di; Liu, Xi; Yang, Yiping; Yang, Hongjun; Lu, Peng

    2015-09-16

    Owing to drug synergy effects, drug combinations have become a new trend in combating complex diseases like cancer, HIV and cardiovascular diseases. However, conventional synergy quantification methods often depend on experimental dose-response data which are quite resource-demanding. In addition, these methods are unable to interpret the explicit synergy mechanism. In this review, we give representative examples of how systems biology modeling offers strategies toward better understanding of drug synergy, including the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network-based methods, pathway dynamic simulations, synergy network motif recognitions, integrative drug feature calculations, and "omic"-supported analyses. Although partially successful in drug synergy exploration and interpretation, more efforts should be put on a holistic understanding of drug-disease interactions, considering integrative pharmacology and toxicology factors. With a comprehensive and deep insight into the mechanism of drug synergy, systems biology opens a novel avenue for rational design of effective drug combinations.

  5. Understanding recognition and self-assembly in biology using the chemist's toolbox. Insight into medicinal chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quirolo, Z B; Benedini, L A; Sequeira, M A; Herrera, M G; Veuthey, T V; Dodero, V I

    2014-01-01

    Medicinal chemistry is intimately connected with basic science such as organic synthesis, chemical biology and biophysical chemistry among other disciplines. The reason of such connections is due to the power of organic synthesis to provide designed molecules; chemical biology to give tools to discover biological and/or pathological pathways and biophysical chemistry which provides the techniques to characterize and the theoretical background to understand molecular behaviour. The present review provides some selective examples of these research areas. Initially, template dsDNA organic synthesis and the spatio-temporal control of transcription are presenting following by the supramolecular entities used in drug delivery, such as liposomes and liquid crystal among others. Finally, peptides and protein self-assembly is connected with biomaterials and as an important event in the balance between health and disease. The final aim of the present review is to show the power of chemical tools not only for the synthesis of new molecules but also to improve our understanding of recognition and self-assembly in the biological context.

  6. A CRISPR-based MLST Scheme for Understanding the Population Biology and Epidemiology of Salmonella Enterica

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-26

    N. Shariat, R. E. Timme, J. B. Pettengill, R. Barrangou, E. G. Dudley. Characterization and evolution of Salmonella CRISPR - Cas systems...Barrangou, Edward G. Dudley. Characterization of CRISPR - Cas in Salmonella, 3rd European CRISPR meeting. 14-MAY-14, . : , Margaret K. Kirchner, Nikki... CRISPRs Beyond subtyping approaches, we were motivated to understand the biology of CRISPR - Cas systems in Salmonella. We performed in-depth sequence

  7. Using chemistry and microfluidics to understand the spatial dynamics of complex biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastrup, Christian J; Runyon, Matthew K; Lucchetta, Elena M; Price, Jessica M; Ismagilov, Rustem F

    2008-04-01

    Understanding the spatial dynamics of biochemical networks is both fundamentally important for understanding life at the systems level and also has practical implications for medicine, engineering, biology, and chemistry. Studies at the level of individual reactions provide essential information about the function, interactions, and localization of individual molecular species and reactions in a network. However, analyzing the spatial dynamics of complex biochemical networks at this level is difficult. Biochemical networks are nonequilibrium systems containing dozens to hundreds of reactions with nonlinear and time-dependent interactions, and these interactions are influenced by diffusion, flow, and the relative values of state-dependent kinetic parameters. To achieve an overall understanding of the spatial dynamics of a network and the global mechanisms that drive its function, networks must be analyzed as a whole, where all of the components and influential parameters of a network are simultaneously considered. Here, we describe chemical concepts and microfluidic tools developed for network-level investigations of the spatial dynamics of these networks. Modular approaches can be used to simplify these networks by separating them into modules, and simple experimental or computational models can be created by replacing each module with a single reaction. Microfluidics can be used to implement these models as well as to analyze and perturb the complex network itself with spatial control on the micrometer scale. We also describe the application of these network-level approaches to elucidate the mechanisms governing the spatial dynamics of two networkshemostasis (blood clotting) and early patterning of the Drosophila embryo. To investigate the dynamics of the complex network of hemostasis, we simplified the network by using a modular mechanism and created a chemical model based on this mechanism by using microfluidics. Then, we used the mechanism and the model to

  8. 77 FR 40090 - Proposed Collection of Information; Comment Request: Biological Sciences Proposal Classification...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-06

    ... NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Proposed Collection of Information; Comment Request: Biological Sciences Proposal Classification Form AGENCY: National Science Foundation. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The... Biological Sciences has a continuing commitment to monitor its information collection in order to preserve...

  9. Perspectives on Information Literacy: A Framework for Conceptual Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addison, Colleen; Meyers, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Information literacy, 40 years since the term was coined, remains a conceptually contested aspect of library and information science research. This paper uses a review of the literature related to the concept of information literacy to identify three different perspectives, their historical origins, and connection to library and information…

  10. Understanding information literacy | Nyerembe | University of Dar es ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is a growing concern that users cannot retrieve and evaluate information that will be required for problem solving and decision making, that is, they are not information literate. This paper examines the way information literacy should be understood. Alternative models which can be applied are introduced.

  11. Understanding Himalayan extreme rainfall to inform disaster governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ek, M. B.; Kumar, A.

    2017-12-01

    The hydrological aspects of the Himalayan flooding events were investigated with the coupled atmospheric and Hydrological (WRF-LIS) modeling tool. The Convective storms occurring at the steep edge of broad high topography, such as the Rocky Mountains and Himalayas, are notorious for producing surprising and lethal flash floods. We investigated two recent Himalayan flood events (a) 2010 Ladakh flood: A flash flood and landslide in the Leh region of the Indus Valley in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on 5-6 August 2010 resulted in hundreds of deaths and great property damage. (b) 2013 Uttrakhand flood: Over a three-day period in June 2013, approximately 500-1000 mm of rain fell over Uttarakhand and its river valleys as well as neighboring Nepal. The extensive precipitation and runoff led to devastating floods and landslides throughout the region and resulted in much destruction and loss of life (over 4,000 villages were affected, and the death toll exceeded 5,000). The Uttarakhand flood had characteristics in common with major 2013 floods in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and Alberta. Our study examines the land-atmosphere interactions & cloud structure and dynamics of these flooding events in more detail, identifying the synoptic, mesoscale, convective, orographic, and land-surface components of the storm. We include satellite observations, ground-based radar imagery, and convection-permitting model simulations down to 1 km grid resolution to show the three-dimensional character of the precipitating cloud systems in more detail than previous studies. Our Land Information System (LIS) calculations suggest that soil moisture preconditioning by prior storms in the area in a vulnerable watershed is a hydrologic ingredient that should be taken into account along with the meteorological ingredients. In this regard, our results will be seen to reinforce the position taken by Doswell et al. (1996) that local forecasting of flood situations is ideally based on

  12. Multilevel functional genomics data integration as a tool for understanding physiology: a network biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsen, Peter K; Turan, Nil; Egginton, Stuart; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-02-01

    The overall aim of physiological research is to understand how living systems function in an integrative manner. Consequently, the discipline of physiology has since its infancy attempted to link multiple levels of biological organization. Increasingly this has involved mathematical and computational approaches, typically to model a small number of components spanning several levels of biological organization. With the advent of "omics" technologies, which can characterize the molecular state of a cell or tissue (intended as the level of expression and/or activity of its molecular components), the number of molecular components we can quantify has increased exponentially. Paradoxically, the unprecedented amount of experimental data has made it more difficult to derive conceptual models underlying essential mechanisms regulating mammalian physiology. We present an overview of state-of-the-art methods currently used to identifying biological networks underlying genomewide responses. These are based on a data-driven approach that relies on advanced computational methods designed to "learn" biology from observational data. In this review, we illustrate an application of these computational methodologies using a case study integrating an in vivo model representing the transcriptional state of hypoxic skeletal muscle with a clinical study representing muscle wasting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The broader application of these approaches to modeling multiple levels of biological data in the context of modern physiology is discussed. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Understanding the sorption and biotransformation of organic micropollutants in innovative biological wastewater treatment technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarino, T; Suarez, S; Lema, J; Omil, F

    2018-02-15

    New technologies for wastewater treatment have been developed in the last years based on the combination of biological reactors operating under different redox conditions. Their efficiency in the removal of organic micropollutants (OMPs) has not been clearly assessed yet. This review paper is focussed on understanding the sorption and biotransformation of a selected group of 17 OMPs, including pharmaceuticals, hormones and personal care products, during biological wastewater treatment processes. Apart from considering the role of "classical" operational parameters, new factors such as biomass conformation and particle size, upward velocity applied or the addition of adsorbents have been considered. It has been found that the OMP removal by sorption not only depends on their physico-chemical characteristics and other parameters, such as the biomass conformation and particle size, or some operational conditions also relevant. Membrane biological reactors (MBR), have shown to enhance sorption and biotransformation of some OMPs. The same applies to technologies bases on direct addition of activated carbon in bioreactors. The OMP biotransformation degree and pathway is mainly driven by the redox potential and the primary substrate activity. The combination of different redox potentials in hybrid reactor systems can significantly enhance the overall OMP removal efficiency. Sorption and biotransformation can be synergistically promoted in biological reactors by the addition of activated carbon. The deeper knowledge of the main parameters influencing OMP removal provided by this review will allow optimizing the biological processes in the future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. New approaches in mathematical biology: Information theory and molecular machines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schneider, T.

    1995-01-01

    My research uses classical information theory to study genetic systems. Information theory was founded by Claude Shannon in the 1940's and has had an enormous impact on communications engineering and computer sciences. Shannon found a way to measure information. This measure can be used to precisely characterize the sequence conservation at nucleic-acid binding sites. The resulting methods, by completely replacing the use of ''consensus sequences'', provide better models for molecular biologists. An excess of conservation led us to do experimental work on bacteriophage T7 promoters and the F plasmid IncD repeats. The wonderful fidelity of telephone communications and compact disk (CD) music can be traced directly to Shannon's channel capacity theorem. When rederived for molecular biology, this theorem explains the surprising precision of many molecular events. Through connections with the Second Law of Thermodyanmics and Maxwell's Demon, this approach also has implications for the development of technology at the molecular level. Discussions of these topics are held on the internet news group bionet.info-theo. (author). (Abstract only)

  15. PREFACE: Complex Networks: from Biology to Information Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrat, A.; Boccaletti, S.; Caldarelli, G.; Chessa, A.; Latora, V.; Motter, A. E.

    2008-06-01

    The field of complex networks is one of the most active areas in contemporary statistical physics. Ten years after seminal work initiated the modern study of networks, interest in the field is in fact still growing, as indicated by the ever increasing number of publications in network science. The reason for such a resounding success is most likely the simplicity and broad significance of the approach that, through graph theory, allows researchers to address a variety of different complex systems within a common framework. This special issue comprises a selection of contributions presented at the workshop 'Complex Networks: from Biology to Information Technology' held in July 2007 in Pula (Cagliari), Italy as a satellite of the general conference STATPHYS23. The contributions cover a wide range of problems that are currently among the most important questions in the area of complex networks and that are likely to stimulate future research. The issue is organised into four sections. The first two sections describe 'methods' to study the structure and the dynamics of complex networks, respectively. After this methodological part, the issue proceeds with a section on applications to biological systems. The issue closes with a section concentrating on applications to the study of social and technological networks. The first section, entitled Methods: The Structure, consists of six contributions focused on the characterisation and analysis of structural properties of complex networks: The paper Motif-based communities in complex networks by Arenas et al is a study of the occurrence of characteristic small subgraphs in complex networks. These subgraphs, known as motifs, are used to define general classes of nodes and their communities by extending the mathematical expression of the Newman-Girvan modularity. The same line of research, aimed at characterising network structure through the analysis of particular subgraphs, is explored by Bianconi and Gulbahce in Algorithm

  16. Nuclear attitudes and personality: informing our understanding of public acceptance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lloyd, E.R.; Donev, J. M.; Ellard, J.H.

    2014-01-01

    What distinguishes the supporter of nuclear power from the antagonist? The influence that public opinions may have on industry success necessitates a greater understanding of the reasons and factors behind public attitudes. The present study identified two psychometric traits, Emotionality and Need for Cognition, which were related to nuclear support even after accounting for gender differences. This paper discusses the implications of these findings for understanding nuclear attitudes and ends by proposing avenues for future research in this area. (author)

  17. Understanding how information and ICTs can improve health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bath, Peter A; Sen, Barbara A; Raptis, Dimitri A; Mettler, Tobias

    2012-02-01

    The 15th International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR) was organized jointly by University Hospital Zurich (Switzerland), the University of St Gallen (St Gallen, Switzerland) and the University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK). Participants included researchers, healthcare professionals, health service managers and planners. The aim of the ISHIMR series of conferences is to bring together researchers and practitioners to disseminate, share and discuss research into how information and communication technologies can improve the management of information with the health sector.

  18. Two applications of information extraction to biological science journal articles: enzyme interactions and protein structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, K; Demetriou, G; Gaizauskas, R

    2000-01-01

    Information extraction technology, as defined and developed through the U.S. DARPA Message Understanding Conferences (MUCs), has proved successful at extracting information primarily from newswire texts and primarily in domains concerned with human activity. In this paper we consider the application of this technology to the extraction of information from scientific journal papers in the area of molecular biology. In particular, we describe how an information extraction system designed to participate in the MUC exercises has been modified for two bioinformatics applications: EMPathIE, concerned with enzyme and metabolic pathways; and PASTA, concerned with protein structure. Progress to date provides convincing grounds for believing that IE techniques will deliver novel and effective ways for scientists to make use of the core literature which defines their disciplines.

  19. School library development and an understanding of information ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study examined the extent to which school library development correlates with information literacy competencies among students in selected Secondary Schools in Nigeria. The study design is correctional design. This study was predicated on a theoretical framework of Marlands Steps to research inform of nine ...

  20. Understanding Informal Urban Land Market Functioning in Peri ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    done orally with an unofficial sale contract signed by the land seller, the buyer and a few witnesses from both side or proof .... politician, real-estate developer or community group was involved in informal land market as it is the case in ... operate as land agents on a part-time basis. They search information on land by asking ...

  1. Understanding informal payments for health care: the example of Bulgaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balabanova, Dina; McKee, Martin

    2002-12-01

    Throughout the 1990s, in response to funding deficits, out-of-pocket payment has grown as a share of total expenditure in countries in transition. A clear policy response to informal payments is, however, lacking. The current study explores informal payments in Bulgaria within a conceptual framework developed by triangulating information using a variety of methodologies. To estimate the scale and determinants of informal payments in the health sector of Bulgaria and to identify who benefits, the characteristics and timing of payments, and the reasons for paying. Data were derived from a national representative survey of 1547 individuals complemented by in-depth interviews and focus groups with over 100 respondents, conducted in Bulgaria in 1997. Informal payments are defined as a monetary or in-kind transaction between a patient and a staff member for services that are officially free of charge in the state sector. Informal payments are relatively common in Bulgaria, especially if in the form of gifts. Informal cash payments are universal for operations and childbirth, clear-cut and life-threatening procedures, in hospitals or elite urban facilities or well-known physicians. Most gifts were given at the end of treatment and most cash payments-before or during treatment. Wealthier, better educated, younger respondents tend to pay more often, as a means of obtaining better-quality treatment in a de facto two-tier system. Since the transition, informal payments had become frequent, explicit, solicited by staff, increasingly in cash, and less affordable. Informal payments stem from the low income of staff, patients seeking better treatment; acute funding shortages; and from tradition. Attitudes to informal payments range from strongly negative (if solicited) to tolerant (if patient-initiated), depending on the circumstances. The study provides important new insights into the incidence and nature of informal payments in the health sector in Bulgaria. Payments were less

  2. Choroid plexus papillomas: advances in molecular biology and understanding of tumorigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safaee, Michael; Oh, Michael C; Bloch, Orin; Sun, Matthew Z; Kaur, Gurvinder; Auguste, Kurtis I; Tihan, Tarik; Parsa, Andrew T

    2013-03-01

    Choroid plexus papillomas are rare, benign tumors originating from the choroid plexus. Although generally found within the ventricular system, they can arise ectopically in the brain parenchyma or disseminate throughout the neuraxis. We sought to review recent advances in our understanding of the molecular biology and oncogenic pathways associated with this disease. A comprehensive PubMed literature review was conducted to identify manuscripts discussing the clinical, molecular, and genetic features of choroid plexus papillomas. Articles concerning diagnosis, treatment, and long-term patient outcomes were also reviewed. The introduction of atypical choroid plexus papilloma as a distinct entity has increased the need for accurate histopathologic diagnosis. Advances in immunohistochemical staining have improved our ability to differentiate choroid plexus papillomas from other intracranial tumors or metastatic lesions using combinations of key markers and mitotic indices. Recent findings have implicated Notch3 signaling, the transcription factor TWIST1, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand pathway in choroid plexus papilloma tumorigenesis. A combination of commonly occurring chromosomal duplications and deletions has also been identified. Surgical resection remains the standard of care, although chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be considered for recurrent or metastatic lesions. While generally considered benign, these tumors possess a complex biology that sheds insight into other choroid plexus tumors, particularly malignant choroid plexus carcinomas. Improving our understanding of the molecular biology, genetics, and oncogenic pathways associated with this tumor will allow for the development of targeted therapies and improved outcomes for patients with this disease.

  3. Understanding Information Systems Integration Deficiencies in Mergers and Acquisitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Kettinger, William J.

    2017-01-01

    Information systems (IS) integration is a critical challenge for value-creating mergers and acquisitions. Appropriate design and implementation of IS integration is typically a precondition for enabling a majority of the anticipated business benefits of a combined organization. Often...

  4. Understanding road scenes using visual cues and GPS information

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alvarez, J.M.; Lumbreras, F.; Lopez, A.M.; Gevers, T.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding road scenes is important in computer vision with different applications to improve road safety (e.g., advanced driver assistance systems) and to develop autonomous driving systems (e.g., Google driver-less vehicle). Current vision-based approaches rely on the robust combination of

  5. How Neuropsychology Informs Our Understanding of Developmental Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Bruce F.

    2009-01-01

    This review includes 1) an explanation of what neuropsychology is, 2) a brief history of how developmental cognitive neuroscience emerged from earlier neuropsychological approaches to understanding atypical development, 3) three recent examples that illustrate the benefits of this approach, 4) issues and challenges this approach must face, and 5)…

  6. Zika and Public Health: Understanding the Epidemiology and Information Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Pia D M; Holden, E Wayne

    2018-02-01

    Because Zika is a newly emerging infectious disease with little previous information known about it, there are many epidemiologic and clinical questions. The complexity of providing care to those who are at risk for infection or are already infected with Zika in this evidence-scarce environment cannot be understated. In this article, we provide an overview of the Zika virus (ZIKV) in the context of public health and pediatric health care. A broad public health focus is used to provide relevant information for addressing important questions about the epidemic and to facilitate communication with patients, parents, and caregivers within the current information environment. We explore issues regarding the epidemiology of the virus (including why ZIKV outbreaks are occurring), what has changed since the sporadic case reports before the outbreaks, why the true incidence is difficult to estimate, why attack rates vary by population and geography, and why the association between Zika and congenital Zika syndrome and Guillain-Barré syndrome have only come to light recently. Additionally, challenges related to the current information environment, traditional and informal information sources about the ZIKV, and examples of Zika public health communication campaigns are discussed. Importantly, we review the existing findings regarding the US population's Zika-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior by highlighting variations and gaps. We conclude by identifying related research questions that remain critical. Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  7. Preparation and Characterization Challenges to Understanding Environmental and Biological Impacts of Ceria Nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karakoti, Ajay S.; Munusamy, Prabhakaran; Hostetler, Kasey E.; Kodali, Vamsi K.; Kuchibhatla, Satyanarayana V N T; Orr, Galya; Pounds, Joel G.; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Thrall, Brian D.; Baer, Donald R.

    2012-08-01

    It has been increasingly recognized that understanding and predicting the behaviors of nanoparticles is often limited by the degree to which the particles can be reliably produced and are adequately characterized. Examining data from the literature for ceria nanoparticles suggests that thermal history is one factor that has a strong influence on biological impact. Thermal processing may alter many physicochemical properties of the particles including density, crystal structure and the presence of surface contamination, but these may not be sufficiently recorded or reported to determine the ultimate source of an observed impact. A second example shows the types of difficulties that can be encountered in efforts to apply a well-studied synthesis route to producing well defined particles for biological studies. These examples and others highlight the importance of characterizing particles thoroughly and recording details of particle processing and history that are often not recorded and/or reported.

  8. Consumer Information Sharing: Understanding Psychological Drivers of Social Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    Akpinar, Ezgi

    2013-01-01

    textabstractConsumers often share experiences, opinions or certain content with others. For example, they suggest restaurants, recommend article posts, share online videos, pass along rumors and complain about customer services. Such word of mouth determines what catches on and become popular among consumers. While research has shown that word of mouth is frequent and important, there has been limited work on understanding what makes certain content more shared than others. This dissertation ...

  9. Understanding the Reading Attributes and Their Cognitive Relationships on a High-Stakes Biology Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlusyk, Kevin James

    Test items used to assess learners' knowledge on high-stakes science examinations contain contextualized questions that unintentionally assess reading skill along with conceptual knowledge. Therefore, students who are not proficient readers are unable to comprehend the text within the test item to demonstrate effectively their level of science knowledge. The purpose of this quantitative study was to understand what reading attributes were required to successfully answer the Biology 30 Diploma Exam. Furthermore, the research sought to understand the cognitive relationships among the reading attributes through quantitative analysis structured by the Attribute Hierarchy Model (AHM). The research consisted of two phases: (1) Cognitive development, where the cognitive attributes of the Biology 30 Exam were specified and hierarchy structures were developed; and (2) Psychometric analysis, that statistically tested the attribute hierarchy using the Hierarchy Consistency Index (HCI), and calculate attribute probabilities. Phase one of the research used January 2011, Biology 30 Diploma Exam, while phase two accessed archival data for the 9985 examinees who took the assessment on January 24th, 2011. Phase one identified ten specific reading attributes, of which five were identified as unique subsets of vocabulary, two were identified as reading visual representations, and three corresponded to general reading skills. Four hierarchical cognitive model were proposed then analyzed using the HCI as a mechanism to explain the relationship among the attributes. Model A had the highest HCI value (0.337), indicating an overall poor data fit, yet for the top achieving examinees the model had an excellent model fit with an HCI value of 0.888, and for examinees that scored over 60% there was a moderate model fit (HCI = 0.592). Linear regressions of the attribute probability estimates suggest that there is a cognitive relationship among six of the ten reading attributes (R2 = 0.958 and 0

  10. Biological effect of radiation. Basis for understanding the risk of Fukushima nuclear accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imaoka, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The radionuclide release in the Fukushima Nuclear Accident has induced a tremendous anxiety on possible health effects of low dose radiation. When radiation hits a cell in an organism, it may induce DNA damages which, if not repaired properly, lead to either cell death or genetic mutation. If function of the tissue is lost as a result of cell death, various tissue responses including dysfunction of hematopoietic tissues, sterility and skin responses may occur; these responses are not manifested if the radiation dose is low enough. Genetic mutation is considered to occur, albeit at a low frequency, even if the radiation dose is very small. Cancer is a result of genetic mutation and its probability is considered to rise, albeit slightly, if radiation induces a small amount of additional mutations. These assumptions lead to a notion that there is no 'safety dose' below which radiation does not cause any cancer. On the other hand, the study of atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki provides the most reliable quantitative information on the relationship between radiation dose and accompanying increase in cancer risk. The analysis so far indicates that cancer risk increases by 0.5-fold, compared to a background level, if a human body is exposed to 1 sievert of radiation; at lower doses, the risk is proportional to the dose, but it is impossible to detect cancer risk associated with 100 milli sievert of exposure because of statistical limitations. Although exposure to atomic bomb radiation occurred in a very little instance, the current situation poses a prolonged (i.e., low dose rate) exposure, probably resulting in still lower cancer risk. Still, since current radiation exposure has no benefit, unlike that in medical situations, it is important to reduce it to a level as low as reasonably achievable. I will explain the biological effect of radiation, including its mechanistic basis and effects on the human body, and wish to help the audience to

  11. Different rays of sunlight: Understanding information disclosure and carbon transparency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matisoff, Daniel C.

    2013-01-01

    This study assesses the effectiveness of two types information disclosure programs – state-based mandatory carbon reporting programs and the voluntary Carbon Disclosure Project, which uses investor pressure to push firms to disclose carbon emissions and carbon management strategies. I match firms in each program to control groups of firms that have not participated in each program. Using panel data methods and a difference in differences specification, I measure the impact of each program on plant-level carbon emissions, plant-level carbon intensity, and plant level output. I find that neither program has generated an impact on plant-level carbon emissions, emissions intensity, or output. Placing this study in contrast with others that demonstrate improvements from mandatory information disclosure, these results suggest that how information is reported to stakeholders has important implications for program effectiveness. - Highlights: ► This article evaluates the Carbon Disclosure Project and state carbon reporting requirements. ► Evaluation is conducted with propensity score matching and difference-in-differences. ► State Disclosure Programs fail to lead power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. ► The Carbon Disclosure Project leads to decreases in carbon emissions and electricity output. ► Information disclosure and transparency may be important part of policy mix but have limitations

  12. Understanding information literacy | Nyerembe | University of Dar es ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    If you would like more information about how to print, save, and work with PDFs, Highwire Press provides a helpful Frequently Asked Questions about PDFs. Alternatively, you can download the PDF file directly to your computer, from where it can be opened using a PDF reader. To download the PDF, click the Download link ...

  13. Framework for understanding misleading information in daily shopping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Jesper; Andersen, Mette Skovgaard; Jensen, Katherine O'Doherty

    2012-01-01

    , not surprisingly, agree on general moral principles as, for instance, the importance of not lying about the product; however they tend to disagree about where the boundaries between acceptable and misleading information should be drawn in practice. The findings point to the fact that the differences might partly...

  14. Understanding Geo-spatial Information on Social Media

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, W.

    2016-01-01

    This thesis carried out two major investigations on how the geographical information generated by users in social media can be used to model and predict human behaviours. The first investigation regards the mobility patterns of social media users, which utilizes the relations between geographical

  15. Climate change adaptation in informal settings: Understanding and ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Combining architecture, urban planning and geography methodologies, the project will conduct research in five cities in Colombia, Chile, Cuba, and Haiti, and training and implementation activities will be carried out in three of these. A total of 27 informally-driven adaptation micro-projects will include strategies for the ...

  16. 78 FR 33846 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-05

    ...; Biological Products: Reporting of Biological Product Deviations and Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and... biological product deviations in manufacturing and human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue- based... techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology. Biological Products: Reporting of...

  17. Spoken Language Understanding Systems for Extracting Semantic Information from Speech

    CERN Document Server

    Tur, Gokhan

    2011-01-01

    Spoken language understanding (SLU) is an emerging field in between speech and language processing, investigating human/ machine and human/ human communication by leveraging technologies from signal processing, pattern recognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence. SLU systems are designed to extract the meaning from speech utterances and its applications are vast, from voice search in mobile devices to meeting summarization, attracting interest from both commercial and academic sectors. Both human/machine and human/human communications can benefit from the application of SLU, usin

  18. Computational Psychiatry: towards a mathematically informed understanding of mental illness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huys, Quentin J M; Roiser, Jonathan P

    2016-01-01

    Computational Psychiatry aims to describe the relationship between the brain's neurobiology, its environment and mental symptoms in computational terms. In so doing, it may improve psychiatric classification and the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. It can unite many levels of description in a mechanistic and rigorous fashion, while avoiding biological reductionism and artificial categorisation. We describe how computational models of cognition can infer the current state of the environment and weigh up future actions, and how these models provide new perspectives on two example disorders, depression and schizophrenia. Reinforcement learning describes how the brain can choose and value courses of actions according to their long-term future value. Some depressive symptoms may result from aberrant valuations, which could arise from prior beliefs about the loss of agency (‘helplessness’), or from an inability to inhibit the mental exploration of aversive events. Predictive coding explains how the brain might perform Bayesian inference about the state of its environment by combining sensory data with prior beliefs, each weighted according to their certainty (or precision). Several cortical abnormalities in schizophrenia might reduce precision at higher levels of the inferential hierarchy, biasing inference towards sensory data and away from prior beliefs. We discuss whether striatal hyperdopaminergia might have an adaptive function in this context, and also how reinforcement learning and incentive salience models may shed light on the disorder. Finally, we review some of Computational Psychiatry's applications to neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, and some pitfalls to avoid when applying its methods. PMID:26157034

  19. Thai in-service teacher understanding of nature of science in biology teaching: Case of Mali

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiemsum-ang, Napapan; Yuenyong, Chokchai

    2018-01-01

    This paper aimed to investigate the existing ideas of nature of science (NOS) teaching in Thailand biology classroom. The study reported the existing ideas of nature of science (NOS) teaching of one biology teacher Mrs. Mali who had been teaching for 6 years at in a school in Khon Kaen city. Methodology regarded interpretive paradigm. Tools of interpretation included 2 months of classroom observation, interviewing, and questionnaire of NOS. The findings revealed Mali held good understanding of the nature of science in the aspect of the use of evidence, the aspect of knowledge inquiry through different observation and deduction, the aspect of creativity and imagination influencing science knowledge inquiry, and the aspect of changeable scientific knowledge. Her biology teaching indicated that she used both the deficient nature of science approach and the implicit nature of science approach. The implicit nature of science approach was applied mostly in 7 periods and only 2 periods were arranged using the deficient nature of science approach. The paper has implication for professional development and pre-service program on NOS teaching in Thailand.

  20. System Behaviour Charts Inform an Understanding of Biodiversity Recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon A. Black

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Practitioners working with species and ecosystem recovery typically deal with the complexity of, on one hand, lack of data or data uncertainties and, on the other hand, demand for critical decision-making and intervention. The control chart methods of commercial and industrial and environmental monitoring can complement an ecological understanding of wildlife systems including those situations which incorporate human activities and land use. Systems Behaviour Charts are based upon well-established control chart methods to provide conservation managers with an approach to using existing data and enable insight to aid timely planning of conservation interventions and also complement and stimulate research into wider scientific and ecological questions. When the approach is applied to existing data sets in well-known wildlife conservation cases, the subsequent Systems Behaviour Charts and associated analytical criteria demonstrate insights which would be helpful in averting problems associated with each case example.

  1. Computational Psychiatry: towards a mathematically informed understanding of mental illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rick A; Huys, Quentin J M; Roiser, Jonathan P

    2016-01-01

    Computational Psychiatry aims to describe the relationship between the brain's neurobiology, its environment and mental symptoms in computational terms. In so doing, it may improve psychiatric classification and the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. It can unite many levels of description in a mechanistic and rigorous fashion, while avoiding biological reductionism and artificial categorisation. We describe how computational models of cognition can infer the current state of the environment and weigh up future actions, and how these models provide new perspectives on two example disorders, depression and schizophrenia. Reinforcement learning describes how the brain can choose and value courses of actions according to their long-term future value. Some depressive symptoms may result from aberrant valuations, which could arise from prior beliefs about the loss of agency ('helplessness'), or from an inability to inhibit the mental exploration of aversive events. Predictive coding explains how the brain might perform Bayesian inference about the state of its environment by combining sensory data with prior beliefs, each weighted according to their certainty (or precision). Several cortical abnormalities in schizophrenia might reduce precision at higher levels of the inferential hierarchy, biasing inference towards sensory data and away from prior beliefs. We discuss whether striatal hyperdopaminergia might have an adaptive function in this context, and also how reinforcement learning and incentive salience models may shed light on the disorder. Finally, we review some of Computational Psychiatry's applications to neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, and some pitfalls to avoid when applying its methods. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  2. Understanding the Information Requirements of Arts and Humanities Scholarship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agiatis Benardou

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on research of scholarly research practices and requirements conducted in the context of the Preparing DARIAH European e-Infrastructures project, with a view to ensuring current and future fitness for purpose of the planned digital infrastructure, services and tools. It summarises the findings of earlier research, primarily from the field of human information behaviour as applied in scholarly work, it presents a conceptual perspective informed by cultural-historical activity theory, it introduces briefly a formal conceptual model for scholarly research activity compliant with CIDOC CRM, it describes the plan of work and methodology of an empirical research project based on open-questionnaire interviews with arts and humanities researchers, and presents illustrative examples of segmentation, tagging and initial conceptual analysis of the empirical evidence. Finally, it presents plans for future work, consisting, firstly, of a comprehensive re-analysis of interview segments within the framework of the scholarly research activity model, and, secondly, of the integration of this analysis with the extended digital curation process model we presented in earlier work.

  3. Understanding Biological Rates and their Temperature Dependence, from Enzymes to Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prentice, E.; Arcus, V. L.

    2017-12-01

    Temperature responses over various scales in biological systems follow a similar pattern; negative curvature results in an optimum temperature (Topt) for activity/growth/turnover, with decreases in rates on either side of Topt. Previously this downturn in rates at high temperatures has been attributed to enzyme denaturation, where a failing of the basic driving units of metabolism was used to describe curvature at the enzyme and organism level. However, recent developments in our understanding of the factors governing enzyme rates at different temperatures have guided a new understanding of the responses of biological systems. Enzymes catalyse reactions by driving the substrate through a high energy species, which is tightly bound to the enzyme. Macromolecular rate theory (MMRT) has recently been developed to account for the changes in the system brought about by this tight binding, specifically the change in the physical parameter heat capacity (ΔCǂp), and the effect this has on the temperature dependence of enzyme reactions. A negative ΔCǂp imparts the signature negative curvature to rates in the absence of denaturation, and finds that Topt, ΔCǂp and curvature are all correlated, placing constraints on biological systems. The simplest of cells comprise thousands of enzymatically catalysed reactions, functioning in series and in parallel in metabolic pathways to determine the overall growth rate of an organism. Intuitively, the temperature effects of enzymes play a role in determining the overall temperature dependence of an organism, in tandem with cellular level regulatory responses. However, the effect of individual Topt values and curvature on overall pathway behaviour is less apparent. Here, this is investigated in the context of MMRT through the in vitro characterisation of a six-step metabolic pathway to understand the steps in isolation and functioning in series. Pathway behaviour is found to be approximately an average of the properties of the

  4. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. © 2016 K. Southard et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  5. Data-intensive drug development in the information age: applications of Systems Biology/Pharmacology/Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyosawa, Naoki; Manabe, Sunao

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceutical companies continuously face challenges to deliver new drugs with true medical value. R&D productivity of drug development projects depends on 1) the value of the drug concept and 2) data and in-depth knowledge that are used rationally to evaluate the drug concept's validity. A model-based data-intensive drug development approach is a key competitive factor used by innovative pharmaceutical companies to reduce information bias and rationally demonstrate the value of drug concepts. Owing to the accumulation of publicly available biomedical information, our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of diseases has developed considerably; it is the basis for identifying the right drug target and creating a drug concept with true medical value. Our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of disease animal models can also be improved; it can thus support rational extrapolation of animal experiment results to clinical settings. The Systems Biology approach, which leverages publicly available transcriptome data, is useful for these purposes. Furthermore, applying Systems Pharmacology enables dynamic simulation of drug responses, from which key research questions to be addressed in the subsequent studies can be adequately informed. Application of Systems Biology/Pharmacology to toxicology research, namely Systems Toxicology, should considerably improve the predictability of drug-induced toxicities in clinical situations that are difficult to predict from conventional preclinical toxicology studies. Systems Biology/Pharmacology/Toxicology models can be continuously improved using iterative learn-confirm processes throughout preclinical and clinical drug discovery and development processes. Successful implementation of data-intensive drug development approaches requires cultivation of an adequate R&D culture to appreciate this approach.

  6. Person perception informs understanding of cognition during visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Allison A; Watson, Marcus R; Kingstone, Alan; Enns, James T

    2011-08-01

    Does person perception--the impressions we form from watching others--hold clues to the mental states of people engaged in cognitive tasks? We investigated this with a two-phase method: In Phase 1, participants searched on a computer screen (Experiment 1) or in an office (Experiment 2); in Phase 2, other participants rated the searchers' video-recorded behavior. The results showed that blind raters are sensitive to individual differences in search proficiency and search strategy, as well as to environmental factors affecting search difficulty. Also, different behaviors were linked to search success in each setting: Eye movement frequency predicted successful search on a computer screen; head movement frequency predicted search success in an office. In both settings, an active search strategy and positive emotional expressions were linked to search success. These data indicate that person perception informs cognition beyond the scope of performance measures, offering the potential for new measurements of cognition that are both rich and unobtrusive.

  7. Patient Understanding of the Risks and Benefits of Biologic Therapies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Insights from a Large-scale Analysis of Social Media Platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Bibiana; Dailey, Francis; Almario, Christopher V; Keller, Michelle S; Desai, Mansee; Dupuy, Taylor; Mosadeghi, Sasan; Whitman, Cynthia; Lasch, Karen; Ursos, Lyann; Spiegel, Brennan M R

    2017-07-01

    Few studies have examined inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients' knowledge and understanding of biologic therapies outside traditional surveys. Here, we used social media data to examine IBD patients' understanding of the risks and benefits associated with biologic therapies and how this affects decision-making. We collected posts from Twitter and e-forum discussions from >3000 social media sites posted between June 27, 2012 and June 27, 2015. Guided by natural language processing, we identified posts with specific IBD keywords that discussed the risks and/or benefits of biologics. We then manually coded the resulting posts and performed qualitative analysis using ATLAS.ti software. A hierarchical coding structure was developed based on the keyword list and relevant themes were identified through manual coding. We examined 1598 IBD-related posts, of which 452 (28.3%) centered on the risks and/or benefits of biologics. There were 5 main themes: negative experiences and concerns with biologics (n = 247; 54.6%), decision-making surrounding biologic use (n = 169; 37.4%), positive experiences with biologics (n = 168; 37.2%), information seeking from peers (n = 125; 27.7%), and cost (n = 38; 8.4%). Posts describing negative experiences primarily commented on side effects from biologics, concerns about potential side effects and increased cancer risk, and pregnancy safety concerns. Posts on decision-making focused on nonbiologic treatment options, hesitation to initiate biologics, and concerns about changing or discontinuing regimens. Social media reveals a wide range of themes governing patients' experience and choice with IBD biologics. The complexity of navigating their risk-benefit profiles suggests merit in creating online tailored decision tools to support IBD patients' decision-making with biologic therapies.

  8. Can Power Laws Help Us Understand Gene and Proteome Information?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Tenreiro Machado

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteins are biochemical entities consisting of one or more blocks typically folded in a 3D pattern. Each block (a polypeptide is a single linear sequence of amino acids that are biochemically bonded together. The amino acid sequence in a protein is defined by the sequence of a gene or several genes encoded in the DNA-based genetic code. This genetic code typically uses twenty amino acids, but in certain organisms the genetic code can also include two other amino acids. After linking the amino acids during protein synthesis, each amino acid becomes a residue in a protein, which is then chemically modified, ultimately changing and defining the protein function. In this study, the authors analyze the amino acid sequence using alignment-free methods, aiming to identify structural patterns in sets of proteins and in the proteome, without any other previous assumptions. The paper starts by analyzing amino acid sequence data by means of histograms using fixed length amino acid words (tuples. After creating the initial relative frequency histograms, they are transformed and processed in order to generate quantitative results for information extraction and graphical visualization. Selected samples from two reference datasets are used, and results reveal that the proposed method is able to generate relevant outputs in accordance with current scientific knowledge in domains like protein sequence/proteome analysis.

  9. Teaching statistics in biology: using inquiry-based learning to strengthen understanding of statistical analysis in biology laboratory courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metz, Anneke M

    2008-01-01

    There is an increasing need for students in the biological sciences to build a strong foundation in quantitative approaches to data analyses. Although most science, engineering, and math field majors are required to take at least one statistics course, statistical analysis is poorly integrated into undergraduate biology course work, particularly at the lower-division level. Elements of statistics were incorporated into an introductory biology course, including a review of statistics concepts and opportunity for students to perform statistical analysis in a biological context. Learning gains were measured with an 11-item statistics learning survey instrument developed for the course. Students showed a statistically significant 25% (p biology. Students improved their scores on the survey after completing introductory biology, even if they had previously completed an introductory statistics course (9%, improvement p biology showed no loss of their statistics knowledge as measured by this instrument, suggesting that the use of statistics in biology course work may aid long-term retention of statistics knowledge. No statistically significant differences in learning were detected between male and female students in the study.

  10. "Toward High School Biology": Helping Middle School Students Understand Chemical Reactions and Conservation of Mass in Nonliving and Living Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann-Abell, Cari F.; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better…

  11. Proposition of diagnostic tool to provide indicatives about the understanding of biological knowledge and their interrelationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Maria de Andrade Caldeira

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the developing and validating steps of a Likert’s evaluative scale. The aim is to systematize the answers of Biological Sciences students about to: 1 Understanding or notunderstanding thescientific knowledge; and 2.If there is a relationship amongscientific concepts in order to contemplate a systemic thinking about natural phenomena. The described scale was validated by Cronbach's Alpha tests (α = 0.741, KMO (0.779 and Bartlett (0.000 and a Multivariate Analysis was fulfilled, typePrincipal Component Analysis (PCA. We understood that this kind of instrument allows a large amount of data to be collected and it groups can be compared efficiently, which justified the development of evaluative scale presented here.

  12. EGFR-Targeting as a Biological Therapy: Understanding Nimotuzumab's Clinical Effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez, Rolando; Moreno, Ernesto; Garrido, Greta; Crombet, Tania

    2011-01-01

    Current clinical trials of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted therapies are mostly guided by a classical approach coming from the cytotoxic paradigm. The predominant view is that the efficacy of EGFR antagonists correlates with skin rash toxicity and induction of objective clinical response. Clinical benefit from EGFR-targeted therapies is well documented; however, chronic use in advanced cancer patients has been limited due to cumulative and chemotherapy-enhanced toxicity. Here we analyze different pieces of data from mechanistic and clinical studies with the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody Nimotuzumab, which provides several clues to understand how this antibody may induce a biological control of tumor growth while keeping a low toxicity profile. Based on these results and the current state of the art on EGFR-targeted therapies, we discuss the need to evaluate new therapeutic approaches using anti-EGFR agents, which would have the potential of transforming advanced cancer into a long-term controlled chronic disease

  13. The role of mathematical models in understanding pattern formation in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umulis, David M; Othmer, Hans G

    2015-05-01

    In a Wall Street Journal article published on April 5, 2013, E. O. Wilson attempted to make the case that biologists do not really need to learn any mathematics-whenever they run into difficulty with numerical issues, they can find a technician (aka mathematician) to help them out of their difficulty. He formalizes this in Wilsons Principle No. 1: "It is far easier for scientists to acquire needed collaboration from mathematicians and statisticians than it is for mathematicians and statisticians to find scientists able to make use of their equations." This reflects a complete misunderstanding of the role of mathematics in all sciences throughout history. To Wilson, mathematics is mere number crunching, but as Galileo said long ago, "The laws of Nature are written in the language of mathematics[Formula: see text] the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word." Mathematics has moved beyond the geometry-based model of Galileo's time, and in a rebuttal to Wilson, E. Frenkel has pointed out the role of mathematics in synthesizing the general principles in science (Both point and counter-point are available in Wilson and Frenkel in Notices Am Math Soc 60(7):837-838, 2013). We will take this a step further and show how mathematics has been used to make new and experimentally verified discoveries in developmental biology and how mathematics is essential for understanding a problem that has puzzled experimentalists for decades-that of how organisms can scale in size. Mathematical analysis alone cannot "solve" these problems since the validation lies at the molecular level, but conversely, a growing number of questions in biology cannot be solved without mathematical analysis and modeling. Herein, we discuss a few examples of the productive intercourse between mathematics and biology.

  14. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students’ Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. PMID:26931398

  15. The molecular biology of prostate cancer: current understanding and clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Jason; Afridi, Adil; Vatsia, Sohrab; Joshi, Gargi; Joshi, Gunjan; Kaplan, Steven A; Smith, Noel L; Khan, Sardar Ali

    2017-12-27

    With continuous progress over the past few decades in understanding diagnosis, treatment, and genetics, much has been learned about the prostate cancer-diagnosed genome. A comprehensive MEDLINE® and Google scholar literature search was conducted using keyword variations relating to the genetics of prostate cancer such as chromosomal alterations, androgen receptor, castration-resistant, inheritance, polymorphisms, oncogenes, metastasis, biomarkers, and immunotherapy. Traditionally, androgen receptors (AR) have been the focus of research. Recently, identification of recurrent chromosomal alterations that lead to either multiplication of regions (gain-of-function) or deletion of regions (loss-of-function) has opened the door to greater genetic accessibility. These chromosomal aberrations lead to variation in copy number and gene expression. Some of these chromosomal alterations are inherited, while others undergo somatic mutations during disease progression. Inherited gene mutations that make one susceptible to prostate cancer have been identified with familial-linked studies. Somatic genes that progress tumorigenesis have also been identified. Research on the molecular biology of prostate cancer has characterized these genes into tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes. Additionally, genome-wide assay studies have identified many high-risk single-nucleotide polymorphisms recurrent throughout the prostate cancer-diagnosed genome. Castration-resistant prostate cancer is the most aggressive form of prostate cancer, and its research has elucidated many types of mutations associated with AR itself, including enhanced expression and amplification, point mutations, and alternative splicing. Understanding the molecular biology of prostate cancer has permitted more accurate identification using advanced biomarkers and therapy for aggressive forms using immunotherapy. An age-related disease, prostate cancer commands profound attention. With increasing life expectancy and the

  16. How Information Literate Are Junior and Senior Class Biology Students?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffl, Iris

    2018-03-01

    Information literacy—i.e. obtaining, evaluating and using information—is a key element of scientific literacy. However, students are frequently equipped with poor information literacy skills—even at university level—as information literacy is often not explicitly taught in schools. Little is known about students' information skills in science at junior and senior class level, and about teachers' competences in dealing with information literacy in science class. This study examines the information literacy of Austrian 8th, 10th and 12th grade students. Information literacy is important for science education in Austria, because it is listed as a basic competence in Austria's science standards. Two different aspects of information literacy are examined: obtaining information and extracting information from texts. An additional research focus of this study is teachers' competences in diagnosing information skills. The results reveal that students mostly rely on online sources for obtaining information. However, they also use books and consult with people they trust. The younger the students, the more they rely on personal sources. Students' abilities to evaluate sources are poor, especially among younger students. Although teachers claim to use information research in class, their ability to assess their students' information competences is limited.

  17. Stress Biology and Aging Mechanisms: Toward Understanding the Deep Connection Between Adaptation to Stress and Longevity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    The rate of biological aging is modulated in part by genes interacting with stressor exposures. Basic research has shown that exposure to short-term stress can strengthen cellular responses to stress (“hormetic stress”). Hormetic stress promotes longevity in part through enhanced activity of molecular chaperones and other defense mechanisms. In contrast, prolonged exposure to stress can overwhelm compensatory responses (“toxic stress”) and shorten lifespan. One key question is whether the stressors that are well understood in basic models of aging can help us understand psychological stressors and human health. The psychological stress response promotes regulatory changes important in aging (e.g., increases in stress hormones, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin). The negative effects of severe stress are well documented in humans. Potential positive effects of acute stress (stress resistance) are less studied, especially at the cellular level. Can stress resistance slow the rate of aging in humans, as it does in model organisms? If so, how can we promote stress resistance in humans? We urge a new research agenda embracing the continuum from cellular stress to psychological stress, using basic and human research in tandem. This will require interdisciplinary novel approaches that hold much promise for understanding and intervening in human chronic disease. PMID:24833580

  18. Stress biology and aging mechanisms: toward understanding the deep connection between adaptation to stress and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epel, Elissa S; Lithgow, Gordon J

    2014-06-01

    The rate of biological aging is modulated in part by genes interacting with stressor exposures. Basic research has shown that exposure to short-term stress can strengthen cellular responses to stress ("hormetic stress"). Hormetic stress promotes longevity in part through enhanced activity of molecular chaperones and other defense mechanisms. In contrast, prolonged exposure to stress can overwhelm compensatory responses ("toxic stress") and shorten lifespan. One key question is whether the stressors that are well understood in basic models of aging can help us understand psychological stressors and human health. The psychological stress response promotes regulatory changes important in aging (e.g., increases in stress hormones, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin). The negative effects of severe stress are well documented in humans. Potential positive effects of acute stress (stress resistance) are less studied, especially at the cellular level. Can stress resistance slow the rate of aging in humans, as it does in model organisms? If so, how can we promote stress resistance in humans? We urge a new research agenda embracing the continuum from cellular stress to psychological stress, using basic and human research in tandem. This will require interdisciplinary novel approaches that hold much promise for understanding and intervening in human chronic disease. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Achieving a Predictive Understanding of Antimicrobial Stress Physiology through Systems Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Sean G; Turner, Randi L; Dwyer, Daniel J

    2018-04-01

    The dramatic spread and diversity of antibiotic-resistant pathogens has significantly reduced the efficacy of essentially all antibiotic classes, bringing us ever closer to a postantibiotic era. Exacerbating this issue, our understanding of the multiscale physiological impact of antimicrobial challenge on bacterial pathogens remains incomplete. Concerns over resistance and the need for new antibiotics have motivated the collection of omics measurements to provide systems-level insights into antimicrobial stress responses for nearly 20 years. Although technological advances have markedly improved the types and resolution of such measurements, continued development of mathematical frameworks aimed at providing a predictive understanding of complex antimicrobial-associated phenotypes is critical to maximize the utility of multiscale data. Here we highlight recent efforts utilizing systems biology to enhance our knowledge of antimicrobial stress physiology. We provide a brief historical perspective of antibiotic-focused omics measurements, highlight new measurement discoveries and trends, discuss examples and opportunities for integrating measurements with mathematical models, and describe future challenges for the field. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Understanding Biological Roles of Venoms Among the Caenophidia: The Importance of Rear-Fanged Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackessy, Stephen P; Saviola, Anthony J

    2016-11-01

    Snake venoms represent an adaptive trophic response to the challenges confronting a limbless predator for overcoming combative prey, and this chemical means of subduing prey shows several dominant phenotypes. Many front-fanged snakes, particularly vipers, feed on various vertebrate and invertebrate prey species, and some of their venom components (e.g., metalloproteinases, cobratoxin) appear to have been selected for "broad-brush" incapacitation of different prey taxa. Using proteomic and genomic techniques, the compositional diversity of front-fanged snakes is becoming well characterized; however, this is not the case for most rear-fanged colubroid snakes. Because these species consume a high diversity of prey, and because venoms are primarily a trophic adaptation, important clues for understanding specific selective pressures favoring venom component composition will be found among rear-fanged snake venoms. Rear-fanged snakes typically (but not always) produce venoms with lower complexity than front-fanged snakes, and there are even fewer dominant (and, arguably, biologically most relevant) venom protein families. We have demonstrated taxon-specific toxic effects, where lizards and birds show high susceptibility while mammals are largely unaffected, for both Old World and New World rear-fanged snakes, strongly indicating a causal link between toxin evolution and prey preference. New data are presented on myotoxin a, showing that the extremely rapid paralysis induced by this rattlesnake toxin is specific for rodents, and that myotoxin a is ineffectual against lizards. Relatively few rear-fanged snake venoms have been characterized, and basic natural history data are largely lacking, but directed sampling of specialized species indicates that novel compounds are likely among these specialists, particularly among those species feeding on invertebrate prey such as scorpions and centipedes. Because many of the more than 2200 species of colubroid snakes are rear

  1. The Relationship between Biology Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science and the Understanding and Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofré, Hernán; Cuevas, Emilia; Becerra, Beatriz

    2017-01-01

    Despite the importance of the theory of evolution (TE) to scientific knowledge, a number of misconceptions continue to be found among biology teachers. In this context, the first objective of this study was to identify the impact of professional development programme (PDP) on teachers' understanding of nature of science (NOS) and evolution and on…

  2. The Effectiveness of an Online Curriculum on High School Students' Understanding of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsteller, Robert B.; Bodzin, Alec M.

    2015-01-01

    An online curriculum about biological evolution was designed to promote increased student content knowledge and evidentiary reasoning. A feasibility study was conducted with 77 rural high school biology students who learned with the online biological evolution unit. Data sources included the Biological Evolution Assessment Measure (BEAM), an…

  3. Informing DSM-5: biological boundaries between bipolar I disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosgrove, Victoria E; Suppes, Trisha

    2013-05-14

    The fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) opted to retain existing diagnostic boundaries between bipolar I disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia. The debate preceding this decision focused on understanding the biologic basis of these major mental illnesses. Evidence from genetics, neuroscience, and pharmacotherapeutics informed the DSM-5 development process. The following discussion will emphasize some of the key factors at the forefront of the debate. Family studies suggest a clear genetic link between bipolar I disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia. However, large-scale genome-wide association studies have not been successful in identifying susceptibility genes that make substantial etiological contributions. Boundaries between psychotic disorders are not further clarified by looking at brain morphology. The fact that symptoms of bipolar I disorder, but not schizophrenia, are often responsive to medications such as lithium and other anticonvulsants must be interpreted within a larger framework of biological research. For DSM-5, existing nosological boundaries between bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia were retained and schizoaffective disorder preserved as an independent diagnosis since the biological data are not yet compelling enough to justify a move to a more neurodevelopmentally continuous model of psychosis.

  4. Characterising the Development of the Understanding of Human Body Systems in High-School Biology Students--A Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snapir, Zohar; Eberbach, Catherine; Ben-Zvi-Assaraf, Orit; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy; Tripto, Jaklin

    2017-01-01

    Science education today has become increasingly focused on research into complex natural, social and technological systems. In this study, we examined the development of high-school biology students' systems understanding of the human body, in a three-year longitudinal study. The development of the students' system understanding was evaluated…

  5. Putting the Mind in the Brain: Promoting an Appreciation of the Biological Basis to Understanding Human Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, David L.

    2010-01-01

    A surprising number of students in psychology, behavioral science, and related social science classes fail to appreciate the importance of biological mechanisms to understanding behavior. To help teachers promote this understanding, this paper outlines six sources of evidence. These are (a) phylogenetic, (b) genetic/developmental, (c) clinical,…

  6. DNA as information: at the crossroads between biology, mathematics, physics and chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Julyan H E; Giannerini, Simone; González, Diego L

    2016-03-13

    On the one hand, biology, chemistry and also physics tell us how the process of translating the genetic information into life could possibly work, but we are still very far from a complete understanding of this process. On the other hand, mathematics and statistics give us methods to describe such natural systems-or parts of them-within a theoretical framework. Also, they provide us with hints and predictions that can be tested at the experimental level. Furthermore, there are peculiar aspects of the management of genetic information that are intimately related to information theory and communication theory. This theme issue is aimed at fostering the discussion on the problem of genetic coding and information through the presentation of different innovative points of view. The aim of the editors is to stimulate discussions and scientific exchange that will lead to new research on why and how life can exist from the point of view of the coding and decoding of genetic information. The present introduction represents the point of view of the editors on the main aspects that could be the subject of future scientific debate. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Partitioning of genomic variance using prior biological information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Stefan McKinnon; Janss, Luc; Madsen, Per

    of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data and trait phenotypes and can account for a much larger fraction of the heritable component of the trait. A disadvantage is that this “black box” modelling approach does not provide any insight into the biological mechanisms underlying the trait. We propose...

  8. Biologi Komunikasi melalui Implementasi “Information Communications Technology”

    OpenAIRE

    Darmawan, Deni

    2010-01-01

    The Biological communication Behavior has been constructed through the explanation of  the phenomena of their specific part of activies encompassing: Prefrontal, Frontal, Parietal, Central, Occipital and Parasagital which have been significantly tested in terms of their impacts in learning acceleration starting from Elementary School to College level. This study is conducted by means of constructive approach, meaning that it employs both the Quantitative and Qualitative techniques.The study o...

  9. Understanding human thiol dioxygenase enzymes: structure to function, and biology to pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Bibekananda; Kulharia, Mahesh; Mantha, Anil K

    2017-04-01

    Amino acid metabolism is a significant metabolic activity in humans, especially of sulphur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine (Cys). Cys is cytotoxic and neurotoxic in nature; hence, mammalian cells maintain a constant intracellular level of Cys. Metabolism of Cys is mainly regulated by two thiol dioxygenases: cysteine dioxygenase (CDO) and 2-aminoethanethiol dioxygenase (ADO). CDO and ADO are the only human thiol dioxygenases reported with a role in Cys metabolism and localized to mitochondria. This metabolic pathway is important in various human disorders, as it is responsible for the synthesis of antioxidant glutathione and is also for the synthesis of hypotaurine and taurine. CDO is the most extensively studied protein, whose high-resolution crystallographic structures have been solved. As compared to CDO, ADO is less studied, even though it has a key role in cysteamine metabolism. To further understand ADO's structure and function, the three-dimensional structures have been predicted from I-TASSER and SWISS-MODEL servers and validated with PROCHECK software. Structural superimposition approach using iPBA web server further confirmed near-identical structures (including active sites) for the predicted protein models of ADO as compared to CDO. In addition, protein-protein interaction and their association in patho-physiology are crucial in understanding protein functions. Both ADO and CDO interacting partner profiles have been presented using STRING database. In this study, we have predicted a 3D model structure for ADO and summarized the biological roles and the pathological consequences which are associated with the altered expression and functioning of ADO and CDO in case of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and other human diseases. © 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Experimental Pathology © 2017 International Journal of Experimental Pathology.

  10. Why are well-educated Muscovites more likely to survive? Understanding the biological pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Megan A.; Shkolnikov, Vladimir M.; Goldman, Noreen

    2016-01-01

    There are large socioeconomic disparities in adult mortality in Russia, although the biological mechanisms are not well understood. With data from the study of Stress, Aging, and Health in Russia (SAHR), we use Gompertz hazard models to assess the relationship between educational attainment and mortality among older adults in Moscow and to evaluate biomarkers associated with inflammation, neuroendocrine function, heart rate variability, and clinical cardiovascular and metabolic risk as potential mediators of that relationship. We do this by assessing the extent to which the addition of biomarker variables into hazard models of mortality attenuates the association between educational attainment and mortality. We find that an additional year of education is associated with about 5% lower risk of age-specific all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Inflammation biomarkers are best able to account for this relationship, explaining 25% of the education-all-cause mortality association, and 35% of the education-cardiovascular mortality association. Clinical markers perform next best, accounting for 13% and 23% of the relationship between education and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively. Although heart rate biomarkers are strongly associated with subsequent mortality, they explain very little of the education-mortality link. Neuroendocrine biomarkers fail to account for any portion of the link. These findings suggest that inflammation may be important for understanding mortality disparities by socioeconomic status. PMID:27085072

  11. Understanding the biological activity of high rate algae ponds through the calculation of oxygen balances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Zouhayr; de Godos Crespo, Ignacio; Corona, Enrique Lara; Rogalla, Frank

    2017-06-01

    Microalgae culture in high rate algae ponds (HRAP) is an environmentally friendly technology for wastewater treatment. However, for the implementation of these systems, a better understanding of the oxygenation potential and the influence of climate conditions is required. In this work, the rates of oxygen production, consumption, and exchange with the atmosphere were calculated under varying conditions of solar irradiance and dilution rate during six months of operation in a real scale unit. This analysis allowed determining the biological response of these dynamic systems. The rates of oxygen consumption measured were considerably higher than the values calculated based on the organic loading rate. The response to light intensity in terms of oxygen production in the bioreactor was described with one of the models proposed for microalgae culture in dense concentrations. This model is based on the availability of light inside the culture and the specific response of microalgae to this parameter. The specific response to solar radiation intensity showed a reasonable stability in spite of the fluctuations due to meteorological conditions. The methodology developed is a useful tool for optimization and prediction of the performance of these systems.

  12. Understanding XPO1 target networks using systems biology and mathematical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muqbil, Irfana; Kauffman, Michael; Shacham, Sharon; Mohammad, Ramzi M; Azmi, Asfar S

    2014-01-01

    The nuclear transport protein Exportin 1 (XPO1), also called chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1), is over-expressed 2- 4 fold in cancer. XPO1 is one of seven nuclear exporter proteins, and is solely responsible for the transport of the major tumor suppressor proteins (TSPs) from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. XPO1 exports any protein that carries a leucine-rich, hydrophobic nuclear export sequence (NES). A number of inhibitors have been discovered that block XPO1 function and thereby restore TSPs to the nucleus of both malignant and normal cells. However, natural product, irreversible XPO1 antagonists such as leptomycin B (LMB) have proven toxic in both preclinical models and in the clinic. Recently, orally bioavailable, drug-like small molecule, potent and selective inhibitors of XPO1 mediated nuclear export ("SINE") have been designed and are undergoing clinical evaluations in both humans and canines with cancer. The breadth of clinical applicability and long-term viability of an XPO1 inhibition strategy requires a deeper evaluation of the consequence of global re-organization of proteins in cancer and normal cells. Unfortunately, most of the studies on XPO1 inhibitors have focused on evaluating a limited number of TSPs or other proteins. Because XPO1 carries ~220 mammalian proteins out of the nucleus, such reductionism has not permitted a global understanding of cellular behavior upon drug-induced disruption of XPO1 function. The consequence of XPO1 inhibition requires holistic investigations that consider the entire set of XPO1 targets and their respective pathways modulated without losing key details. Systems biology is one such holistic approach that can be applied to understand XPO1 regulated proteins along with the downstream players involved. This review provides comprehensive evaluations of the different computational tools that can be utilized in the better understanding of XPO1 and its target. We anticipate that such holistic approaches can allow for

  13. Structural biology at York Structural Biology Laboratory; laboratory information management systems for structural genomics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dohnálek, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 1 (2005), s. 3 ISSN 1211-5894. [Meeting of Structural Biologists /4./. 10.03.2005-12.03.2005, Nové Hrady] R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 1K05008 Keywords : structural biology * LIMS * structural genomics Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry

  14. Overcoming Information Aesthetics: In Defense of a Non-Quantitative Informational Understanding of Artworks

    OpenAIRE

    Rodrigo Hernández-Ramírez

    2016-01-01

    Attempts to describe aesthetic artefacts through informational models have existed at least since the late 1950s; but they have not been as successful as their proponents expected nor are they popular among art scholars because of their (mostly) quantitative nature. However, given how information technology has deeply shifted every aspect of our world, it is fair to ask whether aesthetic value continues to be immune to informational interpretations. This paper discusses the ideas of the late ...

  15. Quantum entanglement and quantum information in biological systems (DNA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubač, Ivan; Švec, Miloslav; Wilson, Stephen

    2017-12-01

    Recent studies of DNA show that the hydrogen bonds between given base pairs can be treated as diabatic systems with spin-orbit coupling. For solid state systems strong diabaticity and spin-orbit coupling the possibility of forming Majorana fermions has been discussed. We analyze the hydrogen bonds in the base pairs in DNA from this perspective. Our analysis is based on a quasiparticle supersymmetric transformation which couples electronic and vibrational motion and includes normal coordinates and the corresponding momenta. We define qubits formed by Majorana fermions in the hydrogen bonds and also discuss the entangled states in base pairs. Quantum information and quantum entropy are introduced. In addition to the well-known classical information connected with the DNA base pairs, we also consider quantum information and show that the classical and quantum information are closely connected.

  16. A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Information Seeking in Open-Ended Information Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Janette R.

    1999-01-01

    Describes a theoretically and empirically based framework for how users formulate and employ information-seeking strategies in open-ended information systems (OEISs). Discusses challenges related to OEISs. Describes OEIS theoretical and users' perspectives. Presents an example based on a recent study to illustrate use of the OEIS…

  17. Information Literacy in a Digital Era: Understanding the Impact of Mobile Information for Undergraduate Nursing Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Glynda J; Furlong, Karen E; Secco, Loretta

    2016-01-01

    Recent entry-to-practice nursing informatics competencies for Registered Nurses in Canada mean nurse educators need educational strategies to promote student competency within the rapidly evolving informatics field. A collaborative research team from three Canadian nursing programs completed a mixed method survey to describe how nursing students used mobile nursing information support and the extent of this support for learning. The Mobile Information Support Evaluation Tool (MISET) assessed Usefulness/Helpfulness, Information Literacy Support, and Use of Evidence-Based Sources. The quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed to describe students' perspectives and the ways they used mobile resources in learning situations. Findings suggest nursing students mainly accessed mobile resources to support clinical learning, and specifically for task-oriented information such as drug medication or patient conditions/diagnoses. Researchers recommend a paradigm shift whereby educators emphasize information literacy in a way that supports evidence-based quality care.

  18. Genes are information, so information theory is coming to the aid of evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwin, William B

    2015-11-01

    Speciation is central to evolutionary biology, and to elucidate it, we need to catch the early genetic changes that set nascent taxa on their path to species status (Via 2009). That challenge is difficult, of course, for two chief reasons: (i) serendipity is required to catch speciation in the act; and (ii) after a short time span with lingering gene flow, differentiation may be low and/or embodied only in rare alleles that are difficult to sample. In this issue of Molecular Ecology Resources, Smouse et al. (2015) have noted that optimal assessment of differentiation within and between nascent species should be robust to these challenges, and they identified a measure based on Shannon's information theory that has many advantages for this and numerous other tasks. The Shannon measure exhibits complete additivity of information at different levels of subdivision. Of all the family of diversity measures ('0' or allele counts, '1' or Shannon, '2' or heterozygosity, F(ST) and related metrics) Shannon's measure comes closest to weighting alleles by their frequencies. For the Shannon measure, rare alleles that represent early signals of nascent speciation are neither down-weighted to the point of irrelevance, as for level 2 measures, nor up-weighted to overpowering importance, as for level 0 measures (Chao et al. 2010, )2015. Shannon measures have a long history in population genetics, dating back to Shannon's PhD thesis in 1940 (Crow 2001), but have received only sporadic attention, until a resurgence of interest in the last ten years, as reviewed briefly by Smouse et al. (2015). © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. A framework for understanding culture and its relationship to information behaviour: Taiwanese aborigines' information behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Nei-Ching Yeh

    2007-01-01

    Introduction. This article proposes a model of culture and its relationship to information behaviour based on two empirical studies of Taiwanese aborigines' information behaviour. Method. The research approach is ethnographic and the material was collected through observations, conversations, questionnaires, interviews and relevant documents. In 2003-2004, the author lived with two Taiwan aboriginal tribes, the Yami tribe and the Tsau tribe and conducted forty-two theme-based interviews. An...

  20. Do Zoo Visitors Need Zoology Knowledge to Understand Conservation Messages? An Exploration of the Public Understanding of Animal Biology and of the Conservation of Biodiversity in a Zoo Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, Tracy; Byrne, Jenny

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the current knowledge and understanding about animal biology of zoo visitors and investigates whether knowledge of animal biology influences the ability of people to understand how human activity affects biodiversity. Zoos can play a role in the development of scientific literacy in the fields of animal biology and biodiversity…

  1. A network biology approach to understanding the importance of chameleon proteins in human physiology and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahramali, Golnaz; Goliaei, Bahram; Minuchehr, Zarrin; Marashi, Sayed-Amir

    2017-02-01

    Chameleon proteins are proteins which include sequences that can adopt α-helix-β-strand (HE-chameleon) or α-helix-coil (HC-chameleon) or β-strand-coil (CE-chameleon) structures to operate their crucial biological functions. In this study, using a network-based approach, we examined the chameleon proteins to give a better knowledge on these proteins. We focused on proteins with identical chameleon sequences with more than or equal to seven residues long in different PDB entries, which adopt HE-chameleon, HC-chameleon, and CE-chameleon structures in the same protein. One hundred and ninety-one human chameleon proteins were identified via our in-house program. Then, protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks, Gene ontology (GO) enrichment, disease network, and pathway enrichment analyses were performed for our derived data set. We discovered that there are chameleon sequences which reside in protein-protein interaction regions between two proteins critical for their dual function. Analysis of the PPI networks for chameleon proteins introduced five hub proteins, namely TP53, EGFR, HSP90AA1, PPARA, and HIF1A, which were presented in four PPI clusters. The outcomes demonstrate that the chameleon regions are in critical domains of these proteins and are important in the development and treatment of human cancers. The present report is the first network-based functional study of chameleon proteins using computational approaches and might provide a new perspective for understanding the mechanisms of diseases helping us in developing new medical therapies along with discovering new proteins with chameleon properties which are highly important in cancer.

  2. Dynamic use of geoscience information to develop scientific understanding for a nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, N.G.W.; Tsang, C.F.

    1990-01-01

    This paper discusses the development and safety evaluation of a nuclear waste geologic repository. Scientific understanding dependent upon information from a number of geoscience disciplines is described. A discussion is given on the dynamic use of the information through the different stages. The authors point out the need for abstracting, deriving and updating a quantitative spatial and process model (QSPM) to develop a scientific understanding of site responses as a crucial element in the dynamic procedure

  3. How does undergraduate college biology students' level of understanding, in regard to the role of the seed plant root system, relate to their level of understanding of photosynthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njeng'ere, James Gicheha

    This research study investigated how undergraduate college biology students' level of understanding of the role of the seed plant root system relates to their level of understanding of photosynthesis. This research was conducted with 65 undergraduate non-majors biology who had completed 1 year of biology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. A root probe instrument was developed from some scientifically acceptable propositional statements about the root system, the process of photosynthesis, as well as the holistic nature of the tree. These were derived from research reviews of the science education and the arboriculture literature. This was administered to 65 students selected randomly from class lists of the two institutions. Most of the root probe's items were based on the Live Oak tree. An in-depth, clinical interview-based analysis was conducted with 12 of those tested students. A team of root experts participated by designing, validating and answering the same questions that the students were asked. A "systems" lens as defined by a team of college instructors, root experts (Shigo, 1991), and this researcher was used to interpret the results. A correlational coefficient determining students' level of understanding of the root system and their level of understanding of the process of photosynthesis was established by means of Pearson's r correlation (r = 0.328) using the SAS statistical analysis (SAS, 1987). From this a coefficient of determination (r2 = 0.104) was determined. Students' level of understanding of the Live Oak root system (mean score 5.94) was not statistically different from their level of understanding of the process of photosynthesis (mean score 5.54) as assessed by the root probe, t (129) = 0.137, p > 0.05 one tailed-test. This suggests that, to some degree, level of the root system limits level of understanding of photosynthesis and vice versa. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative

  4. Sender-receiver systems and applying information theory for quantitative synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcena Menendez, Diego; Senthivel, Vivek Raj; Isalan, Mark

    2015-02-01

    Sender-receiver (S-R) systems abound in biology, with communication systems sending information in various forms. Information theory provides a quantitative basis for analysing these processes and is being applied to study natural genetic, enzymatic and neural networks. Recent advances in synthetic biology are providing us with a wealth of artificial S-R systems, giving us quantitative control over networks with a finite number of well-characterised components. Combining the two approaches can help to predict how to maximise signalling robustness, and will allow us to make increasingly complex biological computers. Ultimately, pushing the boundaries of synthetic biology will require moving beyond engineering the flow of information and towards building more sophisticated circuits that interpret biological meaning. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Making Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Work for Business A Guide to Understanding Information as an Asset

    CERN Document Server

    Ladley, John

    2010-01-01

    Organizations of all types struggle with information. Millions of dollars are spent on ERP applications to integrate data and yet this data still isn't accessible or relevant. Emails contain hidden liabilities. Safety manuals endanger workers. Worse, there is data and information being created and handled in every nook and cranny of large organizations, well out of view of formal oversight, but within view of customers and regulators. Thus far, any efforts to wrestle the "data-beast" to the ground have failed, and there exists a profound need for all levels of business management, not just IT,

  6. Understanding User Resistance to Information Technology: Toward a Comprehensive Model in Health Information Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngafeeson, Madison N.

    2013-01-01

    The successful implementation of health information systems is expected to increase legibility, reduce medical errors, boost the quality of healthcare and shrink costs. Yet, evidence points to the fact that healthcare professionals resist the full use of these systems. Physicians and nurses have been reported to resist the system. Even though…

  7. Human development I: Twenty Fundamental Problems of Biology, Medicine, and Neuro-Psychology Related to Biological Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyge Dahl Hermansen

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In a new series of papers, we address a number of unsolved problems in biology today. First of all, the unsolved enigma concerning how the differentiation from a single zygote to an adult individual happens has been object for severe research for decades. By uncovering a new holistic biological paradigm that introduces an energetic-informational interpretation of reality as a new way to experience biology, these papers will try to solve the problems connected with the events of biological ontogenesis involving a fractal hierarchy, from a single cell to the function of the human brain. The problems discussed are interpreted within the frames of a universe of roomy fractal structures containing energetic patterns that are able to deliver biological information. We think biological organization is guided by energetic changes on the level of quantum mechanics, interacting with the intention that again guides the energetic conformation of the fractal structures to gain disorders or healthiness. Furthermore, we introduce two new concepts: “metamorphous top down” evolution and “adult human metamorphosis”. The first is a new evolutionary theory involving metamorphosis as a main concept of evolution. The last is tightly linked to the evolutionary principle and explains how human self-recovery is governed. Other subjects of special interest that we shall look deeper into are the immunological self-nonself discrimination, the structure and function of the human brain, the etiology and salutogenesis of mental and somatic diseases, and the structure of the consciousness of a human being. We shall criticize Szentagothai’s model for the modulated structure of the human cerebral cortex and Jerne’s theory of the immunological regulatory anti-idiotypic network.

  8. Towards a system level understanding of non-model organisms sampled from the environment: a network biology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Williams

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The acquisition and analysis of datasets including multi-level omics and physiology from non-model species, sampled from field populations, is a formidable challenge, which so far has prevented the application of systems biology approaches. If successful, these could contribute enormously to improving our understanding of how populations of living organisms adapt to environmental stressors relating to, for example, pollution and climate. Here we describe the first application of a network inference approach integrating transcriptional, metabolic and phenotypic information representative of wild populations of the European flounder fish, sampled at seven estuarine locations in northern Europe with different degrees and profiles of chemical contaminants. We identified network modules, whose activity was predictive of environmental exposure and represented a link between molecular and morphometric indices. These sub-networks represented both known and candidate novel adverse outcome pathways representative of several aspects of human liver pathophysiology such as liver hyperplasia, fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. At the molecular level these pathways were linked to TNF alpha, TGF beta, PDGF, AGT and VEGF signalling. More generally, this pioneering study has important implications as it can be applied to model molecular mechanisms of compensatory adaptation to a wide range of scenarios in wild populations.

  9. How to Generate Understanding of the Scientific Process in Introductory Biology: A Student-Designed Laboratory Exercise on Yeast Fermentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Linda T.; Bell, Rebekah P.

    2004-01-01

    Heavy faculty teaching loads and limited funds biology teachers designed certain objectives in order to increase the understandability of the subject matter of the laboratory exercises they write. In relation to these objectives an old "cookbook" laboratory exercise on yeast fermentation is introduced which involve students asking questions,…

  10. Information resources and the correlation of response patterns between biological end points

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malling, H.V. [National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Wassom, J.S. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN (United States)

    1990-12-31

    This paper focuses on the analysis of information for mutagenesis, a biological end point that is important in the overall process of assessing possible adverse health effects from chemical exposure. 17 refs.

  11. FIVA : Functional Information Viewer and Analyzer extracting biological knowledge from transcriptome data of prokaryotes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blom, E.J.; Bosman, D.W.; van Hijum, S.A F T; Breitling, R.; Tijsma, L.; Silvis, R.; Roerdink, J.B.T.M.; Kuipers, O.P.

    2007-01-01

    FIVA (Function Information Viewer and Analyzer) aids researchers in the prokaryotic community to quickly identify relevant biological processes following transcriptome analysis. Our software assists in functional profiling of large sets of genes and generates a comprehensive overview of affected

  12. Understanding information exchange during disaster response: Methodological insights from infocentric analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toddi A. Steelman; Branda Nowell; Deena. Bayoumi; Sarah. McCaffrey

    2014-01-01

    We leverage economic theory, network theory, and social network analytical techniques to bring greater conceptual and methodological rigor to understand how information is exchanged during disasters. We ask, "How can information relationships be evaluated more systematically during a disaster response?" "Infocentric analysis"—a term and...

  13. Understanding Informal Learning in Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in South Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Shinhee; McLean, Gary N.; Park, Soyoun

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to explore informal learning experiences among employees working in South Korean small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with fewer than 100 employees. This study specifically seeks to understand the characteristics of informal learning in Korean SMEs and culturally sensitive contextual factors that shape informal…

  14. RANKING RELATIONS USING ANALOGIES IN BIOLOGICAL AND INFORMATION NETWORKS1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Ricardo; Heller, Katherine; Ghahramani, Zoubin; Airoldi, Edoardo M.

    2013-01-01

    Analogical reasoning depends fundamentally on the ability to learn and generalize about relations between objects. We develop an approach to relational learning which, given a set of pairs of objects S = {A(1) : B(1), A(2) : B(2), …, A(N) : B(N)}, measures how well other pairs A : B fit in with the set S. Our work addresses the following question: is the relation between objects A and B analogous to those relations found in S? Such questions are particularly relevant in information retrieval, where an investigator might want to search for analogous pairs of objects that match the query set of interest. There are many ways in which objects can be related, making the task of measuring analogies very challenging. Our approach combines a similarity measure on function spaces with Bayesian analysis to produce a ranking. It requires data containing features of the objects of interest and a link matrix specifying which relationships exist; no further attributes of such relationships are necessary. We illustrate the potential of our method on text analysis and information networks. An application on discovering functional interactions between pairs of proteins is discussed in detail, where we show that our approach can work in practice even if a small set of protein pairs is provided. PMID:24587838

  15. Frontiers in transport phenomena research and education: Energy systems, biological systems, security, information technology and nanotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergman, T.L.; Faghri, A. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3139 (United States); Viskanta, R. [School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088 (United States)

    2008-09-15

    A US National Science Foundation-sponsored workshop entitled ''Frontiers in Transport Phenomena Research and Education: Energy Systems, Biological Systems, Security, Information Technology, and Nanotechnology'' was held in May of 2007 at the University of Connecticut. The workshop provided a venue for researchers, educators and policy-makers to identify frontier challenges and associated opportunities in heat and mass transfer. Approximately 300 invited participants from academia, business and government from the US and abroad attended. Based upon the final recommendations on the topical matter of the workshop, several trends become apparent. A strong interest in sustainable energy is evident. A continued need to understand the coupling between broad length (and time) scales persists, but the emerging need to better understand transport phenomena at the macro/mega scale has evolved. The need to develop new metrology techniques to collect and archive reliable property data persists. Societal sustainability received major attention in two of the reports. Matters involving innovation, entrepreneurship, and globalization of the engineering profession have emerged, and the responsibility to improve the technical literacy of the public-at-large is discussed. Integration of research thrusts and education activities is highlighted throughout. Specific recommendations, made by the panelists with input from the international heat transfer community and directed to the National Science Foundation, are included in several reports. (author)

  16. Forty Years of Ebolavirus Molecular Biology: Understanding a Novel Disease Agent Through the Development and Application of New Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groseth, Allison; Hoenen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Molecular biology is a broad discipline that seeks to understand biological phenomena at a molecular level, and achieves this through the study of DNA, RNA, proteins, and/or other macromolecules (e.g., those involved in the modification of these substrates). Consequently, it relies on the availability of a wide variety of methods that deal with the collection, preservation, inactivation, separation, manipulation, imaging, and analysis of these molecules. As such the state of the art in the field of ebolavirus molecular biology research (and that of all other viruses) is largely intertwined with, if not driven by, advancements in the technical methodologies available for these kinds of studies. Here we review of the current state of our knowledge regarding ebolavirus biology and emphasize the associated methods that made these discoveries possible.

  17. Predicting Biological Information Flow in a Model Oxygen Minimum Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louca, S.; Hawley, A. K.; Katsev, S.; Beltran, M. T.; Bhatia, M. P.; Michiels, C.; Capelle, D.; Lavik, G.; Doebeli, M.; Crowe, S.; Hallam, S. J.

    2016-02-01

    Microbial activity drives marine biochemical fluxes and nutrient cycling at global scales. Geochemical measurements as well as molecular techniques such as metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics provide great insight into microbial activity. However, an integration of molecular and geochemical data into mechanistic biogeochemical models is still lacking. Recent work suggests that microbial metabolic pathways are, at the ecosystem level, strongly shaped by stoichiometric and energetic constraints. Hence, models rooted in fluxes of matter and energy may yield a holistic understanding of biogeochemistry. Furthermore, such pathway-centric models would allow a direct consolidation with meta'omic data. Here we present a pathway-centric biogeochemical model for the seasonal oxygen minimum zone in Saanich Inlet, a fjord off the coast of Vancouver Island. The model considers key dissimilatory nitrogen and sulfur fluxes, as well as the population dynamics of the genes that mediate them. By assuming a direct translation of biocatalyzed energy fluxes to biosynthesis rates, we make predictions about the distribution and activity of the corresponding genes. A comparison of the model to molecular measurements indicates that the model explains observed DNA, RNA, protein and cell depth profiles. This suggests that microbial activity in marine ecosystems such as oxygen minimum zones is well described by DNA abundance, which, in conjunction with geochemical constraints, determines pathway expression and process rates. Our work further demonstrates how meta'omic data can be mechanistically linked to environmental redox conditions and biogeochemical processes.

  18. Understanding Information Seeking Behavior of Indonesian Postgraduate Students in Malaysian Universities: An Empirical Study

    OpenAIRE

    Muhammad Subhan; Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani

    2013-01-01

    Abstract : This study investigates Indonesian postgraduate student’s experience at the pre-sessional program of the process of seeking information and the strategies they used throughout the process. The objective is to understand their information seeking behavior particularly academic-related information in order to improve the effectiveness of educational communication in Malaysia higher institutions. Two research questions are addressed: what experiences do pre-sessional students face i...

  19. Informing people about radiation risks: a review of obstacles to public understanding and effective risk communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Covello, V.T.

    1988-01-01

    This paper reviews the literature on informing people about radiation risks. The paper focuses on obstacles to public understanding and effective risk communication. The paper concludes with a set of guidelines for communicating information about radiation risks to the public. The paper also includes an appendix that reviews the literature on one of the most important tools for communicating information about radiation risks: risk comparisons

  20. Assessing Students' Understandings of Biological Models and Their Use in Science to Evaluate a Theoretical Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünkorn, Juliane; Upmeier zu Belzen, Annette; Krüger, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Research in the field of students' understandings of models and their use in science describes different frameworks concerning these understandings. Currently, there is no conjoint framework that combines these structures and so far, no investigation has focused on whether it reflects students' understandings sufficiently (empirical evaluation).…

  1. Applied information system-based in enhancing students' understanding towards higher order thinking (HOTS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Ang Kean; Ping, Owi Wei

    2017-05-01

    The application of information and communications technology (ICT) had become more important in our daily life, especially in educational field. Teachers are encouraged to use information system-based in teaching Mathematical courses. Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) approach is unable to explain using chalk and talk methods. It needs students to analyze, evaluate, and create by their own natural abilities. The aim of this research study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the application information system-based in enhance the students understanding about HOTS question. Mixed-methods or quantitative and qualitative approach was applied in collecting data, which involve only the standard five students and the teachers in Sabak Bernam, Selangor. Pra-postests was held before and after using information system-based in teaching to evaluate the students' understanding. The result from post-test indicates significant improvement which proves that the use of information system based able to enhance students' understanding about HOTS question and solve it. There were several factor influenced the students such as students' attitude, teachers attraction, school facilities, and computer approach. Teachers play an important role in attracting students to learn. Therefore, the school should provide a conducive learning environment and good facilities for students to learn so that they are able to access more information and always exposed to new knowledge. As conclusion, information system-based are able to enhance students understanding the need of HOTS questions and solve it.

  2. Characterizing, Classifying, and Understanding Information Security Laws and Regulations: Considerations for Policymakers and Organizations Protecting Sensitive Information Assets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaw, David Bernard

    2011-01-01

    Current scholarly understanding of information security regulation in the United States is limited. Several competing mechanisms exist, many of which are untested in the courts and before state regulators, and new mechanisms are being proposed on a regular basis. Perhaps of even greater concern, the pace at which technology and threats change far…

  3. The Effectiveness of an Online Curriculum on High School Students' Understanding of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsteller, Robert B.; Bodzin, Alec M.

    2015-12-01

    An online curriculum about biological evolution was designed to promote increased student content knowledge and evidentiary reasoning. A feasibility study was conducted with 77 rural high school biology students who learned with the online biological evolution unit. Data sources included the Biological Evolution Assessment Measure (BEAM), an analysis of discussion forum posts, and a post-implementation perceptions and attitudes questionnaire. BEAM posttest scores were significantly higher than the pretest scores. However, the findings revealed that the students required additional support to develop evidentiary reasoning. Many students perceived that the Web-based curriculum would have been enhanced by increased immediate interaction and feedback. Students required greater scaffolding to support complex, process-oriented tasks. Implications for designing Web-based science instruction with curriculum materials to support students' acquisition of content knowledge and science process skills in a Web-based setting are discussed.

  4. Does “quorum sensing” imply a new type of biological information?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2002-01-01

    When dealing with biological communication and information, unifying concepts are necessary in order to couple the different “codes” that are being inductively “cracked” and defined at different emergent and “de-emergent” levels of the biological hierarchy. In this paper I compare the type...... symbiotic partnership to exemplify the emergence of informational contexts along the biological hierarchy (from molecules to ecologies). I suggest that the biosemiotic epistemological framework can play an integra¬tive role to overcome the limits of dyadic mechanistic descriptions when relating...

  5. Systems-synthetic biology in understanding the complexities and simple devices in immunology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soni, Bhavnita; Nimsarkar, Prajakta; Mol, Milsee; Saha, Bhaskar; Singh, Shailza

    2018-03-23

    Systems and synthetic biology in the coming era has the ability to manipulate, stimulate and engineer cells to counteract the pathogenic immune response. The inherent biological complexities associated with the creation of a device allow capitalizing the biotechnological resources either by simply administering a recombinant cytokine or just reprogramming the immune cells. The strategy outlined, adopted and discussed may mark the beginning with promising therapeutics based on the principles of synthetic immunology. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Complex Systems Biology Approach To Understanding Coordination of JAK-STAT Signaling

    OpenAIRE

    Soebiyanto, Radina P.; Sreenath, Sree N.; Qu, Cheng-Kui; Loparo, Kenneth A.; Bunting, Kevin D.

    2007-01-01

    In this work, we search for coordination as an organizing principle in a complex signaling system using a multilevel hierarchical paradigm. The objective is to explain the underlying mechanism of Interferon (IFNγ) induced JAK-STAT (specifically JAK1/JAK2-STAT1) pathway behavior. Starting with a mathematical model of the pathway from the literature, we modularize the system using biological knowledge via principles of biochemical cohesion, biological significance, and functionality. The modula...

  7. Understanding channel tropism in traditional Chinese medicine in the context of systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ping; Liu, Songlin; Chen, Gang; Wang, Ping

    2013-09-01

    Channel tropism is investigated and developed through long-term clinical practice. In recent years, the development of channel tropism theory has attracted increasing attention. This study analyzed channel tropism theory and the problems associated with it. Results showed that this theory and systems biology have a similar holistic viewpoint. Systems biology could provide novel insights and platform in the study of channel tropism. Some problems in channel tropism theory, including pharmacology and action mechanism, were investigated.

  8. How do cancer patients navigate the public information environment? Understanding patterns and motivations for movement among information sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Rebekah H; Romantan, Anca; Kelly, Bridget J; Stevens, Robin S; Gray, Stacy W; Hull, Shawnika J; Ramirez, A Susana; Hornik, Robert C

    2010-09-01

    Little is known about how patients move among information sources to fulfill unmet needs. We interviewed 43 breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer patients. Using a grounded theory approach, we identified patterns and motivations for movement among information sources. Overall, patients reported using one source (e.g., newspaper) followed by the use of another source (e.g., Internet), and five key motivations for such cross-source movement emerged. Patients' social networks often played a central role in this movement. Understanding how patients navigate an increasingly complex information environment may help clinicians and educators to guide patients to appropriate, high-quality sources.

  9. An integrated conceptual framework for evaluating and improving 'understanding' in informed consent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossert, Sabine; Strech, Daniel

    2017-10-17

    The development of understandable informed consent (IC) documents has proven to be one of the most important challenges in research with humans as well as in healthcare settings. Therefore, evaluating and improving understanding has been of increasing interest for empirical research on IC. However, several conceptual and practical challenges for the development of understandable IC documents remain unresolved. In this paper, we will outline and systematize some of these challenges. On the basis of our own experiences in empirical user testing of IC documents as well as the relevant literature on understanding in IC, we propose an integrated conceptual model for the development of understandable IC documents. The proposed conceptual model integrates different methods for the participatory improvement of written information, including IC, as well as quantitative methods for measuring understanding in IC. In most IC processes, understandable written information is an important prerequisite for valid IC. To improve the quality of IC documents, a conceptual model for participatory procedures of testing, revising, and retesting can be applied. However, the model presented in this paper needs further theoretical and empirical elaboration and clarification of several conceptual and practical challenges.

  10. Use and understanding of nutrition information on food labels in six European countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunert, Klaus G; Fernández-Celemín, Laura; Wills, Josephine M; Storcksdieck Genannt Bonsmann, Stefan; Nureeva, Liliya

    2010-06-01

    AIM: The goal of the study was to investigate the use of nutrition information on food labels and understanding of guideline daily amount (GDA) front-of-pack nutrition labels in six European countries. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: In-store observations and in-store interviews were conducted in major retailers in the UK (n = 2019), Sweden (n = 1858), France (n = 2337), Germany (n = 1963), Poland (n = 1800) and Hungary (n = 1804), supplemented by questionnaires filled out at home and returned (overall response rate 50.3%). Use of labels was measured by combining in-store observations and in-store interviews on concrete purchases in six product categories. Understanding of GDA front-of-pack nutrition labels was measured by a variety of tasks dealing with conceptual understanding, substantial understanding and health inferences. Demographics, nutrition knowledge and interest in healthy eating were measured as potential determinants. RESULTS: Across six product categories, 16.8% of shoppers were found to have looked for nutrition information on the label, with the nutrition grid (table or list), GDA labels and the ingredients list as the main sources consulted and calories, fat and sugar the information most often looked for. Understanding of GDA labels was high in the UK, Sweden and Germany, and more limited in the other countries. Regression analysis showed that, in addition to country-specific differences, use and understanding are also affected by differences in interest in healthy eating and in nutrition knowledge and by social grade. CONCLUSION: Understanding of nutrition information seems to be more widespread than use, suggesting that lack of use is a question of not only understanding, but also motivation. Considerable national differences exist in both understanding and use, some of which may be attributed to different histories of the role of nutrition in the public debate.

  11. The Effects of Case-Based Instruction on Undergraduate Biology Students' Understanding of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burniston, Amy Lucinda

    Undergraduate science education is currently seeing a dramatic pedagogical push towards teaching the philosophies underpinning science as well as an increase in strategies that employ active learning. Many active learning strategies stem from constructivist ideals and have been shown to affect a student's understanding of how science operates and its impact on society- commonly referred to as the nature of science (NOS). One particular constructivist teaching strategy, case-based instruction (CBI), has been recommended by researchers and science education reformists as an effective instructional strategy for teaching NOS. Furthermore, when coupled with explicit-reflective instruction, CBI has been found to significantly increasing understanding of NOS in elementary and secondary students. However, few studies aimed their research on CBI and NOS towards higher education. Thus, this study uses a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent group design to study the effects of CBI on undergraduate science students understandings of NOS. Undergraduate biology student's understanding of NOS were assessed using the Views of Science Education (VOSE) instrument pre and post CBI intervention in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology II. Data analysis indicated statistically significant differences between students NOS scores in experimental versus control sections for both courses, with experimental groups obtaining higher posttest scores. The results of this study indicate that undergraduate male and female students have similarly poor understandings of NOS and the use of historical case based instruction can be used as a means to increase undergraduate understanding of NOS.

  12. Understanding the information and resource needs of UK health and social care placement students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaghan, Lynne; Doherty, Alan; Lea, Susan J; Webster, Daniel

    2008-12-01

    Students on health and social care degree programmes spend 50% of their time on practice placements. Because of the diversity of settings and the need to evidence their work, it is vital to understand the information and resource needs of placement students. The aim of this investigation was to understand the needs of placement students in terms of accessing resources whilst they are in the field in order to inform a guide to meet these needs. Focus groups were conducted with students on midwifery, social work and post-registration health professions degree programmes on three different sites across the region. Data were analysed using Thematic Content Analysis. Three themes emerged from the data: inequality, user education needs and students' solutions and strategies. It is essential to speak to placement students in order to understand their needs in terms of accessing and using library resources. The timing and content of information skills training is key to meeting student needs while on placement.

  13. Dynamic use of geoscience information to develop scientific understanding for a nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, N.G.W.; Tsang, C.F.

    1990-01-01

    The development and safety evaluation of a nuclear waste geologic repository require a proper scientific understanding of the site response. Such scientific understanding depends on information from a number of geoscience disciplines, including geology, geophysics, geochemistry, geomechanics and hydrogeology. The information comes in four stages: (1) general regional survey data base, (2) surface-based testing, (3) exploratory shaft testing, and (4) repository construction and evaluation. A discussion is given on the dynamic use of the information through the different stages. We point out the need for abstracting, deriving and updating a quantitative spatial and process model (QSPM) to develop a scientific understanding of site responses as a crucial element in the dynamic procedure. 2 figs

  14. Informed consent in contrast-enhanced CT. Understanding of risks and identification of possible prognostic factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roehrl, S.; Dendl, L.M.; Scharf, G.; Stroszczynski, C.; Schreyer, A.G.; Zeman, F.

    2015-01-01

    Aim of our study was to assess understanding of risks associated with intravascular application of contrast media in patients undergoing CT examination. We wanted to evaluate epidemiologic and socio-economic prognostic factors for a higher understanding of risks. Additionally, we evaluated a possible correlation between an extensive, outcome-oriented oral informed consent and better understanding of risks. 120 patients distributed in 2 study arms participated in this prospective study. In study arm I, the treating physician was not informed that his patients participated in a study whereas the physician in study arm II knew about the survey. After the informed consent we performed a standardized, semi-structured interview to enquire the 3 most frequent risks of intravascular application of contrast agents (anaphylactoid reactions, nephropathy and thyrotoxic crisis) and epidemiologic data. The understanding of the risks was evaluated using a 6 point scale. Patients scored 3.73 points in study arm I and 4.93 points in arm II on average. The statistical difference between both study arms was highly significant (p < 0.001). In a combined logistic regression analysis, only ''higher education'' (p = 0.001) and participation in study arm II (p =0.001) showed a significant connection to a better understanding of risks. Patients profit from an outcome-oriented and individualized informed consent. Due to the significant correlation between educational level and understanding of risks, informed consent should be adjusted to the educational status of the individual patient, e.g. by using didactic aids or individualized information sheets.

  15. Information theory in systems biology. Part II: protein-protein interaction and signaling networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousavian, Zaynab; Díaz, José; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2016-03-01

    By the development of information theory in 1948 by Claude Shannon to address the problems in the field of data storage and data communication over (noisy) communication channel, it has been successfully applied in many other research areas such as bioinformatics and systems biology. In this manuscript, we attempt to review some of the existing literatures in systems biology, which are using the information theory measures in their calculations. As we have reviewed most of the existing information-theoretic methods in gene regulatory and metabolic networks in the first part of the review, so in the second part of our study, the application of information theory in other types of biological networks including protein-protein interaction and signaling networks will be surveyed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Understanding Bateson and Maturana: Toward a Biological Foundation for the Social Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell, Paul F.

    1985-01-01

    Offers a study guide for translating the work of Gregory Bateson and Humberto R. Maturana. Demonstrates that their work is highly compatible. Highlights their essential message: social systems and all human endeavor must be understood in light of our existence as biological entities. (BH)

  17. Perceptual Influence of Ugandan Biology Students' Understanding of HIV/AIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutonyi, Harriet; Nashon, Samson; Nielsen, Wendy S.

    2010-01-01

    In Uganda, curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS has largely depended on public and private media messages about the disease. Media campaigns based on Uganda's cultural norms of communication are metaphorical, analogical and simile-like. The topic of HIV/AIDS has been introduced into the Senior Three (Grade 11) biology curriculum in Uganda. To what…

  18. Systems Modelling and the Development of Coherent Understanding of Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeff, Roald P.; Waarlo, Arend Jan; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2008-01-01

    This article reports on educational design research concerning a learning and teaching strategy for cell biology in upper-secondary education introducing "systems modelling" as a key competence. The strategy consists of four modelling phases in which students subsequently develop models of free-living cells, a general two-dimensional model of…

  19. Inherit the Policy: A Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Evolutionary Biology Policy in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    2012-01-01

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural…

  20. Taiwan High School Biology Teachers' Acceptance and Understanding of Evolution and the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Evolution is the cornerstone of biological sciences, but anti-evolution teaching has become a global controversy since the introduction of evolutionary ideas into the United States high school science curricula in 1914. It is suggested that teachers' attitude toward and acceptance of the theory of evolution will influence their effect of teaching…

  1. Using multi-criteria analysis of simulation models to understand complex biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maureen C. Kennedy; E. David. Ford

    2011-01-01

    Scientists frequently use computer-simulation models to help solve complex biological problems. Typically, such models are highly integrated, they produce multiple outputs, and standard methods of model analysis are ill suited for evaluating them. We show how multi-criteria optimization with Pareto optimality allows for model outputs to be compared to multiple system...

  2. Reflection for learning: understanding the value of reflective writing for information literacy development

    OpenAIRE

    McKinney, P.A.; Sen, B.A.

    2012-01-01

    Reflective writing has long been acknowledged as an important aspect of personal and professional development. There is increasing evidence of the use of reflective writing assessments and activities in the context of information literacy education, particular in Higher Education. Writing reflectively can help students to understand their own information literacy development and engage in deeper learning. Students on an undergraduate Business Intelligence module at the University of Sheffield...

  3. Using information and communication technology (ICT) to the maximum: learning and teaching biology with limited digital technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooy, Wilhelmina S.

    2012-04-01

    Background: The ubiquity, availability and exponential growth of digital information and communication technology (ICT) creates unique opportunities for learning and teaching in the senior secondary school biology curriculum. Digital technologies make it possible for emerging disciplinary knowledge and understanding of biological processes previously too small, large, slow or fast to be taught. Indeed, much of bioscience can now be effectively taught via digital technology, since its representational and symbolic forms are in digital formats. Purpose: This paper is part of a larger Australian study dealing with the technologies and modalities of learning biology in secondary schools. Sample: The classroom practices of three experienced biology teachers, working in a range of NSW secondary schools, are compared and contrasted to illustrate how the challenges of limited technologies are confronted to seamlessly integrate what is available into a number of molecular genetics lessons to enhance student learning. Design and method: The data are qualitative and the analysis is based on video classroom observations and semi-structured teacher interviews. Results: Findings indicate that if professional development opportunities are provided where the pedagogy of learning and teaching of both the relevant biology and its digital representations are available, then teachers see the immediate pedagogic benefit to student learning. In particular, teachers use ICT for challenging genetic concepts despite limited computer hardware and software availability. Conclusion: Experienced teachers incorporate ICT, however limited, in order to improve the quality of student learning.

  4. Understanding Information Seeking Behavior of Indonesian Postgraduate Students in Malaysian Universities: An Empirical Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Subhan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract : This study investigates Indonesian postgraduate student’s experience at the pre-sessional program of the process of seeking information and the strategies they used throughout the process. The objective is to understand their information seeking behavior particularly academic-related information in order to improve the effectiveness of educational communication in Malaysia higher institutions. Two research questions are addressed: what experiences do pre-sessional students face in the process of information seeking that can be articulated and described? What stages do pre-sessional students experience in the process of information seeking construction? Using the qualitative method, the study found that the pre-sessional students have different patterns in the constructive process of information seeking in two different groups i.e. writing and reading classes. Six stages and four stages of the search process were identified respectively for the two groups.

  5. Fair value versus historical cost-based valuation for biological assets: predictability of financial information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep M. Argilés

    2011-08-01

    This paper performs an empirical study with a sample of Spanish farms valuing biological assets at HC and a sample applying FV, finding no significant differences between both valuation methods to assess future cash flows. However, most tests reveal more predictive power of future earnings under fair valuation of biological assets, which is not explained by differences in volatility of earnings and profitability. The study also evidences the existence of flawed HC accounting practices for biological assets in agriculture, which suggests scarce information content of this valuation method in the predominant small business units existing in the agricultural sector in advanced Western countries.

  6. Cultural Differences in the Understanding of Modelling and Feedback as Sources of Self-Efficacy Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Hyun Seon; Usher, Ellen L.; Butz, Amanda; Bong, Mimi

    2016-01-01

    Background: The potential role of culture in the development and operation of self-efficacy has been acknowledged by researchers. Clearer understanding of this cultural impact will benefit from research that shows how the same efficacy information is evaluated across cultures. Aims: We tested whether two sources of self-efficacy information…

  7. Managing, Understanding, Applying, and Creating Knowledge in the Information Age: Next-Generation Challenges and Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman, Susan R.; Scardamalia, Marlene

    2013-01-01

    New media, new knowledge practices, and concepts point to the need for greater understanding of cognitive processes underlying knowledge acquisition and generation in open informational worlds. The authors of the articles in this special issue address cognitive and instructional challenges surrounding multiple document comprehension--a…

  8. Learning Informally to Use the "Full Version" of Teaching Games for Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, Nick

    2016-01-01

    This paper examines an experienced teacher's employment of the teaching games for understanding (TGfU) model in a UK secondary school. The study sought to investigate how the teacher delivered TGfU and those factors that influenced his informal learning of this instructional model. Occupational socialisation was utilised to determine the factors…

  9. How lay people understand and make sense of personalized disease risk information

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Damman, Olga C; Bogaerts, Nina M M; van den Haak, Maaike J; Timmermans, Danielle R M

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Disease risk calculators are increasingly web-based, but previous studies have shown that risk information often poses problems for lay users. OBJECTIVE: To examine how lay people understand the result derived from an online cardiometabolic risk calculator. DESIGN: A qualitative study

  10. Sibling Caretaking in Immigrant Families: Understanding Cultural Practices to Inform Child Welfare Practice and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafford, Carol

    2010-01-01

    The field of migration studies has well-documented children and youth's roles as "culture brokers," by which they mediate relationships, information, and services between the immigrant household and the institutions of the host society. There is growing interest in understanding the contribution of children and youth to socially valued…

  11. An Understanding Information Management System for a Real-Time Interactive Distance Education Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Aiguo

    2009-01-01

    A real-time interactive distance lecture is a joint work that should be accomplished by the effort of the lecturer and his students in remote sites. It is important for the lecturer to get understanding information from the students which cannot be efficiently collected by only using video/audio channels between the lecturer and the students. This…

  12. Molecular phenology in plants: in natura systems biology for the comprehensive understanding of seasonal responses under natural environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudoh, Hiroshi

    2016-04-01

    Phenology refers to the study of seasonal schedules of organisms. Molecular phenology is defined here as the study of the seasonal patterns of organisms captured by molecular biology techniques. The history of molecular phenology is reviewed briefly in relation to advances in the quantification technology of gene expression. High-resolution molecular phenology (HMP) data have enabled us to study phenology with an approach of in natura systems biology. I review recent analyses of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a temperature-responsive repressor of flowering, along the six steps in the typical flow of in natura systems biology. The extensive studies of the regulation of FLC have made this example a successful case in which a comprehensive understanding of gene functions has been progressing. The FLC-mediated long-term memory of past temperatures creates time lags with other seasonal signals, such as photoperiod and short-term temperature. Major signals that control flowering time have a phase lag between them under natural conditions, and hypothetical phase lag calendars are proposed as mechanisms of season detection in plants. Transcriptomic HMP brings a novel strategy to the study of molecular phenology, because it provides a comprehensive representation of plant functions. I discuss future perspectives of molecular phenology from the standpoints of molecular biology, evolutionary biology and ecology. © 2015 The Author. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. Developing teachers' understanding of molecular biology: Building a foundation for students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, Rachel; Parisky, Alex; Campbell, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Molecular biology often uses participation in active research laboratories as a form of educational training. However, this approach to learning severely restricts access. As a way of addressing this need, the University of Hawaii launched a project to expand this model to include newly developed online training materials in addition to a hands-on laboratory experience. This paper further explores the process of material development and assessment plans. A pilot case study of a group of advanced biology teachers who embark on learning molecular biology over a four-month period through online training materials and working side-by-side with medical researchers in a laboratory is described. Teachers were positive in reporting about the many areas they gained instruction in although some feedback suggested that the initial online materials over-emphasised abstract concepts and laboratory techniques and did not adequately connect to the active research problems or local context of most interest to teachers and students. The experiences of the teachers are shared in an effort to gain insight on how teachers perceive their participation in the study.

  14. Understanding pathologic variants of renal cell carcinoma: distilling therapeutic opportunities from biologic complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuch, Brian; Amin, Ali; Armstrong, Andrew J; Eble, John N; Ficarra, Vincenzo; Lopez-Beltran, Antonio; Martignoni, Guido; Rini, Brian I; Kutikov, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Once believed to represent a uniform malignant phenotype, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is now viewed as a diverse group of cancers that arise from the nephron. To review the pathologic characteristics, clinical behavior, molecular biology, and systemic therapy options of recognized RCC histologic subtypes. A systematic review of English-language articles was performed using the Medline and Web of Science databases. Manuscripts were selected with consensus of the coauthors and evaluated using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) criteria. The major findings of the evaluated manuscripts are discussed with an emphasis on the description of the pathologic features, clinical behavior, prognosis, and therapeutic strategies. Classification schemes for kidney cancer have undergone dramatic changes over the past two decades. Improvements in these classification schemes are important, as pathologic variants differ not only in disease biology, but also in clinical behavior, prognosis, and response to systemic therapy. In the era of genomic medicine, further refinements in characterization of RCC subtypes will be critical to the progress of this burgeoning clinical space. Kidney cancer can be subdivided into related but different cancers that arise from the kidney's tubules. In this article we review current classifications for kidney cancer, discuss their characteristics, and provide an overview of each subtype's clinical behavior and treatment. We stress that each subtype harbors unique biology and thus responds differently to available treatment strategies. Copyright © 2014 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The basics of information security understanding the fundamentals of InfoSec in theory and practice

    CERN Document Server

    Andress, Jason

    2014-01-01

    As part of the Syngress Basics series, The Basics of Information Security provides you with fundamental knowledge of information security in both theoretical and practical aspects. Author Jason Andress gives you the basic knowledge needed to understand the key concepts of confidentiality, integrity, and availability, and then dives into practical applications of these ideas in the areas of operational, physical, network, application, and operating system security. The Basics of Information Security gives you clear-non-technical explanations of how infosec works and how to apply these princi

  16. Towards the prediction of essential genes by integration of network topology, cellular localization and biological process information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemke Ney

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The identification of essential genes is important for the understanding of the minimal requirements for cellular life and for practical purposes, such as drug design. However, the experimental techniques for essential genes discovery are labor-intensive and time-consuming. Considering these experimental constraints, a computational approach capable of accurately predicting essential genes would be of great value. We therefore present here a machine learning-based computational approach relying on network topological features, cellular localization and biological process information for prediction of essential genes. Results We constructed a decision tree-based meta-classifier and trained it on datasets with individual and grouped attributes-network topological features, cellular compartments and biological processes-to generate various predictors of essential genes. We showed that the predictors with better performances are those generated by datasets with integrated attributes. Using the predictor with all attributes, i.e., network topological features, cellular compartments and biological processes, we obtained the best predictor of essential genes that was then used to classify yeast genes with unknown essentiality status. Finally, we generated decision trees by training the J48 algorithm on datasets with all network topological features, cellular localization and biological process information to discover cellular rules for essentiality. We found that the number of protein physical interactions, the nuclear localization of proteins and the number of regulating transcription factors are the most important factors determining gene essentiality. Conclusion We were able to demonstrate that network topological features, cellular localization and biological process information are reliable predictors of essential genes. Moreover, by constructing decision trees based on these data, we could discover cellular rules governing

  17. 21 CFR 601.50 - Confidentiality of data and information in an investigational new drug notice for a biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... investigational new drug notice for a biological product. 601.50 Section 601.50 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG... biological product. (a) The existence of an IND notice for a biological product will not be disclosed by the... availability for public disclosure of all data and information in an IND file for a biological product shall be...

  18. Seven fundamental, unsolved questions in molecular biology. Cooperative storage and bi-directional transfer of biological information by nucleic acids and proteins: an alternative to "central dogma".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biro, J C

    2004-01-01

    The Human Genome Mapping Project provided us a large amount of sequence data. However our understanding of these data did not grow proportionally, because old dogmas still set the limits of our thinking. The gene-centric, reductionistical side of molecular biology is reviewed and seven problems are formulated, each indicating the insufficiency of the "central dogma". The following is concluded and suggested: 1. Genes are located and expressed on both DNA strands; 2. Introns are the source of important biological regulation and diversity; 3. Repeats are the frame of the chromatin structure and participate in the chromatin regulation; 4. The molecular accessibility of the canonical dsDNA structure is poor; 5. The genetic code is co-evolved with the amino acids and there is a stereochemical matching between the codes andamino acids; 6. The flow of information between nucleic acids and proteins is bi-directional and reverse translation might exist; 7. Complex genetic information is always carried and stored by nucleic acids and proteins together.

  19. Sign language: its history and contribution to the understanding of the biological nature of language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruben, Robert J

    2005-05-01

    The development of conceptualization of a biological basis of language during the 20th century has come about, in part, through the appreciation of the central nervous system's ability to utilize varied sensory inputs, and particularly vision, to develop language. Sign language has been a part of the linguistic experience from prehistory to the present day. Data suggest that human language may have originated as a visual language and became primarily auditory with the later development of our voice/speech tract. Sign language may be categorized into two types. The first is used by individuals who have auditory/oral language and the signs are used for special situations, such as communication in a monastery in which there is a vow of silence. The second is used by those who do not have access to auditory/oral language, namely the deaf. The history of the two forms of sign language and the development of the concept of the biological basis of language are reviewed from the fourth century BC to the present day. Sign languages of the deaf have been recognized since at least the fourth century BC. The codification of a monastic sign language occurred in the seventh to eighth centuries AD. Probable synergy between the two forms of sign language occurred in the 16th century. Among other developments, the Abbey de L'Epée introduced, in the 18th century, an oral syntax, French, into a sign language based upon indigenous signs of the deaf and newly created signs. During the 19th century, the concept of a "critical" period for the acquisition of language developed; this was an important stimulus for the exploration of the biological basis of language. The introduction of techniques, e.g. evoked potentials and functional MRI, during the 20th century allowed study of the brain functions associated with language.

  20. Understanding Global Change (UGC) as a Unifying Conceptual Framework for Teaching Ecology: Using UGC in a High School Biology Program to Integrate Earth Science and Biology, and to Demonstrate the Value of Modeling Global Systems in Promoting Conceptual Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J.; Bean, J. R.

    2017-12-01

    Global change science is ideal for NGSS-informed teaching, but presents a serious challenge to K-12 educators because it is complex and interdisciplinary- combining earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics. Global systems are themselves complex. Adding anthropogenic influences on those systems creates a formidable list of topics - greenhouse effect, climate change, nitrogen enrichment, introduced species, land-use change among them - which are often presented as a disconnected "laundry list" of "facts." This complexity, combined with public and mass-media scientific illiteracy, leaves global change science vulnerable to misrepresentation and politicization, creating additional challenges to teachers in public schools. Ample stand-alone, one-off, online resources, many of them excellent, are (to date) underutilized by teachers in the high school science course taken by most students: biology. The Understanding Global Change project (UGC) from the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology has created a conceptual framework that organizes, connects, and explains global systems, human and non-human drivers of change in those systems, and measurable changes in those systems. This organization and framework employ core ideas, crosscutting concepts, structure/function relationships, and system models in a unique format that facilitates authentic understanding, rather than memorization. This system serves as an organizing framework for the entire ecology unit of a forthcoming mainstream high school biology program. The UGC system model is introduced up front with its core informational graphic. The model is elaborated, step by step, by adding concepts and processes as they are introduced and explained in each chapter. The informational graphic is thus used in several ways: to organize material as it is presented, to summarize topics in each chapter and put them in perspective, and for review and critical thinking exercises that supplement the usual end-of-chapter lists of

  1. Hand synergies: Integration of robotics and neuroscience for understanding the control of biological and artificial hands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santello, M.; Bianchi, M.; Gabiccini, M.; Ricciardi, E.; Salvietti, G.; Prattichizzo, D.; Ernst, M.; Moscatelli, A.; Jörntell, H.; Kappers, A.M.L.; Kyriakopoulos, K.; Albu-Schäffer, A.; Castellini, C.; Bicchi, A.

    The term ‘synergy’ – from the Greek synergia – means ‘working together’. The concept of multiple elements working together towards a common goal has been extensively used in neuroscience to develop theoretical frameworks, experimental approaches, and analytical techniques to understand neural

  2. Student Teachers' Ways of Thinking and Ways of Understanding Digestion and the Digestive System in Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çimer, Sabiha Odabasi; Ursavas, Nazihan

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the ways in which student teachers understand digestion and the digestive system and, subsequently, their ways of thinking, as reflected in their problem solving approaches and the justification schemes that they used to validate their claims. For this purpose, clinical interviews were conducted with 10…

  3. The Development of Understanding of Evidence in Pre-University Biology Education in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Schalk, H; van der Schee, J.A.; Boersma, Th.

    2013-01-01

    Ensuring the quality of investigations requires the understanding of procedures by which empirical evidence is obtained. This can be interpreted as becoming aware of and using criteria for evidence in one's mental structure. The question is whether this process can be observed in practice. In two

  4. Toward an Understanding of the Epistemic Values of Biological Scientists as Expressed in Scholarly Publication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Kathel

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation develops a deeper understanding of the epistemic values of scientists, specifically exploring the proposed values of community, collaboration, connectivity and credit as part of the scholarly communication system. These values are the essence of scientists actively engaged in conducting science and in communicating their work to…

  5. The Foundation Role for Theories of Agency in Understanding Information Systems Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Johnston

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we argue that theories of agency form a foundation upon which we can build a deeper understanding of information systems design. We do so by firstly recognising that information systems are part of purposeful sociotechnical systems and that consequently theories of agency may help in understanding them. We then present two alternative theories of agency (deliberative and situational, mainly drawn from the robotics and artificial intelligence disciplines, and in doing so, we note that existing information system design methods and ontological studies of those methods implicitly adhere to the deliberative theory of agency. We also note that while there are advantages in specific circumstances from utilising the situated theory of agency in designing complex systems, because of their differing ontological commitments, such systems would be difficult to analyse and evaluate using ontologies currently used in information systems. We then provide evidence that such situational information systems can indeed exist, by giving a specific example (the Kanban system, which has emerged from manufacturing practice. We conclude that information systems are likely to benefit from creating design approaches supporting the production of situational systems.

  6. Future development of biological understanding of radiation protection: implications of nonstochastic effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hahn, F.F.; McClellan, R.O.; Boecker, B.B.; Muggenburg, B.A.

    1988-01-01

    Radiation-protection standards are based on minimizing or preventing biological effects in exposed populations. Radiation-induced biological effects can be classified as stochastic--malignant and hereditary diseases for which the probability of an effect occurring is a function of dose without threshold--and nonstochastic--inflammatory and degenerative diseases for which the severity and frequency of the effect varies with the dose and for which a threshold is present. The current International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) approach for setting limits for intakes of radionuclides by workers, which accounts for doses to significantly exposed organs of the body, is based on limitation of stochastic effects in most situations. When setting exposure limits, nonstochastic effects are generally considered to be unlikely at the limits for stochastic effects. In some situations, limits based on prevention of nonstochastic effects are lower than for stochastic effects. This review considers the threshold radiation doses for thyroid, bone, liver and lung and their relationship to the limits recommended by the ICRP and the cancer risks at the limits. This review indicates that the threshold dose for nonstochastic effects in thyroid and lung is much above the dose limit as advocated by ICRP. The threshold dose for nonstochastic effects in bone and liver is much closer to the dose limit, but protection from nonstochastic effects should still be afforded by the dose limits

  7. Understanding the Context of Learning in an Online Social Network for Health Professionals' Informal Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Gray, Kathleen; Verspoor, Karin; Barnett, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Online social networks (OSN) enable health professionals to learn informally, for example by sharing medical knowledge, or discussing practice management challenges and clinical issues. Understanding the learning context in OSN is necessary to get a complete picture of the learning process, in order to better support this type of learning. This study proposes critical contextual factors for understanding the learning context in OSN for health professionals, and demonstrates how these contextual factors can be used to analyse the learning context in a designated online learning environment for health professionals.

  8. Research-informed Outreach informs Research: Using games to inform and understand farmer decisions in Sri Lanka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunda, T.; Yeung, K.; Hornberger, G. M.

    2016-12-01

    Researchers from the Agricultural Decision Making and Adaptation to Precipitation Trends in Sri Lanka (ADAPT-SL) team have been working for the past six years to understand Sri Lanka's agricultural vulnerability to climate change and how farmers and policy makers can adapt to and mitigate the variety of threats and uncertainties that climate change brings. In addition to academic publications, the compiled and developed knowledge from the ADAPT-SL research efforts are shared routinely with Sri Lankan stakeholders directly. While presentations are the norm for academic and government stakeholder outreach, we decided that an interactive component would increase farmers' learning. Drawing on teaching pedagogies, we designed a place-based, hands-on game that incorporated local climate and market characteristics to convey the impact of climate change on crop water needs for the Sri Lanka farmers. The process of developing the game, however, revealed gaps in our research knowledge, specifically regarding how farmers balance uncertainties associated with weather and market conditions. So we took advantage of the opportunity offered by the outreach effort to collect data; findings from the game led to the development of a system dynamics model. The game was well received by farmers and other Sri Lankan stakeholders in January 2016, with the former expressing that they played the game as if it was emulating actual farming decisions. The farmers also expressed a desire for more outreach efforts to be designed in such an interactive way. The game has since been used to engage U.S. students (from 5th grade to college seniors majoring in Sociology) regarding the complexities of tackling climate change issues.

  9. Quantum Information Biology: From Theory of Open Quantum Systems to Adaptive Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asano, Masanari; Basieva, Irina; Khrennikov, Andrei; Ohya, Masanori; Tanaka, Yoshiharu; Yamato, Ichiro

    This chapter reviews quantum(-like) information biology (QIB). Here biology is treated widely as even covering cognition and its derivatives: psychology and decision making, sociology, and behavioral economics and finances. QIB provides an integrative description of information processing by bio-systems at all scales of life: from proteins and cells to cognition, ecological and social systems. Mathematically QIB is based on the theory of adaptive quantum systems (which covers also open quantum systems). Ideologically QIB is based on the quantum-like (QL) paradigm: complex bio-systems process information in accordance with the laws of quantum information and probability. This paradigm is supported by plenty of statistical bio-data collected at all bio-scales. QIB re ects the two fundamental principles: a) adaptivity; and, b) openness (bio-systems are fundamentally open). In addition, quantum adaptive dynamics provides the most generally possible mathematical representation of these principles.

  10. Nuclear, biological, and chemical terrorism: understanding the threat and designing responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, J D

    1999-01-01

    Today nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) terrorism is a serious issue. The threat of terrorist or rogue states acquiring and using NBC weapons has ushered in a new age of terrorism; an age that is far more dangerous than any previous period. It is an age of terrorism with which no one yet knows how to deal. This article reviews recent trends in terrorism, and identifies groups that have both the potential and the motive to use weapons of mass destruction. In addition, it discusses the design and implemention of effective measures to meet this threat, as well as the role of CISM teams in preparation for, and in the aftermath of, an incident involving NBC weapons.

  11. Contributions of an animal scientist to understanding the biology of the uterus and pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazer, Fuller W

    2012-01-01

    I developed a passion for reproductive biology when taking a course in Physiology of Reproduction at Louisiana State University while preparing to apply for Veterinary School at Texas A&M University. My career path changed. I entered graduate school, obtained a Ph.D. and have enjoyed an academic career conducting research in uterine biology and pregnancy in animal science departments at the University of Florida and at Texas A&M University. My contributions to science include: (1) identification of molecules secreted by or transported by uterine epithelia into the uterine lumen that are critical to successful establishment and maintenance of pregnancy, (2) discovery of steroids and proteins required for pregnancy-recognition signalling and their mechanisms of action in pigs and ruminants, (3) patterns of fetal-placental development and placental transport of nutrients, (4) identification of links between nutrients and components of histotroph that affect fetal-placental development, (5) characterising aspects of the endocrinology of pregnancy and (6) contributing to efforts to exploit the therapeutic value of interferon tau, particularly for treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Current research focuses on select nutrients in the uterine lumen, specifically amino acids, glucose and fructose, that affect conceptus development, the therapeutic potential for interferon tau, stromal-epithelial cell signalling whereby progesterone and oestrogen act via steroid receptors in uterine stromal cells to stimulate secretion of growth factors (e.g. fibroblast growth factors and hepatocyte growth factor) that regulate uterine epithelial cells and conceptus trophectoderm, and roles of toll-like receptors expressed by uterine epithelia and conceptus trophectoderm in pregnancy.

  12. UNDERSTANDING THAI CULTURE AND ITS IMPACT ON REQUIREMENTS ENGINEERING PROCESS MANAGEMENT DURING INFORMATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theerasak Thanasankit

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the impact of Thai culture on managing the decision making process in requirements engineering and contribution a better understand of its influence on the management of requirements engineering process. The paper illustrates the interaction of technology and culture and shows that rather than technology changing culture, culture can change the way technology is used. Thai culture is naturally inherent in Thai daily life and Thais bring that into their work practices. The concepts of power and uncertainty in Thai culture contribute toward hierarchical forms of communication and decision making process in Thailand, especially during requirements engineering, where information systems requirements need to be established for further development. The research shows that the decision making process in Thailand tends to take a much longer time, as every stage during requirements engineering needs to be reported to management for final decisions. The tall structure of Thai organisations also contributes to a bureaucratic, elongated decision-making process during information systems development. Understanding the influence of Thai culture on requirements engineering and information systems development will assist multinational information systems consulting organisations to select, adapt, better manage, or change requirements engineering process and information systems developments methodologies to work best with Thai organisations.

  13. Understanding Phylogenies in Biology: The Influence of a Gestalt Perceptual Principle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R.; Catley, Kefyn M.

    2007-01-01

    Cladograms, hierarchical diagrams depicting evolutionary histories among (groups of) species, are commonly drawn in 2 informationally equivalent formats--tree and ladder. The authors hypothesize that these formats are not computationally equivalent because the Gestalt principle of good continuation obscures the hierarchical structure of ladders.…

  14. Neural Information Processing in Cognition: We Start to Understand the Orchestra, but Where is the Conductor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palm, Günther

    2016-01-01

    Research in neural information processing has been successful in the past, providing useful approaches both to practical problems in computer science and to computational models in neuroscience. Recent developments in the area of cognitive neuroscience present new challenges for a computational or theoretical understanding asking for neural information processing models that fulfill criteria or constraints from cognitive psychology, neuroscience and computational efficiency. The most important of these criteria for the evaluation of present and future contributions to this new emerging field are listed at the end of this article. PMID:26858632

  15. Understanding Health Professionals' Informal Learning in Online Social Networks: A Cross-Sectional Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Verspoor, Karin; Gray, Kathleen; Barnett, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Online social networks (OSNs) enable health professionals to learn informally, for example by sharing medical knowledge, or discussing practice management challenges and clinical issues. Understanding how learning occurs in OSNs is necessary to better support this type of learning. Through a cross-sectional survey, this study found that learning interaction in OSNs is low in general, with a small number of active users. Some health professionals actively used OSNs to support their practice, including sharing practical and experiential knowledge, benchmarking themselves, and to keep up-to-date on policy, advanced information and news in the field. These health professionals had an overall positive learning experience in OSNs.

  16. From loquacious to reticent: understanding patient health information communication to guide consumer health IT design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdez, Rupa S; Guterbock, Thomas M; Fitzgibbon, Kara; Williams, Ishan C; Wellbeloved-Stone, Claire A; Bears, Jaime E; Menefee, Hannah K

    2017-07-01

    It is increasingly recognized that some patients self-manage in the context of social networks rather than alone. Consumer health information technology (IT) designed to support socially embedded self-management must be responsive to patients' everyday communication practices. There is an opportunity to improve consumer health IT design by explicating how patients currently leverage social media to support health information communication. The objective of this study was to determine types of health information communication patterns that typify Facebook users with chronic health conditions to guide consumer health IT design. Seven hundred participants with type 2 diabetes were recruited through a commercial survey access panel. Cluster analysis was used to identify distinct approaches to health information communication both on and off Facebook. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) methods were used to identify demographic and behavioral differences among profiles. Secondary analysis of qualitative interviews ( n  = 25) and analysis of open-ended survey questions were conducted to understand participant rationales for each profile. Our analysis yielded 7 distinct health information communication profiles. Five of 7 profiles had consistent patterns both on and off Facebook, while the remaining 2 demonstrated distinct practices, with no health information communication on Facebook but some off Facebook. One profile was distinct from all others in both health information communication practices and demographic composition. Rationales for following specific health information communication practices were categorized under 6 themes: altruism, instrumental support, social support, privacy and stigma, convenience, and Facebook knowledge. Facebook has been widely adopted for health information communication; This study demonstrates that Facebook has been widely adopted for health information communication. It also shows that the ways in which patients communicate health

  17. ISBP: Understanding the Security Rule of Users' Information-Sharing Behaviors in Partnership.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongchen Wu

    Full Text Available The rapid growth of social network data has given rise to high security awareness among users, especially when they exchange and share their personal information. However, because users have different feelings about sharing their information, they are often puzzled about who their partners for exchanging information can be and what information they can share. Is it possible to assist users in forming a partnership network in which they can exchange and share information with little worry? We propose a modified information sharing behavior prediction (ISBP model that can help in understanding the underlying rules by which users share their information with partners in light of three common aspects: what types of items users are likely to share, what characteristics of users make them likely to share information, and what features of users' sharing behavior are easy to predict. This model is applied with machine learning techniques in WEKA to predict users' decisions pertaining to information sharing behavior and form them into trustable partnership networks by learning their features. In the experiment section, by using two real-life datasets consisting of citizens' sharing behavior, we identify the effect of highly sensitive requests on sharing behavior adjacent to individual variables: the younger participants' partners are more difficult to predict than those of the older participants, whereas the partners of people who are not computer majors are easier to predict than those of people who are computer majors. Based on these findings, we believe that it is necessary and feasible to offer users personalized suggestions on information sharing decisions, and this is pioneering work that could benefit college researchers focusing on user-centric strategies and website owners who want to collect more user information without raising their privacy awareness or losing their trustworthiness.

  18. ISBP: Understanding the Security Rule of Users' Information-Sharing Behaviors in Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hongchen; Wang, Xinjun

    2016-01-01

    The rapid growth of social network data has given rise to high security awareness among users, especially when they exchange and share their personal information. However, because users have different feelings about sharing their information, they are often puzzled about who their partners for exchanging information can be and what information they can share. Is it possible to assist users in forming a partnership network in which they can exchange and share information with little worry? We propose a modified information sharing behavior prediction (ISBP) model that can help in understanding the underlying rules by which users share their information with partners in light of three common aspects: what types of items users are likely to share, what characteristics of users make them likely to share information, and what features of users' sharing behavior are easy to predict. This model is applied with machine learning techniques in WEKA to predict users' decisions pertaining to information sharing behavior and form them into trustable partnership networks by learning their features. In the experiment section, by using two real-life datasets consisting of citizens' sharing behavior, we identify the effect of highly sensitive requests on sharing behavior adjacent to individual variables: the younger participants' partners are more difficult to predict than those of the older participants, whereas the partners of people who are not computer majors are easier to predict than those of people who are computer majors. Based on these findings, we believe that it is necessary and feasible to offer users personalized suggestions on information sharing decisions, and this is pioneering work that could benefit college researchers focusing on user-centric strategies and website owners who want to collect more user information without raising their privacy awareness or losing their trustworthiness.

  19. User's Guide to Biome Information from the United States International Biological Program (IBP). First Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinckley, A. Dexter; Haug, Peter T.

    This publication is a guide to the biome research conducted under the International Biological Program. The guide lists biome researchers by interest and by biome as well as a central list. A site list, map, information sources section reporting abstracts, bibliographies, journals, books, evaluations, and data books are also included. Three…

  20. Toward High School Biology: Helping Middle School Students Understand Chemical Reactions and Conservation of Mass in Nonliving and Living Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann-Abell, Cari F; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better foundation, we used research-based design principles and collaborated in the development of a curricular intervention that applies chemistry ideas to living and nonliving contexts. Six eighth grade teachers and their students participated in a test of the unit during the Spring of 2013. Two of the teachers had used an earlier version of the unit the previous spring. The other four teachers were randomly assigned either to implement the unit or to continue teaching the same content using existing materials. Pre- and posttests were administered, and the data were analyzed using Rasch modeling and hierarchical linear modeling. The results showed that, when controlling for pretest score, gender, language, and ethnicity, students who used the curricular intervention performed better on the posttest than the students using existing materials. Additionally, students who participated in the intervention held fewer misconceptions. These results demonstrate the unit's promise in improving students' understanding of the targeted ideas. © 2016 C. F. Herrmann-Abell et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  1. How lay people understand and make sense of personalized disease risk information

    OpenAIRE

    Damman, Olga C.; Bogaerts, Nina M. M.; van den Haak, Maaike J.; Timmermans, Danielle R. M.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background Disease risk calculators are increasingly web‐based, but previous studies have shown that risk information often poses problems for lay users. Objective To examine how lay people understand the result derived from an online cardiometabolic risk calculator. Design A qualitative study was performed, using the risk calculator in the Dutch National Prevention Program for cardiometabolic diseases. The study consisted of three parts: (i) attention: completion of the risk calcula...

  2. Use and understanding of nutrition information on food labels in six European countries

    OpenAIRE

    Grunert , Klaus G.; Fernández-Celemín , Laura; Wills , Josephine M.; Storcksdieck Genannt Bonsmann , Stefan; Nureeva , Liliya

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Aim The goal of the study was to investigate the use of nutrition information on food labels and understanding of guideline daily amount (GDA) front-of-pack nutrition labels in six European countries. Subjects and methods In-store observations and in-store interviews were conducted in major retailers in the UK (n?=?2019), Sweden (n?=?1858), France (n?=?2337), Germany (n?=?1963), Poland (n?=?1800) ...

  3. [Bone Cell Biology Assessed by Microscopic Approach. A mathematical approach to understand bone remodeling].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kameo, Yoshitaka; Adachi, Taiji

    2015-10-01

    It is well known that bone tissue can change its outer shape and internal structure by remodeling according to a changing mechanical environment. However, the mechanism of bone functional adaptation induced by the collaborative metabolic activities of bone cells in response to mechanical stimuli remains elusive. In this article, we focus on the hierarchy of bone structure and function from the microscopic cellular level to the macroscopic tissue level. We provide an overview of a mathematical approach to understand the adaptive changes in trabecular morphology under the application of mechanical stress.

  4. Biological Principles and Threshold Concepts for Understanding Natural Selection. Implications for Developing Visualizations as a Pedagogic Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibell, Lena A. E.; Harms, Ute

    2017-11-01

    Modern evolutionary theory is both a central theory and an integrative framework of the life sciences. This is reflected in the common references to evolution in modern science education curricula and contexts. In fact, evolution is a core idea that is supposed to support biology learning by facilitating the organization of relevant knowledge. In addition, evolution can function as a pivotal link between concepts and highlight similarities in the complexity of biological concepts. However, empirical studies in many countries have for decades identified deficiencies in students' scientific understanding of evolution mainly focusing on natural selection. Clearly, there are major obstacles to learning natural selection, and we argue that to overcome them, it is essential to address explicitly the general abstract concepts that underlie the biological processes, e.g., randomness or probability. Hence, we propose a two-dimensional framework for analyzing and structuring teaching of natural selection. The first—purely biological—dimension embraces the three main principles variation, heredity, and selection structured in nine key concepts that form the core idea of natural selection. The second dimension encompasses four so-called thresholds, i.e., general abstract and/or non-perceptual concepts: randomness, probability, spatial scales, and temporal scales. We claim that both of these dimensions must be continuously considered, in tandem, when teaching evolution in order to allow development of a meaningful understanding of the process. Further, we suggest that making the thresholds tangible with the aid of appropriate kinds of visualizations will facilitate grasping of the threshold concepts, and thus, help learners to overcome the difficulties in understanding the central theory of life.

  5. Understanding specificity in metabolic pathways--structural biology of human nucleotide metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welin, Martin; Nordlund, Pär

    2010-05-21

    Interactions are the foundation of life at the molecular level. In the plethora of activities in the cell, the evolution of enzyme specificity requires the balancing of appropriate substrate affinity with a negative selection, in order to minimize interactions with other potential substrates in the cell. To understand the structural basis for enzyme specificity, the comparison of structural and biochemical data between enzymes within pathways using similar substrates and effectors is valuable. Nucleotide metabolism is one of the largest metabolic pathways in the human cell and is of outstanding therapeutic importance since it activates and catabolises nucleoside based anti-proliferative drugs and serves as a direct target for anti-proliferative drugs. In recent years the structural coverage of the enzymes involved in human nucleotide metabolism has been dramatically improved and is approaching completion. An important factor has been the contribution from the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at Karolinska Institutet, which recently has solved 33 novel structures of enzymes and enzyme domains in human nucleotide metabolism pathways and homologs thereof. In this review we will discuss some of the principles for substrate specificity of enzymes in human nucleotide metabolism illustrated by a selected set of enzyme families where a detailed understanding of the structural determinants for specificity is now emerging. 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Understanding specificity in metabolic pathways-Structural biology of human nucleotide metabolism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welin, Martin; Nordlund, Paer

    2010-01-01

    Interactions are the foundation of life at the molecular level. In the plethora of activities in the cell, the evolution of enzyme specificity requires the balancing of appropriate substrate affinity with a negative selection, in order to minimize interactions with other potential substrates in the cell. To understand the structural basis for enzyme specificity, the comparison of structural and biochemical data between enzymes within pathways using similar substrates and effectors is valuable. Nucleotide metabolism is one of the largest metabolic pathways in the human cell and is of outstanding therapeutic importance since it activates and catabolises nucleoside based anti-proliferative drugs and serves as a direct target for anti-proliferative drugs. In recent years the structural coverage of the enzymes involved in human nucleotide metabolism has been dramatically improved and is approaching completion. An important factor has been the contribution from the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at Karolinska Institutet, which recently has solved 33 novel structures of enzymes and enzyme domains in human nucleotide metabolism pathways and homologs thereof. In this review we will discuss some of the principles for substrate specificity of enzymes in human nucleotide metabolism illustrated by a selected set of enzyme families where a detailed understanding of the structural determinants for specificity is now emerging.

  7. Prospects of Understanding the Molecular Biology of Disease Resistance in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pankaj Kumar Singh

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Rice is one of the important crops grown worldwide and is considered as an important crop for global food security. Rice is being affected by various fungal, bacterial and viral diseases resulting in huge yield losses every year. Deployment of resistance genes in various crops is one of the important methods of disease management. However, identification, cloning and characterization of disease resistance genes is a very tedious effort. To increase the life span of resistant cultivars, it is important to understand the molecular basis of plant host–pathogen interaction. With the advancement in rice genetics and genomics, several rice varieties resistant to fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens have been developed. However, resistance response of these varieties break down very frequently because of the emergence of more virulent races of the pathogen in nature. To increase the durability of resistance genes under field conditions, understanding the mechanismof resistance response and its molecular basis should be well understood. Some emerging concepts like interspecies transfer of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs and transgenerational plant immunitycan be employed to develop sustainable broad spectrum resistant varieties of rice.

  8. Informed consent and stimulant medication: adolescents' and parents' ability to understand information about benefits and risks of stimulant medication for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachter, Debbie; Tharmalingam, Sukirtha; Kleinman, Irwin

    2011-04-01

    This study of informed consent examines understanding of information needed to consent to stimulant treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The understanding of adolescents with ADHD, their parents, control adolescents, and their parents is compared. Fifty-eight ADHD and 64 control adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16 and their parents were studied. Baseline understanding of information was determined. Subjects received information relevant to informed consent for stimulation medication and afterward were evaluated on their recall understanding and their final understanding. Knowledge was increased after the information session for all subjects. There was no significant difference between unadjusted baseline, recall, and final knowledge of control adolescents and parents. Although unadjusted baseline, recall, and final knowledge of ADHD adolescents is significantly less than that of parents, 78% of ADHD adolescents had final understanding scores within 2 standard deviations of parents' scores. After controlling for baseline understanding and cognitive variables, there was no significant difference between understanding of ADHD adolescents and ADHD parents, whereas control adolescents understanding scores were higher than that of their parents. Understanding was highly associated with mathematics achievement in all groups. The majority of adolescents with ADHD, both with and without a history of stimulant medication treatment, have understanding that is similar to their parents and their inclusion in the informed consent process should be encouraged. Extra care should be afforded to those adolescents with low numeracy or literacy to ensure their understanding.

  9. Towards the Biological Understanding of CTC: Capture Technologies, Definitions and Potential to Create Metastasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana M.C. Barradas

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC are rare cells originated from tumors that travel into the blood stream, extravasate to different organs of which only a small fraction will develop into metastasis. The presence of CTC enumerated with the CellSearch system is associated with a relative short survival and their continued presence after the first cycles of therapy indicates a futile therapy in patients with metastatic carcinomas. Detailed characterization of CTC holds the promise to enable the choice of the optimal therapy for the individual patients during the course of the disease. The phenotype, physical and biological properties are however not well understood making it difficult to assess the merit of recent technological advancements to improve upon the capture of CTC or to evaluate their metastatic potential. Here we will discuss the recent advances in the classification of CTC captured by the CellSearch system, the implications of their features and numbers. Latest capture platforms are reviewed and placed in the light of technology improvements needed to detect CTC. Physical properties, phenotype, viability and proliferative potential and means to assess their proliferation and metastatic capacity will be summarized and placed in the context of the latest CTC capture platforms.

  10. Biological Niches within Human Calcified Aortic Valves: Towards Understanding of the Pathological Biomineralization Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Cottignoli

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite recent advances, mineralization site, its microarchitecture, and composition in calcific heart valve remain poorly understood. A multiscale investigation, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM, transmission electron microscopy (TEM, and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS, from micrometre up to nanometre, was conducted on human severely calcified aortic and mitral valves, to provide new insights into calcification process. Our aim was to evaluate the spatial relationship existing between bioapatite crystals, their local growing microenvironment, and the presence of a hierarchical architecture. Here we detected the presence of bioapatite crystals in two different mineralization sites that suggest the action of two different growth processes: a pathological crystallization process that occurs in biological niches and is ascribed to a purely physicochemical process and a matrix-mediated mineralized process in which the extracellular matrix acts as the template for a site-directed nanocrystals nucleation. Different shapes of bioapatite crystallization were observed at micrometer scale in each microenvironment but at the nanoscale level crystals appear to be made up by the same subunits.

  11. Understanding of pictograms from the United States Pharmacopeia Dispensing Information (USP-DI among elderly Brazilians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barros IMC

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Izadora MC Barros, Thaciana S Alcântara, Alessandra R Mesquita, Monica L Bispo, Chiara E Rocha, Vagner Porto Moreira, Divaldo P Lyra Junior Laboratory of Teaching and Research in Social Pharmacy (LEPFS, Department of Pharmacy, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristóvão, Brazil Objective: To assess the understanding and cultural acceptability of the United States Pharmacopeia Dispensing Information (USP-DI in a group of elderly Brazilians.Methods: The study participants were individuals between 60 and 90 years old, of both sexes, with different levels of education and income. Fifteen of 81 pictograms from the USP-DI were presented to the elderly subjects, individually, without subtitles and in random order, so that the participants’ understanding of the pictograms could be evaluated.Results: The study included 116 participants. Only one of the selected pictograms reached the comprehension criterion established by the International Organization for Standardization 3864. With regard to the relationship between understanding and sociodemographic characteristics, age, wage income, and level of education were all found to be significantly associated with participants’ understanding of some of the pictograms.Conclusion: Most of the USP-DI pictograms evaluated were not well understood by the elderly Brazilians. This finding indicates that such pictograms need to be culturally adapted for the Brazilian context if they are to serve their purpose effectively in this country. Keywords: pictograms, understanding, elderly, Brazil

  12. Improving biological understanding and complex trait prediction by integrating prior information in genomic feature models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Stefan McKinnon

    In this thesis we investigate an approach to integrate external data into the analysis of genetic variants. The goal is similar to that of gene-set enrichment tests, but relies on the robust statistical framework of linear mixed models. This approach has allowed us to integrate virtually any exte...... such as personalised medicine....

  13. The infection biology of Sphaerulina musiva: clues to understanding a forest pathogen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruqian Qin

    Full Text Available Trees in the genus Populus and their interspecific hybrids are used across North America for fiber production and as a potential source of biofuel. Plantations of these species are severely impacted by a fungal pathogen, Sphaerulina musiva, the cause of leaf spot and stem canker. An inoculation protocol that does not rely on stem wounding to achieve infection was recently developed. Using this protocol two experiments were conducted to examine infection biology and disease development in the S. musiva-Populus interaction. In the first experiment non-wounded stems of one moderately resistant clone (NM6 and one susceptible clone (NC11505 were inoculated and examined by scanning electron microscopy at six different times (6 h, 12 h, 24 h, 72 h, 1 week, and 3 weeks post-inoculation. The images indicate that the pathogen appears to enter host tissue through small openings and lenticels and that there are no significant differences in the penetration rate between the moderately resistant (NM6 and susceptible (NC11505 clones at 12 h post-inoculation. In a second experiment a histological comparison of stem cankers for resistant clone DN74 and susceptible clone NC11505 were conducted at three time points (3 weeks, 5 weeks, and 7 weeks post-inoculation. Distinct differences in disease development were apparent between the resistant and susceptible clones at each time point, with the susceptible clone exhibiting a weak and delayed defense response. These results suggest, that following penetration, the pathogen may be able to interfere with the defense response in the susceptible host.

  14. Script, code, information: how to differentiate analogies in the "prehistory" of molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogge, Werner

    2012-01-01

    The remarkable fact that twentieth-century molecular biology developed its conceptual system on the basis of sign-like terms has been the object of numerous studies and debates. Throughout these, the assumption is made that this vocabulary's emergence should be seen in the historical context of mathematical communication theory and cybernetics. This paper, in contrast, sets out the need for a more differentiated view: whereas the success of the terms "code" and "information" would probably be unthinkable outside that historical context, general semiotic and especially scriptural concepts arose far earlier in the "prehistory" of molecular biology, and in close association with biological research and phenomena. This distinction, established through a reconstruction of conceptual developments between 1870 and 1950, makes it possible to separate off a critique of the reductive implications of particular information-based concepts from the use of semiotic and scriptural concepts, which is fundamental to molecular biology. Gene-centrism and determinism are not implications of semiotic and scriptural analogies, but arose only when the vocabulary of information was superimposed upon them.

  15. Understanding household preferences for hurricane risk mitigation information: evidence from survey responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Chiradip; Mozumder, Pallab

    2014-06-01

    Risk information is critical to adopting mitigation measures, and seeking risk information is influenced by a variety of factors. An essential component of the recently adopted My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program by the State of Florida is to provide homeowners with pertinent risk information to facilitate hurricane risk mitigation activities. We develop an analytical framework to understand household preferences for hurricane risk mitigation information through allowing an intensive home inspection. An empirical analysis is used to identify major drivers of household preferences to receive personalized information regarding recommended hurricane risk mitigation measures. A variety of empirical specifications show that households with home insurance, prior experience with damages, and with a higher sense of vulnerability to be affected by hurricanes are more likely to allow inspection to seek information. However, households with more members living in the home and households who live in manufactured/mobile homes are less likely to allow inspection. While findings imply MSFH program's ability to link incentives offered by private and public agencies in promoting mitigation, households that face a disproportionately higher level of risk can get priority to make the program more effective. © 2014 Society for Risk Analysis.

  16. Towards BioDBcore: a community-defined information specification for biological databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudet, Pascale; Bairoch, Amos; Field, Dawn; Sansone, Susanna-Assunta; Taylor, Chris; Attwood, Teresa K; Bateman, Alex; Blake, Judith A; Bult, Carol J; Cherry, J Michael; Chisholm, Rex L; Cochrane, Guy; Cook, Charles E; Eppig, Janan T; Galperin, Michael Y; Gentleman, Robert; Goble, Carole A; Gojobori, Takashi; Hancock, John M; Howe, Douglas G; Imanishi, Tadashi; Kelso, Janet; Landsman, David; Lewis, Suzanna E; Mizrachi, Ilene Karsch; Orchard, Sandra; Ouellette, B F Francis; Ranganathan, Shoba; Richardson, Lorna; Rocca-Serra, Philippe; Schofield, Paul N; Smedley, Damian; Southan, Christopher; Tan, Tin Wee; Tatusova, Tatiana; Whetzel, Patricia L; White, Owen; Yamasaki, Chisato

    2011-01-01

    The present article proposes the adoption of a community-defined, uniform, generic description of the core attributes of biological databases, BioDBCore. The goals of these attributes are to provide a general overview of the database landscape, to encourage consistency and interoperability between resources and to promote the use of semantic and syntactic standards. BioDBCore will make it easier for users to evaluate the scope and relevance of available resources. This new resource will increase the collective impact of the information present in biological databases.

  17. Towards BioDBcore: a community-defined information specification for biological databases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudet, Pascale; Bairoch, Amos; Field, Dawn; Sansone, Susanna-Assunta; Taylor, Chris; Attwood, Teresa K.; Bateman, Alex; Blake, Judith A.; Bult, Carol J.; Cherry, J. Michael; Chisholm, Rex L.; Cochrane, Guy; Cook, Charles E.; Eppig, Janan T.; Galperin, Michael Y.; Gentleman, Robert; Goble, Carole A.; Gojobori, Takashi; Hancock, John M.; Howe, Douglas G.; Imanishi, Tadashi; Kelso, Janet; Landsman, David; Lewis, Suzanna E.; Mizrachi, Ilene Karsch; Orchard, Sandra; Ouellette, B. F. Francis; Ranganathan, Shoba; Richardson, Lorna; Rocca-Serra, Philippe; Schofield, Paul N.; Smedley, Damian; Southan, Christopher; Tan, Tin Wee; Tatusova, Tatiana; Whetzel, Patricia L.; White, Owen; Yamasaki, Chisato

    2011-01-01

    The present article proposes the adoption of a community-defined, uniform, generic description of the core attributes of biological databases, BioDBCore. The goals of these attributes are to provide a general overview of the database landscape, to encourage consistency and interoperability between resources and to promote the use of semantic and syntactic standards. BioDBCore will make it easier for users to evaluate the scope and relevance of available resources. This new resource will increase the collective impact of the information present in biological databases. PMID:21097465

  18. Engaging Students in Authentic Microbiology Research in an Introductory Biology Laboratory Course is Correlated with Gains in Student Understanding of the Nature of Authentic Research and Critical Thinking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany J. Gasper

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent recommendations for biology education highlight the role of authentic research experiences early in undergraduate education as a means of increasing the number and quality of biology majors. These experiences will inform students on the nature of science, increase their confidence in doing science, as well as foster critical thinking skills, an area that has been lacking despite it being one of the desired outcomes at undergraduate institutions and with future employers. With these things in mind, we have developed an introductory biology laboratory course where students design and execute an authentic microbiology research project. Students in this course are assimilated into the community of researchers by engaging in scholarly activities such as participating in inquiry, reading scientific literature, and communicating findings in written and oral formats. After three iterations of a semester-long laboratory course, we found that students who took the course showed a significant increase in their understanding of the nature of authentic research and their level of critical thinking skills.

  19. Compounds Released from Biomass Deconstruction: Understanding Their Effect on Cellulose Enzyme Hydrolysis and Their Biological Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djioleu, Angele Mezindjou

    The effect of compounds produced during biomass pretreatment on cellulolytic enzyme was investigated. Liquid prehydrolyzates were prepared by pretreating switchgrass using 24 combinations of temperature, time, and sulfuric acid concentration based on a full factorial design. Temperature was varied from 140°C to 180°C; time ranged from 10 to 40 min; and the sulfuric acid concentrations were 0.5% or 1% (v/v). Identified products in the prehydrolyzates included xylose, glucose, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), furfural, acetic acid, formic acid, and phenolic compounds at concentration ranging from 0 to 21.4 g/L. Pretreatment conditions significantly affected the concentrations of compounds detected in prehydrolyzates. When assayed in the presence of switchgrass prehydrolyzates against model substrates, activities of cellulase, betaglucosidase, and exoglucanase, were significantly reduced by at least 16%, 31.8%, and 57.8%, respectively, as compared to the control. A strong positive correlation between inhibition of betaglucosidase and concentration of glucose, acetic acid, and furans in prehydrolyzate was established. Exoglucanase inhibition correlated with the presence of phenolic compounds and acetic acid. The prehydrolyzate, prepared at 160°C, 30 min, and 1% acid, was fractionated by centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) into six fractions; the inhibition effect of these fractions on betaglucosidase and exoglucanase was determined. The initial hydrolysis rate of cellobiose by betaglucosidase was significantly reduced by the CPC sugar-rich fraction; however, exoglucanase was deactivated by the CPC phenolic-rich fraction. Finally, biological activities of water-extracted compounds from sweetgum bark and their effect on cellulase was investigated. It was determined that 12% of solid content of the bark extract could be accounted by phenolic compounds with gallic acid identified as the most concentrated phytochemical. Sweetgum bark extract inhibited Staphylococcus

  20. Proteomic profiling: a novel approach to understanding the biological causes of soil water repellency

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Keulen, Geertje; Doerr, Stefan H.; Urbanek, Emilia; Jones, Alun; Dudley, Ed

    2010-05-01

    Soil water repellency is a common phenomenon affecting a wide range of soil and land use types in different climates and is considered "the norm rather than the exception with its degree being variable". In all but the most severe cases, soil water repellency is transient with soils wetting eventually after prolonged wet weather and returning, when soil moisture content falls below the critical value. Despite the far-reaching environmental and (agro-)economic consequences, the fundamental biological causes of soil water repellency and its transient behaviour remain poorly understood. It is widely accepted that soil water repellency is caused by organic compounds coating soil particle surfaces. This reduces the particle's surface tension to values lower than that of water, which, as a net effect, inhibits the intrusion of liquid water into the soil pore space. Microbial as well as plant-derived substances have been implicated as sources of these organic materials, while some microbes have also been identified as degraders and/or emulsifiers of hydrophobic compounds. Common hydrophobic compounds and metabolites (e.g. alkanes and fatty acids) have been isolated from both wettable and water repellent soils in similar amounts indicating that their relevance is ambiguous. Even greater uncertainty exists about the role of soil micro-organisms in the development, reduction and temporal variability of soil water repellency. Importantly, certain filamentous fungi and actinomycete bacteria are able to render their hydrophilic cell surface hydrophobic, for example, during spore formation and hyphal foraging through air-containing pores in soil, by producing extracellular hydrophobic proteins. Beyond their own cell surface, the extracellular proteins can form highly recalcitrant hydrophobic surfaces on the hydrophilic side of amphiphilic, i.e. air-water or soil particle, interfaces. Remarkably, the proteins from fungi can also adhere to hydrophobic surfaces under drying

  1. Hand synergies: Integration of robotics and neuroscience for understanding the control of biological and artificial hands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Marco; Bianchi, Matteo; Gabiccini, Marco; Ricciardi, Emiliano; Salvietti, Gionata; Prattichizzo, Domenico; Ernst, Marc; Moscatelli, Alessandro; Jörntell, Henrik; Kappers, Astrid M. L.; Kyriakopoulos, Kostas; Albu-Schäffer, Alin; Castellini, Claudio; Bicchi, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    The term 'synergy' - from the Greek synergia - means 'working together'. The concept of multiple elements working together towards a common goal has been extensively used in neuroscience to develop theoretical frameworks, experimental approaches, and analytical techniques to understand neural control of movement, and for applications for neuro-rehabilitation. In the past decade, roboticists have successfully applied the framework of synergies to create novel design and control concepts for artificial hands, i.e., robotic hands and prostheses. At the same time, robotic research on the sensorimotor integration underlying the control and sensing of artificial hands has inspired new research approaches in neuroscience, and has provided useful instruments for novel experiments. The ambitious goal of integrating expertise and research approaches in robotics and neuroscience to study the properties and applications of the concept of synergies is generating a number of multidisciplinary cooperative projects, among which the recently finished 4-year European project ;The Hand Embodied; (THE). This paper reviews the main insights provided by this framework. Specifically, we provide an overview of neuroscientific bases of hand synergies and introduce how robotics has leveraged the insights from neuroscience for innovative design in hardware and controllers for biomedical engineering applications, including myoelectric hand prostheses, devices for haptics research, and wearable sensing of human hand kinematics. The review also emphasizes how this multidisciplinary collaboration has generated new ways to conceptualize a synergy-based approach for robotics, and provides guidelines and principles for analyzing human behavior and synthesizing artificial robotic systems based on a theory of synergies.

  2. Resonant Mie scattering in infrared spectroscopy of biological materials--understanding the 'dispersion artefact'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassan, Paul; Byrne, Hugh J; Bonnier, Franck; Lee, Joe; Dumas, Paul; Gardner, Peter

    2009-08-01

    Infrared spectroscopic cytology is potentially a powerful clinical tool. However, in order for it to be successful, practitioners must be able to extract reliably a pure absorption spectrum from a measured spectrum that often contains many confounding factors. The most intractable problem to date is the, so called, dispersion artefact which most prominently manifests itself as a sharp decrease in absorbance on the high wavenumber side of the amide I band in the measured spectrum, exhibiting a derivative-like line shape. In this paper we use synchrotron radiation FTIR micro-spectroscopy to record spectra of mono-dispersed poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) spheres of systematically varying size and demonstrate that the spectral distortions in the data can be understood in terms of resonant Mie scattering. A full understanding of this effect will enable us to develop strategies for deconvolving the scattering contribution and recovering the pure absorption spectrum, thus removing one of the last technological barriers to the development of clinical spectroscopic cytology.

  3. Use of Online Health Information by Geriatric and Adult Emergency Department Patients: Access, Understanding, and Trust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Grant; McCarthy, Danielle M; Aldeen, Amer Z; Czerniak, Alyssa; Courtney, D Mark; Dresden, Scott M

    2017-07-01

    The objective was to characterize geriatric patients' use of online health information (OHI) relative to younger adults and assess their comfort ith OHI compared to health information (HI) from their physician. This was a prospective cross-sectional survey study of adult emergency department (ED) patients. The survey assessed patients' self-reported use of OHI in the past year and immediately prior to ED visit and analyzed differences across four age groups: 18-39, 40-64, 65-74, and 75+. Patients' ability to access, understand, and trust OHI was assessed using a 7-point Likert scale and compared to parallel questions regarding HI obtained from their doctor. Patient use of OHI was compared across age groups. Comfort with OHI and HI obtained from a doctor was compared across age groups using the Kruskal-Wallis test. Comparisons between sources of HI were made within age groups using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Of 889 patients who were approached for study inclusion, 723 patients (81.3%) completed the survey. The majority of patients had used OHI in the past year in all age groups, but older patients were less likely to have used OHI: age 18-39, 90.3%; 40-64, 85.3%; 65-74, 76.4%; and 75+, 50.7% (p accessible from their doctor than the Internet, while the youngest patients found HI more accessible on the Internet than from their doctor. Regardless of age, patients noted that information from their physician was both easier to understand and more trustworthy than information found on the Internet. Although many older patients used OHI, they were less likely than younger adults to use the Internet immediately prior to an ED visit. Despite often using OHI, patients of all age groups found healthcare information from their doctor easier to understand and more trustworthy than information from the Internet. As health systems work to efficiently provide information to patients, addressing these perceived deficiencies may be necessary to build effective OHI programs.

  4. Toward High School Biology: Helping Middle School Students Understand Chemical Reactions and Conservation of Mass in Nonliving and Living Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann-Abell, Cari F.; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better foundation, we used research-based design principles and collaborated in the development of a curricular intervention that applies chemistry ideas to living and nonliving contexts. Six eighth grade teachers and their students participated in a test of the unit during the Spring of 2013. Two of the teachers had used an earlier version of the unit the previous spring. The other four teachers were randomly assigned either to implement the unit or to continue teaching the same content using existing materials. Pre- and posttests were administered, and the data were analyzed using Rasch modeling and hierarchical linear modeling. The results showed that, when controlling for pretest score, gender, language, and ethnicity, students who used the curricular intervention performed better on the posttest than the students using existing materials. Additionally, students who participated in the intervention held fewer misconceptions. These results demonstrate the unit’s promise in improving students’ understanding of the targeted ideas. PMID:27909024

  5. Information search behaviour, understanding and use of nutrition labeling by residents of Madrid, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Castillo, L; Royo-Bordonada, M A; Moya-Geromini, A

    2015-03-01

    To describe the information search behaviour, comprehension level, and use of nutritional labeling by consumers according to sociodemographic characteristics. Cross-sectional study of consumers recruited in five stores of the main supermarket chains in Madrid: a random sample of 299 consumers (response rate: 80.6%). Interviewers collected information about the information search behaviour, comprehension, and use of nutritional labeling using a questionnaire designed for this purpose. Analyses examined the frequency of the variables of interest. Differences were tested using the Chi-square statistic. In this sample, 38.8% of consumers regularly read the nutritional labeling before making a purchase (45% of women vs 30% in men; P = 0.03) and the most common reason reported was choosing healthier products (81.3%). The proportion of people who were interested in additives and fats was the higher, (55% and 50%, respectively). Lack of time (38.9%), lack of interest (27.1%), and reading difficulties (18.1%) were the most common reasons given for not reading labels. Over half (52.4%) of consumers reported completely understanding the nutritional information on labels and 20.5% reported using such information for dietary planning. Reported information search behaviour, comprehension, and use of nutritional labeling were relatively high among consumers of the study, and their main goal was picking healthier products. However, not only are there still barriers to reading the information, but also the information most relevant to health is not always read or understood. Thus, interventions to increase nutritional labeling comprehension and use are required in order to facilitate the making of healthier choices by consumers. Copyright © 2014 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Understanding informal payments in health care: motivation of health workers in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringhini, Silvia; Thomas, Steve; Bidwell, Posy; Mtui, Tina; Mwisongo, Aziza

    2009-06-30

    There is growing evidence that informal payments for health care are fairly common in many low- and middle-income countries. Informal payments are reported to have a negative consequence on equity and quality of care; it has been suggested, however, that they may contribute to health worker motivation and retention. Given the significance of motivation and retention issues in human resources for health, a better understanding of the relationships between the two phenomena is needed. This study attempts to assess whether and in what ways informal payments occur in Kibaha, Tanzania. Moreover, it aims to assess how informal earnings might help boost health worker motivation and retention. Nine focus groups were conducted in three health facilities of different levels in the health system. In total, 64 health workers participated in the focus group discussions (81% female, 19% male) and where possible, focus groups were divided by cadre. All data were processed and analysed by means of the NVivo software package. The use of informal payments in the study area was confirmed by this study. Furthermore, a negative relationship between informal payments and job satisfaction and better motivation is suggested. Participants mentioned that they felt enslaved by patients as a result of being bribed and this resulted in loss of self-esteem. Furthermore, fear of detection was a main demotivating factor. These factors seem to counterbalance the positive effect of financial incentives. Moreover, informal payments were not found to be related to retention of health workers in the public health system. Other factors such as job security seemed to be more relevant for retention. This study suggests that the practice of informal payments contributes to the general demotivation of health workers and negatively affects access to health care services and quality of the health system. Policy action is needed that not only provides better financial incentives for individuals but also

  7. Understanding informal payments in health care: motivation of health workers in Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bidwell Posy

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is growing evidence that informal payments for health care are fairly common in many low- and middle-income countries. Informal payments are reported to have a negative consequence on equity and quality of care; it has been suggested, however, that they may contribute to health worker motivation and retention. Given the significance of motivation and retention issues in human resources for health, a better understanding of the relationships between the two phenomena is needed. This study attempts to assess whether and in what ways informal payments occur in Kibaha, Tanzania. Moreover, it aims to assess how informal earnings might help boost health worker motivation and retention. Methods Nine focus groups were conducted in three health facilities of different levels in the health system. In total, 64 health workers participated in the focus group discussions (81% female, 19% male and where possible, focus groups were divided by cadre. All data were processed and analysed by means of the NVivo software package. Results The use of informal payments in the study area was confirmed by this study. Furthermore, a negative relationship between informal payments and job satisfaction and better motivation is suggested. Participants mentioned that they felt enslaved by patients as a result of being bribed and this resulted in loss of self-esteem. Furthermore, fear of detection was a main demotivating factor. These factors seem to counterbalance the positive effect of financial incentives. Moreover, informal payments were not found to be related to retention of health workers in the public health system. Other factors such as job security seemed to be more relevant for retention. Conclusion This study suggests that the practice of informal payments contributes to the general demotivation of health workers and negatively affects access to health care services and quality of the health system. Policy action is needed that not only

  8. Hand synergies: Integration of robotics and neuroscience for understanding the control of biological and artificial hands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Marco; Bianchi, Matteo; Gabiccini, Marco; Ricciardi, Emiliano; Salvietti, Gionata; Prattichizzo, Domenico; Ernst, Marc; Moscatelli, Alessandro; Jörntell, Henrik; Kappers, Astrid M.L.; Kyriakopoulos, Kostas; Albu-Schäffer, Alin; Castellini, Claudio; Bicchi, Antonio

    2017-01-01

    The term ‘synergy’ – from the Greek synergia – means ‘working together’. The concept of multiple elements working together towards a common goal has been extensively used in neuroscience to develop theoretical frameworks, experimental approaches, and analytical techniques to understand neural control of movement, and for applications for neuro-rehabilitation. In the past decade, roboticists have successfully applied the framework of synergies to create novel design and control concepts for artificial hands, i.e., robotic hands and prostheses. At the same time, robotic research on the sensorimotor integration underlying the control and sensing of artificial hands has inspired new research approaches in neuroscience, and has provided useful instruments for novel experiments. The ambitious goal of integrating expertise and research approaches in robotics and neuroscience to study the properties and applications of the concept of synergies is generating a number of multidisciplinary cooperative projects, among which the recently finished 4-year European project “The Hand Embodied” (THE). This paper reviews the main insights provided by this framework. Specifically, we provide an overview of neuroscientific bases of hand synergies and introduce how robotics has leveraged the insights from neuroscience for innovative design in hardware and controllers for biomedical engineering applications, including myoelectric hand prostheses, devices for haptics research, and wearable sensing of human hand kinematics. The review also emphasizes how this multidisciplinary collaboration has generated new ways to conceptualize a synergy-based approach for robotics, and provides guidelines and principles for analyzing human behavior and synthesizing artificial robotic systems based on a theory of synergies. PMID:26923030

  9. Hand synergies: Integration of robotics and neuroscience for understanding the control of biological and artificial hands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Marco; Bianchi, Matteo; Gabiccini, Marco; Ricciardi, Emiliano; Salvietti, Gionata; Prattichizzo, Domenico; Ernst, Marc; Moscatelli, Alessandro; Jörntell, Henrik; Kappers, Astrid M L; Kyriakopoulos, Kostas; Albu-Schäffer, Alin; Castellini, Claudio; Bicchi, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    The term 'synergy' - from the Greek synergia - means 'working together'. The concept of multiple elements working together towards a common goal has been extensively used in neuroscience to develop theoretical frameworks, experimental approaches, and analytical techniques to understand neural control of movement, and for applications for neuro-rehabilitation. In the past decade, roboticists have successfully applied the framework of synergies to create novel design and control concepts for artificial hands, i.e., robotic hands and prostheses. At the same time, robotic research on the sensorimotor integration underlying the control and sensing of artificial hands has inspired new research approaches in neuroscience, and has provided useful instruments for novel experiments. The ambitious goal of integrating expertise and research approaches in robotics and neuroscience to study the properties and applications of the concept of synergies is generating a number of multidisciplinary cooperative projects, among which the recently finished 4-year European project "The Hand Embodied" (THE). This paper reviews the main insights provided by this framework. Specifically, we provide an overview of neuroscientific bases of hand synergies and introduce how robotics has leveraged the insights from neuroscience for innovative design in hardware and controllers for biomedical engineering applications, including myoelectric hand prostheses, devices for haptics research, and wearable sensing of human hand kinematics. The review also emphasizes how this multidisciplinary collaboration has generated new ways to conceptualize a synergy-based approach for robotics, and provides guidelines and principles for analyzing human behavior and synthesizing artificial robotic systems based on a theory of synergies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Leaf LIMS: A Flexible Laboratory Information Management System with a Synthetic Biology Focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, Thomas; Holland, Richard; D'Amore, Rosalinda; Johnson, James R; McCue, Hannah V; West, Anthony; Zulkower, Valentin; Tekotte, Hille; Cai, Yizhi; Swan, Daniel; Davey, Robert P; Hertz-Fowler, Christiane; Hall, Anthony; Caddick, Mark

    2017-12-15

    This paper presents Leaf LIMS, a flexible laboratory information management system (LIMS) designed to address the complexity of synthetic biology workflows. At the project's inception there was a lack of a LIMS designed specifically to address synthetic biology processes, with most systems focused on either next generation sequencing or biobanks and clinical sample handling. Leaf LIMS implements integrated project, item, and laboratory stock tracking, offering complete sample and construct genealogy, materials and lot tracking, and modular assay data capture. Hence, it enables highly configurable task-based workflows and supports data capture from project inception to completion. As such, in addition to it supporting synthetic biology it is ideal for many laboratory environments with multiple projects and users. The system is deployed as a web application through Docker and is provided under a permissive MIT license. It is freely available for download at https://leaflims.github.io .

  11. Understanding the limits of animal models as predictors of human biology: lessons learned from the sbv IMPROVER Species Translation Challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhrissorrakrai, Kahn; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Bilal, Erhan; Norel, Raquel; Poussin, Carine; Mathis, Carole; Dulize, Rémi H J; Ivanov, Nikolai V; Alexopoulos, Leonidas; Rice, J Jeremy; Peitsch, Manuel C; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Meyer, Pablo; Hoeng, Julia

    2015-02-15

    Inferring how humans respond to external cues such as drugs, chemicals, viruses or hormones is an essential question in biomedicine. Very often, however, this question cannot be addressed because it is not possible to perform experiments in humans. A reasonable alternative consists of generating responses in animal models and 'translating' those results to humans. The limitations of such translation, however, are far from clear, and systematic assessments of its actual potential are urgently needed. sbv IMPROVER (systems biology verification for Industrial Methodology for PROcess VErification in Research) was designed as a series of challenges to address translatability between humans and rodents. This collaborative crowd-sourcing initiative invited scientists from around the world to apply their own computational methodologies on a multilayer systems biology dataset composed of phosphoproteomics, transcriptomics and cytokine data derived from normal human and rat bronchial epithelial cells exposed in parallel to 52 different stimuli under identical conditions. Our aim was to understand the limits of species-to-species translatability at different levels of biological organization: signaling, transcriptional and release of secreted factors (such as cytokines). Participating teams submitted 49 different solutions across the sub-challenges, two-thirds of which were statistically significantly better than random. Additionally, similar computational methods were found to range widely in their performance within the same challenge, and no single method emerged as a clear winner across all sub-challenges. Finally, computational methods were able to effectively translate some specific stimuli and biological processes in the lung epithelial system, such as DNA synthesis, cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix, translation, immune/inflammation and growth factor/proliferation pathways, better than the expected response similarity between species. pmeyerr@us.ibm.com or Julia

  12. An updated conceptual model of Delta Smelt biology: Our evolving understanding of an estuarine fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, Randy; Brown, Larry R.; Castillo, Gonzalo; Conrad, Louise; Culberson, Steven D.; Dekar, Matthew P.; Dekar, Melissa; Feyrer, Frederick; Hunt, Thaddeus; Jones, Kristopher; Kirsch, Joseph; Mueller-Solger, Anke; Nobriga, Matthew; Slater, Steven B.; Sommer, Ted; Souza, Kelly; Erickson, Gregg; Fong, Stephanie; Gehrts, Karen; Grimaldo, Lenny; Herbold, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    The main purpose of this report is to provide an up-to-date assessment and conceptual model of factors affecting Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) throughout its primarily annual life cycle and to demonstrate how this conceptual model can be used for scientific and management purposes. The Delta Smelt is a small estuarine fish that only occurs in the San Francisco Estuary. Once abundant, it is now rare and has been protected under the federal and California Endangered Species Acts since 1993. The Delta Smelt listing was related to a step decline in the early 1980s; however, population abundance decreased even further with the onset of the “pelagic organism decline” (POD) around 2002. A substantial, albeit short-lived, increase in abundance of all life stages in 2011 showed that the Delta Smelt population can still rebound when conditions are favorable for spawning, growth, and survival. In this report, we update previous conceptual models for Delta Smelt to reflect new data and information since the release of the last synthesis report about the POD by the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary (IEP) in 2010. Specific objectives include:

  13. Information visualization to simplify understanding indicators for evaluation of science and technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirian Clavico Alves

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The growth of scientific activity and the development of new technologies for the dissemination of knowledge contributed to generate various indicators, used as evaluation tools of science. In addition, Brazil has established its own infrastructure to assess the scientific activity in the country and more specifically, the graduate courses, led by the Coordination of Superior Level Staff Improvement (CAPES, which makes use of indicators in the evaluation process of such courses, which are available for public access. In order to enhance the understanding of scientific indicators, the overall goal of this research was to develop and analyze a set of scientific indicators, based on the information visualization area. The chosen research method was a case study that contemplates nine graduate program in the economics area. The data was extracted from the CAPES evaluation system report from the 2013 triennial. The results achieved are a set of indicators on the dimensions of the Capes Evaluation System. Based on the theoretical background as well as the discussion of the obtained results, the conclusion is that it is feasible to make use of the concepts of information visualization area to enhance the understanding of the dynamism of science, in particular the performance of graduate programs, through the development of indicators based on data and information provided by the CAPES evaluation system, helping decision makers in the implementation of public policies and the management of such programs.

  14. Caregiver recall and understanding of paediatric diagnostic information and assessment feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watermeyer, Jennifer; Kanji, Amisha; Cohen, Auriette

    2012-12-01

    Providing appropriate feedback to caregivers is an important part of the paediatric audiological assessment. This preliminary study explored caregiver recall and understanding of audiological diagnostic information subsequent to an initial paediatric diagnostic assessment. A qualitative study was conducted at an audiology clinic at a hospital in South Africa. Data collection included observation and video-recording of assessment and feedback sessions as well as post-session semi-structured interviews with the audiologists and caregivers. Recorded sessions were analysed using sociolinguistic methods and a transcription-less approach. Interviews were analysed via content analysis. Participants included four audiologists and five caregivers whose children had been referred for an initial audiological assessment. Feedback sessions included explanations of the hearing mechanism, tests, audiogram, diagnosis and recommendations. Most caregivers were able to recall the final diagnosis and recommendations, but demonstrated poor recall and understanding of explanations of the audiogram and hearing mechanism. Results highlight the importance of tailoring information towards specific caregiver needs during feedback sessions and acknowledging the goals and agenda of the caregiver. There is a need for a greater focus on information counselling in curricula and training programmes, and several suggestions are made in this regard.

  15. How lay people understand and make sense of personalized disease risk information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damman, Olga C; Bogaerts, Nina M M; van den Haak, Maaike J; Timmermans, Danielle R M

    2017-10-01

    Disease risk calculators are increasingly web-based, but previous studies have shown that risk information often poses problems for lay users. To examine how lay people understand the result derived from an online cardiometabolic risk calculator. A qualitative study was performed, using the risk calculator in the Dutch National Prevention Program for cardiometabolic diseases. The study consisted of three parts: (i) attention: completion of the risk calculator while an eye tracker registered eye movements; (ii) recall: completion of a recall task; and (iii) interpretation: participation in a semi-structured interview. We recruited people from the target population through an advertisement in a local newspaper; 16 people participated in the study, which took place in our university laboratory. Eye-tracking data showed that participants looked most extensively at numerical risk information. Percentages were recalled well, whereas natural frequencies and verbal labels were remembered less well. Five qualitative themes were derived from the interview data: (i) numerical information does not really sink in; (ii) the verbal categorical label made no real impact on people; (iii) people relied heavily on existing knowledge and beliefs; (iv) people zoomed in on risk factors, especially family history of diseases; and (v) people often compared their situation to that of their peers. Although people paid attention to and recalled the risk information to a certain extent, they seemed to have difficulty in properly using this information for interpreting their risk. © 2017 The Authors Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Information on biological health effects of ionizing radiation and radionuclides: the rule of a web site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Comte, A.; Gaillard-Lecanu, E.; Flury-Herard, A.; Ourly, F.; Hemidy, P.; Lallemand, J.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this project is to provide a source of information on biological and health effects of radionuclides and ionizing radiation in an easy to use format. Reported work is made up of two distinct parts: data sheets for selected radionuclides and a web file. Data sheets: Specific radiation data sheets provide an overview of the properties, the environmental behaviour, the different pathways of human exposure and the biological and health consequences of selected radionuclides. Radionuclides that have been selected are those commonly dealt with in nuclear industry (and in other areas such as medicine) and released to the environment or naturally occurring (plutonium, tritium, carbon 14). Data sheets corresponding to the different radionuclides are based on the main sources of scientific information in dosimetry, epidemiology, radiobiology and radiation protection. These data sheets are intended for radiation protection specialists and physicians. They include: main physical and chemical characteristics, main radiation protection data: dose coefficients (public, workers), dose limits sources, total released estimate (nuclear industry, atmospheric tests, main pathway of human exposure and biological behaviour, biological and health effects, medical supervision, treatment a list of the main references, appendix providing accurate information. Web file: http://www-dsv.cea.fr/doc/carmin_ext/fond.php This web file provides a source of information on biological and health effects of ionizing radiation and biological basic knowledge of radiation protection. Available for consultation via Internet, compiled information provides, in a same file, subjects as varied as biological mechanisms, ionizing radiations action, biological and health effects, risk assessment This file is mainly intended to assist in informing and training of non-specialist readership (students, teaching on radiation protection basic knowledge. This electronic document is divided in three

  17. A decision support tool for vehicle infrastructure integration : understanding information effects and advancing data fusion algorithms for traffic management applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-15

    This research seeks to explore vehicle-to-vehicle information networks to understand the interplay : between the information communicated and traffic conditions on the network. A longer-term goal is to : develop a decision support tool for processing...

  18. Understanding and retention of trial-related information among participants in a clinical trial after completing the informed consent process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mexas, Fernanda; Efron, Anne; Luiz, Ronir Raggio; Cailleaux-Cezar, Michelle; Chaisson, Richard E; Conde, Marcus B

    2014-02-01

    for assessing the level of understanding of trial-related information during the informed consent (IC) process in developing countries are lacking. To assess the understanding and retention of trial-related information presented in the IC process by administering an informed consent assessment instrument (ICAI) to participants in a clinical trial for a new tuberculosis (TB) regimen being conducted in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Methods The format of the ICAI was based on the language and structure of the United States National Cancer Institute's IC comprehension checklist. The ICAI was designed to assess points of the RioMAR study IC process that addressed the principles of research ethics requested by Brazilian Regulatory Authority: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Briefly, (1) Is the respondent participating in a clinical trial? (2) Are two different treatments being evaluated? (3) Is the treatment arm chosen by chance? (4) Is an HIV test required? (5) Are liver function tests required? (6) Can participants leave the study at any time? (7) Are the risks and benefits of taking part in the study clear? (8) May pregnant women participate in the study? (9) Can one of the study drugs reduce the effectiveness of contraceptives? (10) Are patients paid to participate in the study? The ICAI was applied at two time points: immediately after enrollment in the clinical trial and 2 months later. A total of 61 patients who enrolled in the RioMAR study participated in this study. The percentage of correct answers to all questions was 82% at the time of the first ICAI; 31 participants (51%) did not recall that an HIV test was required (question 4) and 43 (70%) did not know that they could leave the study (question 6). Other individual questions were answered correctly by at least 76% of participants. There was no association between incorrect answers and age, gender, monthly family income, neighborhood, or level of education (p > 0.07). When the responses to the

  19. Understanding price elasticities to inform public health research and intervention studies: key issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, Nhung; Wilson, Nick; Genç, Murat; Blakely, Tony

    2013-11-01

    Pricing policies such as taxes and subsidies are important tools in preventing and controlling a range of threats to public health. This is particularly so in tobacco and alcohol control efforts and efforts to change dietary patterns and physical activity levels as a means of addressing increases in noncommunicable diseases. To understand the potential impact of pricing policies, it is critical to understand the nature of price elasticities for consumer products. For example, price elasticities are key parameters in models of any food tax or subsidy that aims to quantify health impacts and cost-effectiveness. We detail relevant terms and discuss key issues surrounding price elasticities to inform public health research and intervention studies.

  20. Generalized lattice graphs for 2D-visualization of biological information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Díaz, H; Pérez-Montoto, L G; Duardo-Sanchez, A; Paniagua, E; Vázquez-Prieto, S; Vilas, R; Dea-Ayuela, M A; Bolas-Fernández, F; Munteanu, C R; Dorado, J; Costas, J; Ubeira, F M

    2009-11-07

    Several graph representations have been introduced for different data in theoretical biology. For instance, complex networks based on Graph theory are used to represent the structure and/or dynamics of different large biological systems such as protein-protein interaction networks. In addition, Randic, Liao, Nandy, Basak, and many others developed some special types of graph-based representations. This special type of graph includes geometrical constrains to node positioning in space and adopts final geometrical shapes that resemble lattice-like patterns. Lattice networks have been used to visually depict DNA and protein sequences but they are very flexible. However, despite the proved efficacy of new lattice-like graph/networks to represent diverse systems, most works focus on only one specific type of biological data. This work proposes a generalized type of lattice and illustrates how to use it in order to represent and compare biological data from different sources. We exemplify the following cases: protein sequence; mass spectra (MS) of protein peptide mass fingerprints (PMF); molecular dynamic trajectory (MDTs) from structural studies; mRNA microarray data; single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs); 1D or 2D-Electrophoresis study of protein polymorphisms and protein-research patent and/or copyright information. We used data available from public sources for some examples but for other, we used experimental results reported herein for the first time. This work may break new ground for the application of Graph theory in theoretical biology and other areas of biomedical sciences.

  1. BioTCM-SE: a semantic search engine for the information retrieval of modern biology and traditional Chinese medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xi; Chen, Huajun; Bi, Xuan; Gu, Peiqin; Chen, Jiaoyan; Wu, Zhaohui

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the functional mechanisms of the complex biological system as a whole is drawing more and more attention in global health care management. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), essentially different from Western Medicine (WM), is gaining increasing attention due to its emphasis on individual wellness and natural herbal medicine, which satisfies the goal of integrative medicine. However, with the explosive growth of biomedical data on the Web, biomedical researchers are now confronted with the problem of large-scale data analysis and data query. Besides that, biomedical data also has a wide coverage which usually comes from multiple heterogeneous data sources and has different taxonomies, making it hard to integrate and query the big biomedical data. Embedded with domain knowledge from different disciplines all regarding human biological systems, the heterogeneous data repositories are implicitly connected by human expert knowledge. Traditional search engines cannot provide accurate and comprehensive search results for the semantically associated knowledge since they only support keywords-based searches. In this paper, we present BioTCM-SE, a semantic search engine for the information retrieval of modern biology and TCM, which provides biologists with a comprehensive and accurate associated knowledge query platform to greatly facilitate the implicit knowledge discovery between WM and TCM.

  2. BioTCM-SE: A Semantic Search Engine for the Information Retrieval of Modern Biology and Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xi Chen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the functional mechanisms of the complex biological system as a whole is drawing more and more attention in global health care management. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM, essentially different from Western Medicine (WM, is gaining increasing attention due to its emphasis on individual wellness and natural herbal medicine, which satisfies the goal of integrative medicine. However, with the explosive growth of biomedical data on the Web, biomedical researchers are now confronted with the problem of large-scale data analysis and data query. Besides that, biomedical data also has a wide coverage which usually comes from multiple heterogeneous data sources and has different taxonomies, making it hard to integrate and query the big biomedical data. Embedded with domain knowledge from different disciplines all regarding human biological systems, the heterogeneous data repositories are implicitly connected by human expert knowledge. Traditional search engines cannot provide accurate and comprehensive search results for the semantically associated knowledge since they only support keywords-based searches. In this paper, we present BioTCM-SE, a semantic search engine for the information retrieval of modern biology and TCM, which provides biologists with a comprehensive and accurate associated knowledge query platform to greatly facilitate the implicit knowledge discovery between WM and TCM.

  3. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    I am particularly happy that the Academy is bringing out this document by Professor M S. Valiathan on Ayurvedic Biology. It is an effort to place before the scientific community, especially that of India, the unique scientific opportunities that arise out of viewing Ayurveda from the perspective of contemporary science, its tools ...

  4. How to derive biological information from the value of the normalization constant in allometric equations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaitaniemi, Pekka

    2008-04-09

    Allometric equations are widely used in many branches of biological science. The potential information content of the normalization constant b in allometric equations of the form Y = bX(a) has, however, remained largely neglected. To demonstrate the potential for utilizing this information, I generated a large number of artificial datasets that resembled those that are frequently encountered in biological studies, i.e., relatively small samples including measurement error or uncontrolled variation. The value of X was allowed to vary randomly within the limits describing different data ranges, and a was set to a fixed theoretical value. The constant b was set to a range of values describing the effect of a continuous environmental variable. In addition, a normally distributed random error was added to the values of both X and Y. Two different approaches were then used to model the data. The traditional approach estimated both a and b using a regression model, whereas an alternative approach set the exponent a at its theoretical value and only estimated the value of b. Both approaches produced virtually the same model fit with less than 0.3% difference in the coefficient of determination. Only the alternative approach was able to precisely reproduce the effect of the environmental variable, which was largely lost among noise variation when using the traditional approach. The results show how the value of b can be used as a source of valuable biological information if an appropriate regression model is selected.

  5. How to derive biological information from the value of the normalization constant in allometric equations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pekka Kaitaniemi

    Full Text Available Allometric equations are widely used in many branches of biological science. The potential information content of the normalization constant b in allometric equations of the form Y = bX(a has, however, remained largely neglected. To demonstrate the potential for utilizing this information, I generated a large number of artificial datasets that resembled those that are frequently encountered in biological studies, i.e., relatively small samples including measurement error or uncontrolled variation. The value of X was allowed to vary randomly within the limits describing different data ranges, and a was set to a fixed theoretical value. The constant b was set to a range of values describing the effect of a continuous environmental variable. In addition, a normally distributed random error was added to the values of both X and Y. Two different approaches were then used to model the data. The traditional approach estimated both a and b using a regression model, whereas an alternative approach set the exponent a at its theoretical value and only estimated the value of b. Both approaches produced virtually the same model fit with less than 0.3% difference in the coefficient of determination. Only the alternative approach was able to precisely reproduce the effect of the environmental variable, which was largely lost among noise variation when using the traditional approach. The results show how the value of b can be used as a source of valuable biological information if an appropriate regression model is selected.

  6. Understanding the use of geographical information systems (GIS) in health informatics research: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Nicola; McGuire, Suzanne

    2017-06-23

    The purpose of this literature review is to understand geographical information systems (GIS) and how they can be applied to public health informatics, medical informatics, and epidemiology. Relevant papers that reflected the use of geographical information systems (GIS) in health research were identified from four academic databases: Academic Search Complete, BioMed Central, PubMed Central, and Scholars Portal, as well as Google Scholar. The search strategy used was to identify articles with "geographic information systems", "GIS", "public health", "medical informatics", "epidemiology", and "health geography" as main subject headings or text words in titles and abstracts. Papers published between 1997 and 2014 were considered and a total of 39 articles were included to inform the authors on the use of GIS technologies in health informatics research. The main applications of GIS in health informatics and epidemiology include disease surveillance, health risk analysis, health access and planning, and community health profiling. GIS technologies can significantly improve quality and efficiency in health research as substantial connections can be made between a population's health and their geographical location. Gains in health informatics can be made when GIS are applied through research, however, improvements need to occur in the quantity and quality of data input for these systems to ensure better geographical health maps are used so that proper conclusions between public health and environmental factors may be made.

  7. Cultural differences in the understanding of modelling and feedback as sources of self-efficacy information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Hyun Seon; Usher, Ellen L; Butz, Amanda; Bong, Mimi

    2016-03-01

    The potential role of culture in the development and operation of self-efficacy has been acknowledged by researchers. Clearer understanding of this cultural impact will benefit from research that shows how the same efficacy information is evaluated across cultures. We tested whether two sources of self-efficacy information delivered by multiple social agents (i.e., vicarious experience and social persuasion) were weighed differently by adolescents in different cultures. Of 2,893 middle school students in Korea (n = 416), the Philippines (n = 522), and the United States (n = 1,955) who completed the survey, 400 students were randomly pooled from each country. Invariance of the measurement and of the latent means for self-efficacy and self-efficacy sources across the groups was tested by multigroup confirmatory factor analysis. Predictive utility of the self-efficacy sources was compared by multigroup structural equation modelling. Compared to the students in the two collectivistic countries, the US students reported significantly higher mathematics self-efficacy. Whereas the efficacy beliefs of the Korean and the US students were predicted equally well by the vicarious experience from their teachers and the social persuasion by their family and peers, those of the Filipino adolescents were best predicted by the social persuasion from their peers. This study provided empirical evidence that socially conveyed sources of self-efficacy information are construed and evaluated differently across cultures, depending on who delivered the efficacy-relevant information. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  8. Biology and Nursing Students’ Perceptions of a Web-based Information Literacy Tutorial

    OpenAIRE

    Weiner, Sharon A.; Pelaez, Nancy; Chang, Karen; Weiner, John M.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the perceptions of two groups of students to obtain different perspectives on the online information literacy tutorial, CORE (Comprehensive Online Research Education, to plan for its update. The CORE tutorial includes seven modules: “Planning Your Project,” “Topic Exploration,” “Types of Information,” “Search Tools,” “Search Strategies,” “Evaluating Sources,” and “Copyright, Plagiarism, and Citing Sources.” First-year students in biology and nursing courses responded to a ...

  9. Information flow on social networks: from empirical data to situation understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Heather; Abdelzaher, Tarek; Bowman, Elizabeth K.; Al Amin, Md. Tanvir

    2017-05-01

    This paper describes characteristics of information flow on social channels, as a function of content type and relations among individual sources, distilled from analysis of Twitter data as well as human subject survey results. The working hypothesis is that individuals who propagate content on social media act (e.g., decide whether to relay information or not) in accordance with their understanding of the content, as well as their own beliefs and trust relations. Hence, the resulting aggregate content propagation pattern encodes the collective content interpretation of the underlying group, as well as their relations. Analysis algorithms are described to recover such relations from the observed propagation patterns as well as improve our understanding of the content itself in a language agnostic manner simply from its propagation characteristics. An example is to measure the degree of community polarization around contentious topics, identify the factions involved, and recognize their individual views on issues. The analysis is independent of the language of discourse itself, making it valuable for multilingual media, where the number of languages used may render language-specific analysis less scalable.

  10. The Meaning of Voices in Understanding and Treating Psychosis: Moving Towards Intervention Informed by Collaborative Formulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aoife Lonergan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available From a medical perspective, hearing voices is perceived as a symptom of mental illness and their content as largely irrelevant. The effectiveness of antipsychotic medication has made it central to the treatment of psychosis. However pharmacological treatment alone is rarely sufficient for this disabling condition. This review examined the feasibility of formulating an understanding of the meaning of voices in psychosis to inform intervention. Examination of the literature demonstrated the need for a paradigm shift to a recovery model, drawing on biopsychosocial factors in formulating an understanding of the meaning of voices in the context of a person’s life. Providing the opportunity to talk about their experiences may aid the development of an interpersonally coherent narrative representing opportunities for psychological growth. Findings have implications for treatment planning and assessment of outcome. Collaborative formulation regarding the subjective meaning of voices may aid in understanding their development and maintenance and guide intervention. Hearing voices with reduced negative effects on wellbeing and functioning may reduce distress and improve quality of life even in the presence of voices. CFT, CBT, Relating Therapy and Open Dialogue may be effective in applying these principles. Findings are limited by the lack of controlled studies. Further controlled studies and qualitative explorations of individual experiences are recommended.

  11. Understanding the molecular biology of intervertebral disc degeneration and potential gene therapy strategies for regeneration: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampara, Prasanthi; Banala, Rajkiran Reddy; Vemuri, Satish Kumar; Av, Gurava Reddy; Gpv, Subbaiah

    2018-03-22

    Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is a multi-factorial process characterized by phenotypic and genotypic changes, which leads to low back pain and disability. Prolonged imbalance between anabolism and catabolism in discs alters their composition resulting in progressive loss of proteoglycans and hydration leading to IVDD. The current managements for IVDD are only able to relieve the symptoms but do not address the underlying pathology of degeneration. Researchers have tried to find out differences between the aging and degeneration of the disc. Intense attempts are in progress for identifying the various factors responsible for disc degeneration, as well as strategies for regeneration. Recently biological approaches have gained thrust in the field of IVDD. The present review illustrates the current understanding of intervertebral disc degeneration and aims to put forth recent advancements in regeneration strategies involving different biological therapies such as growth factor, cell, and gene therapy. The potentials and consequences of these therapies are also extensively discussed along with citing the most suitable method, that is, the gene therapy in detail. Initially, gene therapy was mediated by viral vectors but recent progress has enabled researchers to opt for non-virus-mediated gene therapy methods, which ensure that there are no risks of mutagenicity and infection in target cells. With constant efforts, non-virus-mediated gene therapy may prove to be an extremely powerful tool in treatment of IVDD in future.

  12. Energy and information flows in biological systems: Bioenergy transduction of V1-ATPase rotary motor and dynamics of thermodynamic entropy in information flows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamato, Ichiro; Murata, Takeshi; Khrennikov, Andrei

    2017-11-01

    We classify research fields in biology with respect to flows of materials, energy, and information. We investigate energy transducing mechanisms in biology, using as a representative the typical molecular rotary motor V 1 -ATPase from a bacterium Enterococcus hirae. The structures of several intermediates of the rotary motor are described and the molecular mechanism of the motor converting chemical energy into mechanical energy is discussed. Comments and considerations on the information flows in biology, especially on the thermodynamic entropy in quantum physical and biological systems, are presented in section 3 in a biologist friendly manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Construction of biological networks from unstructured information based on a semi-automated curation workflow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szostak, Justyna; Ansari, Sam; Madan, Sumit; Fluck, Juliane; Talikka, Marja; Iskandar, Anita; De Leon, Hector; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Peitsch, Manuel C; Hoeng, Julia

    2015-06-17

    Capture and representation of scientific knowledge in a structured format are essential to improve the understanding of biological mechanisms involved in complex diseases. Biological knowledge and knowledge about standardized terminologies are difficult to capture from literature in a usable form. A semi-automated knowledge extraction workflow is presented that was developed to allow users to extract causal and correlative relationships from scientific literature and to transcribe them into the computable and human readable Biological Expression Language (BEL). The workflow combines state-of-the-art linguistic tools for recognition of various entities and extraction of knowledge from literature sources. Unlike most other approaches, the workflow outputs the results to a curation interface for manual curation and converts them into BEL documents that can be compiled to form biological networks. We developed a new semi-automated knowledge extraction workflow that was designed to capture and organize scientific knowledge and reduce the required curation skills and effort for this task. The workflow was used to build a network that represents the cellular and molecular mechanisms implicated in atherosclerotic plaque destabilization in an apolipoprotein-E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mouse model. The network was generated using knowledge extracted from the primary literature. The resultant atherosclerotic plaque destabilization network contains 304 nodes and 743 edges supported by 33 PubMed referenced articles. A comparison between the semi-automated and conventional curation processes showed similar results, but significantly reduced curation effort for the semi-automated process. Creating structured knowledge from unstructured text is an important step for the mechanistic interpretation and reusability of knowledge. Our new semi-automated knowledge extraction workflow reduced the curation skills and effort required to capture and organize scientific knowledge. The

  14. Understanding how replication processes can maintain systems away from equilibrium using Algorithmic Information Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devine, Sean D

    2016-02-01

    Replication can be envisaged as a computational process that is able to generate and maintain order far-from-equilibrium. Replication processes, can self-regulate, as the drive to replicate can counter degradation processes that impact on a system. The capability of replicated structures to access high quality energy and eject disorder allows Landauer's principle, in conjunction with Algorithmic Information Theory, to quantify the entropy requirements to maintain a system far-from-equilibrium. Using Landauer's principle, where destabilising processes, operating under the second law of thermodynamics, change the information content or the algorithmic entropy of a system by ΔH bits, replication processes can access order, eject disorder, and counter the change without outside interventions. Both diversity in replicated structures, and the coupling of different replicated systems, increase the ability of the system (or systems) to self-regulate in a changing environment as adaptation processes select those structures that use resources more efficiently. At the level of the structure, as selection processes minimise the information loss, the irreversibility is minimised. While each structure that emerges can be said to be more entropically efficient, as such replicating structures proliferate, the dissipation of the system as a whole is higher than would be the case for inert or simpler structures. While a detailed application to most real systems would be difficult, the approach may well be useful in understanding incremental changes to real systems and provide broad descriptions of system behaviour. Copyright © 2016 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Zone analysis in biology articles as a basis for information extraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuta, Yoko; Korhonen, Anna; Mullen, Tony; Collier, Nigel

    2006-06-01

    In the field of biomedicine, an overwhelming amount of experimental data has become available as a result of the high throughput of research in this domain. The amount of results reported has now grown beyond the limits of what can be managed by manual means. This makes it increasingly difficult for the researchers in this area to keep up with the latest developments. Information extraction (IE) in the biological domain aims to provide an effective automatic means to dynamically manage the information contained in archived journal articles and abstract collections and thus help researchers in their work. However, while considerable advances have been made in certain areas of IE, pinpointing and organizing factual information (such as experimental results) remains a challenge. In this paper we propose tackling this task by incorporating into IE information about rhetorical zones, i.e. classification of spans of text in terms of argumentation and intellectual attribution. As the first step towards this goal, we introduce a scheme for annotating biological texts for rhetorical zones and provide a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data annotated according to this scheme. We also discuss our preliminary research on automatic zone analysis, and its incorporation into our IE framework.

  16. The effects of academic literacy instruction on engagement and conceptual understanding of biology of ninth-grade students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Susan C.

    Academic language, discourse, vocabulary, motivation, and comprehension of complex texts and concepts are keys to learning subject-area content. The need for a disciplinary literacy approach in high school classrooms accelerates as students become increasing disengaged in school and as content complexity increases. In the present quasi-experimental mixed-method study, a ninth-grade biology unit was designed with an emphasis on promoting academic literacy skills, discourse, meaningful constructivist learning, interest development, and positive learning experiences in order to learn science content. Quantitative and qualitative analyses on a variety of measures completed by 222 students in two high schools revealed that those who received academic literacy instruction in science class performed at significantly higher levels of conceptual understanding of biology content, academic language and vocabulary use, reasoned thought, engagement, and quality of learning experience than control-group students receiving traditionally-organized instruction. Academic literacy was embedded into biology instruction to engage students in meaning-making discourses of science to promote learning. Academic literacy activities were organized according the phases of interest development to trigger and sustain interest and goal-oriented engagement throughout the unit. Specific methods included the Generative Vocabulary Matrix (GVM), scenario-based writing, and involvement in a variety of strategically-placed discourse activities to sustain or "boost" engagement for learning. Traditional instruction for the control group included teacher lecture, whole-group discussion, a conceptual organizer, and textbook reading. Theoretical foundations include flow theory, sociocultural learning theory, and interest theory. Qualitative data were obtained from field notes and participants' journals. Quantitative survey data were collected and analyzed using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) to

  17. Understanding the biological effects of thorium in human cells and animals and developing efficient approaches for its decorporation and mitigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Amit; Ali, Manjoor; Pandey, Badri N.

    2016-01-01

    Thorium-232 (Th) is being realized as a potential source of nuclear fuel for meeting long-term energy generation in India/other nations. In view of utilizing Th, it is hoped that mining, extraction, purification, back-end processing and disposal would increase significantly in near future. Therefore, understanding the biological effects of Th would enable its efficient utilization with adequate human health protection. Biological half-life and associated health effects of Th govern by its speciation, bio-kinetics, radiation decay and organ-specific accumulation due to Fe-like behaviour inside the body system. Our animal studies showed that Th mainly accumulates in liver and bone, in contrast to the accumulation of uranium in kidney. Cell culture experiments were performed to study the binding/internalization mechanism of Th (IV) with human liver cells (HepG2). Experiments using HepG2 cells suggested the role of transferrin (Tf), a blood protein in Th internalization. Recently, our in vitro study observed that the low concentration of Th nitrate induced proliferation in HepG2 through IGF-1R pathway. This study may have relevance to prevent early effects of Th using IGF-1 receptor-specific inhibitor. One of the major goals of our research group is to develop biological approaches for efficient decorporation of Th from liver. In this direction, liposomal form of DTPA has been optimized to effectively deliver DTPA to the liver. Testing of liposomal-DTPA in Th injected animal showed significant enhancement in removal of Th from liver and blood as compared to non-liposomal DTPA. Using ex-vivo human erythrocytes hemolysis assay and in whole blood condition, further efforts are in-progress to evaluate metal binding molecules in search of more effective decorporating agent than DTPA. In conclusion, this paper would discuss the results on mechanism of biological effects of Th on cells and proteins and newer molecules/approaches for its decorporation for human application

  18. Online information seeking practices of biology teachers and the perceived influences on instructional planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Anne Marie

    The purpose of this study was to examine biology teachers' perceptions of how their online information seeking practices influence their instructional planning. When teachers engage in activities to locate, evaluate, and use online information and resources, a myriad of inter-related and often inseparable consequences follows. These influences may be any combination of direct/indirect, desirable/undesirable, or anticipated/unanticipated (Rogers, 2003). This exploratory study collected baseline data regarding teachers' online practices and its influence on their practice. There were two phases of data collection in this study. Phase I was an online survey of more than seventy New York State biology teachers. The survey was intended to capture (1) a snapshot of the biology teachers' online information seeking practices during the summer and fall 2004, and (2) their perceptions regarding how their online practices influenced their instructional planning. In Phase II, ten study participants were interviewed in order to explore in greater detail the consequences of their online information seeking practices on their instructional planning. Four themes reflecting the consequences of teachers' information seeking practices emerged from the data analysis: Currency of Information; Sparking of Ideas and Gaining Personal Knowledge; Resource Management and the Role of Time; and Webs of Sharing. Each theme encompassed both the purposeful and the indirect actions by teachers to access knowledge and resources to refine and improve their instructional planning. This study's findings show that teachers are using a greater number and wider range of current and multi-modal resources than pre-Internet and they perceive this as an advantage in creating authentic, inquiry-based learning experiences. A notable discovery was of the under-use by teachers of educational online resources specifically designed to support teaching and learning activities (e.g., digital libraries, online

  19. The Impact of Different Instructional Strategies on Students' Understanding about the Cell Cycle in a General Education Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Sanjana

    This study investigated the impact of different instructional strategies on students' understanding about the cell cycle in a general education biology course. Although several studies have documented gains in students' cell cycle understanding after instruction, these studies generally use only one instructional method, often without a comparison group. The goal of this study was to learn more about students' misconceptions about the cell cycle and how those ideas change after three different evidence-based learning experiences in undergraduate general education. Undergraduate students in six laboratory sections (n = 24; N = 144) in a large public institution in the western United States were surveyed pre- and post-instruction using a 14-item valid and reliable survey of cell cycle knowledge. Cronbach's alpha for the standard scoring convention was 0.264 and for the alternate scoring convention was 0.360, documenting serious problems with inconsistent validity and reliability of the survey. Operating as though the findings are at least a proxy for actual cell cycle knowledge, score comparisons by groups of interest were explored, including pre- and post-instruction differences among demographic groups of interest and three instructional settings: a bead modeling activity, a role-playing game, and 5E instructional strategy. No significant differences were found across groups of interest or by strategy, but some significant item-level differences were found. Implications and discussion of these shifts is noted in lieu of the literature.

  20. Students' perceptions of motivation in high school biology class: Informing current theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManic, Janet A.

    The purpose of this study was to investigate students' perceptions of motivation to achieve while participating in general level high school biology classes. In a national poll of teacher's attitudes, student's motivation was a top concern of teachers (Elam, 1989). The student's perceptions of motivation are important to understand if improvements and advancements in motivation are to be implemented in the science classroom. This qualitative study was conducted in an urban high school that is located in a major metropolitan area in the southeast of the United States. The student body of 1100 is composed of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian students. The focus question of the study was: What are students' perceptions of their motivation in biology class? From general level biology classes, purposeful sampling narrowed the participants to fifteen students. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants having varying measurements of motivation on the Scale of Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Orientation in the Classroom (Harter, 1980). The interviews were recorded and transcribed. After transcription, the interviews were coded by the constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The coded data of students' responses were analyzed and compared to current theories of motivation. The current theories are the social-cognitive model (Bandura, 1977), attribution theory (Weiner, 1979), basic needs theory (Maslow, 1954) and choice theory (Glasser, 1986). The results of this study support the social cognitive model of motivation (Bandura, 1977) through the description of family structure and its relationship to motivation (Gonzalez, 2002). The study upheld previous research in that extrinsic orientation was shown to be prevalent in older students (Harter, 1981; Anderman & Maehr, 1994). In addition, the students' responses disclosed the difficulties encountered in studying biology. Students expressed the opinion that biology terms are

  1. Recent progress on our understanding of the biological effects of mercury in fish and wildlife in the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheuhammer, Anton; Braune, Birgit; Chan, Hing Man; Frouin, Héloïse; Krey, Anke; Letcher, Robert; Loseto, Lisa; Noël, Marie; Ostertag, Sonja; Ross, Peter; Wayland, Mark

    2015-03-15

    This review summarizes our current state of knowledge regarding the potential biological effects of mercury (Hg) exposure on fish and wildlife in the Canadian Arctic. Although Hg in most freshwater fish from northern Canada was not sufficiently elevated to be of concern, a few lakes in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut contained fish of certain species (e.g. northern pike, Arctic char) whose muscle Hg concentrations exceeded an estimated threshold range (0.5-1.0 μg g(-1) wet weight) within which adverse biological effects begin to occur. Marine fish species generally had substantially lower Hg concentrations than freshwater fish; but the Greenland shark, a long-lived predatory species, had mean muscle Hg concentrations exceeding the threshold range for possible effects on health or reproduction. An examination of recent egg Hg concentrations for marine birds from the Canadian Arctic indicated that mean Hg concentration in ivory gulls from Seymour Island fell within the threshold range associated with adverse effects on reproduction in birds. Mercury concentrations in brain tissue of beluga whales and polar bears were generally lower than levels associated with neurotoxicity in mammals, but were sometimes high enough to cause subtle neurochemical changes that can precede overt neurotoxicity. Harbour seals from western Hudson Bay had elevated mean liver Hg concentrations along with comparatively high muscle Hg concentrations indicating potential health effects from methylmercury (MeHg) exposure on this subpopulation. Because current information is generally insufficient to determine with confidence whether Hg exposure is impacting the health of specific fish or wildlife populations in the Canadian Arctic, biological effects studies should comprise a major focus of future Hg research in the Canadian Arctic. Additionally, studies on cellular interactions between Hg and selenium (Se) are required to better account for potential protective effects of Se on Hg

  2. Information support of the processes of organizational management of the earth’s biological resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ovezgheldyiev А.О.

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper offers the classification of information and a brief description of all major organizations, institutions and communities involved in the study or solving problems of global warming, the preservation of the environment and ecology of the Earth's biosphere. All the organizations, institutions and communities are organized by statuses: international, regional, national, and others. Their information description specifies the name in Ukrainian and English languages, internet addresses, the number of member states, the location of the headquarters, the purpose and main activities, as well as the condition and status of relations with Ukraine. It is proposed to create a unified information database of all these agencies on the status of biological resources of our planet Earth. We considered the principal Ukraine's problems in biodiversity conservation and environmental protection for now.

  3. Nature's longest threads new frontiers in the mathematics and physics of information in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Sreekantan, B V

    2014-01-01

    Organisms endowed with life show a sense of awareness, interacting with and learning from the universe in and around them. Each level of interaction involves transfer of information of various kinds, and at different levels. Each thread of information is interlinked with the other, and woven together, these constitute the universe — both the internal self and the external world — as we perceive it. They are, figuratively speaking, Nature's longest threads. This volume reports inter-disciplinary research and views on information and its transfer at different levels of organization by reputed scientists working on the frontier areas of science. It is a frontier where physics, mathematics and biology merge seamlessly, binding together specialized streams such as quantum mechanics, dynamical systems theory, and mathematics. The topics would interest a broad cross-section of researchers in life sciences, physics, cognition, neuroscience, mathematics and computer science, as well as interested amateurs, familia...

  4. Manipulatives-Based Laboratory for Majors Biology – a Hands-On Approach to Understanding Respiration and Photosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah M. Boomer

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The first course in our year-long introductory series for Biology majors encompasses four learning units: biological molecules and cells, metabolism, genetics, and evolution. Of these, the metabolism unit, which includes respiration and photosynthesis, has shown the lowest student exam scores, least interest, and lowest laboratory ratings. Consequently, we hypothesized that modeling metabolic processes in the laboratory would improve student content learning during this course unit. Specifically, we developed manipulatives-based laboratory exercises that combined paper cutouts, movable blocks, and large diagrams of the cell. In particular, our novel use of connecting LEGO blocks allowed students to move model electrons and phosphates between molecules and within defined spaces of the cell. We assessed student learning using both formal (content indicators and attitude surveys and informal (the identification of misconceptions or discussions with students approaches. On the metabolism unit content exam, student performance improved by 46% over pretest scores and by the end of the course, the majority of students rated metabolism as their most-improved (43% and favorite (33% subject as compared with other unit topics. The majority of students rated manipulatives-based labs as very helpful, as compared to non-manipulatives-based labs. In this report, we will demonstrate that students made learning gains across all content areas, but most notably in the unit that covered respiration and photosynthesis.

  5. Integrating data from biological experiments into metabolic networks with the DBE information system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borisjuk, Ljudmilla; Hajirezaei, Mohammad-Reza; Klukas, Christian; Rolletschek, Hardy; Schreiber, Falk

    2005-01-01

    Modern 'omics'-technologies result in huge amounts of data about life processes. For analysis and data mining purposes this data has to be considered in the context of the underlying biological networks. This work presents an approach for integrating data from biological experiments into metabolic networks by mapping the data onto network elements and visualising the data enriched networks automatically. This methodology is implemented in DBE, an information system that supports the analysis and visualisation of experimental data in the context of metabolic networks. It consists of five parts: (1) the DBE-Database for consistent data storage, (2) the Excel-Importer application for the data import, (3) the DBE-Website as the interface for the system, (4) the DBE-Pictures application for the up- and download of binary (e. g. image) files, and (5) DBE-Gravisto, a network analysis and graph visualisation system. The usability of this approach is demonstrated in two examples.

  6. Analysis of Online Social Networks to Understand Information Sharing Behaviors Through Social Cognitive Theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Hong-Jun [ORNL; Tourassi, Georgia [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing the contents of online social networks is an effective process for monitoring and understanding peoples behaviors. Since the nature of conversation and information propagation is similar to traditional conversation and learning, one of the popular socio-cognitive methods, social cognitive theory was applied to online social networks to. Two major news topics about colon cancer were chosen to monitor traffic of Twitter messages. The activity of leaders on the issue (i.e., news companies or people will prior Twitter activity on topics related to colon cancer) was monitored. In addition, the activity of followers , people who never discussed the topics before, but replied to the discussions was also monitored. Topics that produce tangible benefits such as positive outcomes from appropriate preventive actions received dramatically more attention and online social media traffic. Such characteristics can be explained with social cognitive theory and thus present opportunities for effective health campaigns.

  7. Analysis of Online Social Networks to Understand Information Sharing Behaviors Through Social Cognitive Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Hong-Jun; Tourassi, Georgia

    2014-05-01

    Analyzing the contents of online social networks is an effective process for monitoring and understanding peoples' behaviors. Since the nature of conversation and information propagation is similar to traditional conversation and learning, one of the popular socio-cognitive methods, social cognitive theory was applied to online social networks to. Two major news topics about colon cancer were chosen to monitor traffic of Twitter messages. The activity of "leaders" on the issue (i.e., news companies or people will prior Twitter activity on topics related to colon cancer) was monitored. In addition, the activity of "followers", people who never discussed the topics before, but replied to the discussions was also monitored. Topics that produce tangible benefits such as positive outcomes from appropriate preventive actions received dramatically more attention and online social media traffic. Such characteristics can be explained with social cognitive theory and thus present opportunities for effective health campaigns.

  8. [Exposure to occupational biological risks: experience of a toxicology information center].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerda, Patricia; Cortés, Sandra; Bettini, Marli; Mieres, Juan José; Paris, Enrique; Ríos, Juan Carlos

    2014-04-01

    Exposure to Biological Agents during work is an emergent type of occupational risk. To characterize occupational biological risk exposure among Chilean workers which have been registered by the Toxicology Information Center, between January 2006 and December 2009. All incoming calls reporting exposure to biological agents during the studied period were analyzed. The information obtained from the caller was registered using the Communication Record Instrument of the WHO International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS INTOX). In the studied period, 77 calls were received. The mean age of exposed patients was 35 ± 15 years and 57% of them were females. The most common involved agents were vaccines for veterinary use (42%) followed by Loxosceles laeta bites in 16%. The main routes of exposure were injections, cuts and needle stick injuries in 39% and stings and bites in 38%. The highest exposure rates were observed in Southern Chile due to self-inoculation of veterinary vaccines used in the salmon industry (22.7/100.000 actual workers). Fifty-eight percent of calls were from health care workers, and 51% of them were from health care facilities. Sixty percent of exposures occurred during summer and spring. There was a fourfold higher risk of calls involving women exposed to bites or stings (odds ratio (OR) 4.5 (CI95 1.5-13.9, p < 0.01). Men had a fourfold higher risk of being exposed to vaccines or medications for veterinary use (OR 4.2, CI95 1.4-12.6 p < 0.01). Most calls involving an exposure to a biological agent were caused by self-inoculation of veterinary medications.

  9. Accessing new understandings of trauma-informed care with queer birthing women in a rural context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Searle, Jennifer; Goldberg, Lisa; Aston, Megan; Burrow, Sylvia

    2017-11-01

    Participant narratives from a feminist and queer phenomenological study aim to broaden current understandings of trauma. Examining structural marginalisation within perinatal care relationships provides insights into the impact of dominant models of care on queer birthing women. More specifically, validation of queer experience as a key finding from the study offers trauma-informed strategies that reconstruct formerly disempowering perinatal relationships. Heteronormativity governs birthing spaces and presents considerable challenges for queer birthing women who may also have an increased risk of trauma due to structurally marginalising processes that create and maintain socially constructed differences. Analysis of the qualitative data was guided by feminist and queer phenomenology. This was well suited to understanding queer women's storied narratives of trauma, including disempowering processes of structural marginalisation. Semistructured and conversational interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of thirteen queer-identified women who had experiences of birthing in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. Validation was identified as meaningful for queer women in the context of perinatal care in rural Nova Scotia. Offering new perspectives on traditional models of assessment provide strategies to create a context of care that reconstructs the birthing space insofar as women at risk do not have to come out as queer in opposition to the expectation of heterosexuality. Normative practices were found to further the effects of structural marginalisation suggesting that perinatal care providers, including nurses, can challenge dominant models of care and reconstruct the relationality between queer women and formerly disempowering expectations of heteronormativity that govern birthing spaces. New trauma-informed assessment strategies reconstruct the relationality within historically disempowering perinatal relationships through potentiating difference which avoids

  10. Linking diversity and distribution to understand biodiversity gradients and inform conservation assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabricio Villalobos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Broad-scale patterns of species richness result from differential coexistence among species in distinct regions of the globe, determined by the species’ ranges and their properties such as size, shape and location. Thus, species richness and ranges are inherently linked. These two biodiversity features also yield primary information for conservation assessments. However, species richness and range size have been usually studied separately and no formal analytical link has been established. In my PhD thesis, I applied and extended a recently developed conceptual and methodological framework to study geographical association among species and similarity among sites. This range–diversity framework, along with stochastic simulation modelling, allowed me to jointly evaluate the relationship between diversity and distribution, to infer potential processes underlying composite patterns of phyllostomid bats, and to use this approach to inform conservation assessments for the Mexican avifauna. I highlight the need to explore composite patterns for understanding biodiversity patterns and show how combining diversity and distributional data can help describe complex biogeographical patterns, providing a transparent and explicit application for initial conservation assessments.

  11. Understanding security failures of two authentication and key agreement schemes for telecare medicine information systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Dheerendra

    2015-03-01

    Smart card based authentication and key agreement schemes for telecare medicine information systems (TMIS) enable doctors, nurses, patients and health visitors to use smart cards for secure login to medical information systems. In recent years, several authentication and key agreement schemes have been proposed to present secure and efficient solution for TMIS. Most of the existing authentication schemes for TMIS have either higher computation overhead or are vulnerable to attacks. To reduce the computational overhead and enhance the security, Lee recently proposed an authentication and key agreement scheme using chaotic maps for TMIS. Xu et al. also proposed a password based authentication and key agreement scheme for TMIS using elliptic curve cryptography. Both the schemes provide better efficiency from the conventional public key cryptography based schemes. These schemes are important as they present an efficient solution for TMIS. We analyze the security of both Lee's scheme and Xu et al.'s schemes. Unfortunately, we identify that both the schemes are vulnerable to denial of service attack. To understand the security failures of these cryptographic schemes which are the key of patching existing schemes and designing future schemes, we demonstrate the security loopholes of Lee's scheme and Xu et al.'s scheme in this paper.

  12. The Importance of Spatiotemporal Information in Biological Motion Perception: White Noise Presented with a Step-like Motion Activates the Biological Motion Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callan, Akiko; Callan, Daniel; Ando, Hiroshi

    2017-02-01

    Humans can easily recognize the motion of living creatures using only a handful of point-lights that describe the motion of the main joints (biological motion perception). This special ability to perceive the motion of animate objects signifies the importance of the spatiotemporal information in perceiving biological motion. The posterior STS (pSTS) and posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG) region have been established by many functional neuroimaging studies as a locus for biological motion perception. Because listening to a walking human also activates the pSTS/pMTG region, the region has been proposed to be supramodal in nature. In this study, we investigated whether the spatiotemporal information from simple auditory stimuli is sufficient to activate this biological motion area. We compared spatially moving white noise, having a running-like tempo that was consistent with biological motion, with stationary white noise. The moving-minus-stationary contrast showed significant differences in activation of the pSTS/pMTG region. Our results suggest that the spatiotemporal information of the auditory stimuli is sufficient to activate the biological motion area.

  13. The Chemical Information Ontology: Provenance and Disambiguation for Chemical Data on the Biological Semantic Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastings, Janna; Chepelev, Leonid; Willighagen, Egon; Adams, Nico; Steinbeck, Christoph; Dumontier, Michel

    2011-01-01

    Cheminformatics is the application of informatics techniques to solve chemical problems in silico. There are many areas in biology where cheminformatics plays an important role in computational research, including metabolism, proteomics, and systems biology. One critical aspect in the application of cheminformatics in these fields is the accurate exchange of data, which is increasingly accomplished through the use of ontologies. Ontologies are formal representations of objects and their properties using a logic-based ontology language. Many such ontologies are currently being developed to represent objects across all the domains of science. Ontologies enable the definition, classification, and support for querying objects in a particular domain, enabling intelligent computer applications to be built which support the work of scientists both within the domain of interest and across interrelated neighbouring domains. Modern chemical research relies on computational techniques to filter and organise data to maximise research productivity. The objects which are manipulated in these algorithms and procedures, as well as the algorithms and procedures themselves, enjoy a kind of virtual life within computers. We will call these information entities. Here, we describe our work in developing an ontology of chemical information entities, with a primary focus on data-driven research and the integration of calculated properties (descriptors) of chemical entities within a semantic web context. Our ontology distinguishes algorithmic, or procedural information from declarative, or factual information, and renders of particular importance the annotation of provenance to calculated data. The Chemical Information Ontology is being developed as an open collaborative project. More details, together with a downloadable OWL file, are available at http://code.google.com/p/semanticchemistry/ (license: CC-BY-SA). PMID:21991315

  14. The chemical information ontology: provenance and disambiguation for chemical data on the biological semantic web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janna Hastings

    Full Text Available Cheminformatics is the application of informatics techniques to solve chemical problems in silico. There are many areas in biology where cheminformatics plays an important role in computational research, including metabolism, proteomics, and systems biology. One critical aspect in the application of cheminformatics in these fields is the accurate exchange of data, which is increasingly accomplished through the use of ontologies. Ontologies are formal representations of objects and their properties using a logic-based ontology language. Many such ontologies are currently being developed to represent objects across all the domains of science. Ontologies enable the definition, classification, and support for querying objects in a particular domain, enabling intelligent computer applications to be built which support the work of scientists both within the domain of interest and across interrelated neighbouring domains. Modern chemical research relies on computational techniques to filter and organise data to maximise research productivity. The objects which are manipulated in these algorithms and procedures, as well as the algorithms and procedures themselves, enjoy a kind of virtual life within computers. We will call these information entities. Here, we describe our work in developing an ontology of chemical information entities, with a primary focus on data-driven research and the integration of calculated properties (descriptors of chemical entities within a semantic web context. Our ontology distinguishes algorithmic, or procedural information from declarative, or factual information, and renders of particular importance the annotation of provenance to calculated data. The Chemical Information Ontology is being developed as an open collaborative project. More details, together with a downloadable OWL file, are available at http://code.google.com/p/semanticchemistry/ (license: CC-BY-SA.

  15. Understanding Carbon Sequestration Options in the United States: Capabilities of a Carbon Management Geographic Information System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dahowski, Robert T.; Dooley, James J.; Brown, Daryl R.; Mizoguchi, Akiyoshi; Shiozaki, Mai

    2001-04-03

    While one can discuss various sequestration options at a national or global level, the actual carbon management approach is highly site specific. In response to the need for a better understanding of carbon management options, Battelle in collaboration with Mitsubishi Corporation, has developed a state-of-the-art Geographic Information System (GIS) focused on carbon capture and sequestration opportunities in the United States. The GIS system contains information (e.g., fuel type, location, vintage, ownership, rated capacity) on all fossil-fired generation capacity in the Untied States with a rated capacity of at least 100 MW. There are also data on other CO2 sources (i.e., natural domes, gas processing plants, etc.) and associated pipelines currently serving enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects. Data on current and prospective CO2 EOR projects include location, operator, reservoir and oil characteristics, production, and CO2 source. The system also contains information on priority deep saline aquifers and coal bed methane basins with potential for sequestering CO2. The GIS application not only enables data storage, flexible map making, and visualization capabilities, but also facilitates the spatial analyses required to solve complex linking of CO2 sources with appropriate and cost-effective sinks. A variety of screening criteria (spatial, geophysical, and economic) can be employed to identify sources and sinks most likely amenable to deployment of carbon capture and sequestration systems. The system is easily updateable, allowing it to stay on the leading edge of capture and sequestration technology as well as the ever-changing business landscape. Our paper and presentation will describe the development of this GIS and demonstrate its uses for carbon management analysis.

  16. Understanding the provision and processing of information for information-intensive products as a basis for market segmentation

    OpenAIRE

    Hall, Daniel Edward

    2016-01-01

    This thesis helps to address the gap in literature relating to the study of the provision of information to consumers, consumer information search behaviour and consumer information processing and choice behaviour relating to information-intensive products. Throughout the thesis, wine is taken as an example of an information-intensive product. Through a series of four published papers in peer reviewed journals, the thesis examines how firms can control and manipulate the provision of informat...

  17. Nutritional sub-fertility in the dairy cow: towards improved reproductive management through a better biological understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friggens, N C; Disenhaus, C; Petit, H V

    2010-07-01

    There has been a significant decline in the reproductive performance of dairy cattle in recent decades. Cows, take longer time to return to the oestrus after calving, have poorer conception rates, and show fewer signs of oestrus. Achieving good reproductive performance is an increasing challenge for the dairy producer. In this study we focus on understanding the overall biological phenomena associated with nutritional sub-fertility rather than the underlying multiplicity of physiological interactions (already described in a number of recent studies). These phenomena are important because they represent the natural adaptations of the animal for dealing with variations in the nutritional environment. They can also be used to monitor and modulate reproductive performance on-farm. There is an underlying trade-off between two aspects of reproduction: investment in the viability of the current calf and investment in future offspring. As the investment in, and viability of, the current calf is related to maternal milk production, we can expect that level of milk production per se has effects on subsequent reproductive performance (investment in future offspring). Lactating cows have a lower proportion of viable embryos, which are of poorer quality, than do non-lactating cows. The same applies to high- compared to medium-genetic merit cows. Another important biological property is the adaptive use of body reserves in support of reproduction. Orchestrated endocrine changes in pregnancy and lactation facilitate the deposition of body lipid during pregnancy and mobilisation in early lactation. When the cow fails to accumulate the reserves she needs to safeguard reproduction she delays committing to further reproductive investment. But how does the cow 'know' that she is failing in energy terms? We argue that the cow does this by 'monitoring' both the body fat mobilisation and body fatness. Excessive body fat mobilisation indicates that current conditions are worse than

  18. Thinking processes of Filipino teachers representation of schema of some biology topics: Its effects to the students conceptual understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barquilla, Manuel B.

    2018-01-01

    This study is a qualitative-quantitative research, where the main concern is to investigate Content knowledge representation of Filipino Teachers in their schema (proposition, linear ordering and imagery) of some biology topics. The five biology topics includes: Photosynthesis, Cellular Respiration, human reproductive system, Mendelian genetics and NonMendelian genetics. The study focuses on the six (6) biology teachers and a total of 222 students in their respective classes. Of the Six (6) teachers, three (3) are under the Science curriculum and three (3) under regular curriculum in both public and private schools in Iligan city and Lanao del Norte, Philippines. The study utilizes interpretative case-study method, bracketing method, and concept analysis for qualitative part. For quantitative, it uses a nonparametric statistical tool, Kendall's Tau to determine congruence of students and teachers' concept maps and paired t-test for testing the significant differences of pre-and post-instruction concept maps to determine the effects of students' conceptual understanding before and after the teacher's representation of their schema that requires the teachers' thinking processes. The data were cross-validated with two or more techniques used in the study. The data collection entailed seven (7) months immersion: one (1) month for preliminary phase for the researcher to gain teachers' and students' confidence and the succeeding six (6) months for main observation and data collection. Results indicate that the teacher utilize six methods to construct meaning of concepts, three methods of representing classification, four methods to represent relationships, seven methods to represent transformation and three methods to represent causation in planning and implementing the lessons. They often modify definitions in the textbook and express these in lingua franca to be better understood by the students. Furthermore, the teachers' analogs given to student are sometimes far

  19. Understanding the nature of information seeking behavior in critical care: implications for the design of health information technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannampallil, Thomas G; Franklin, Amy; Mishra, Rashmi; Almoosa, Khalid F; Cohen, Trevor; Patel, Vimla L

    2013-01-01

    Information in critical care environments is distributed across multiple sources, such as paper charts, electronic records, and support personnel. For decision-making tasks, physicians have to seek, gather, filter and organize information from various sources in a timely manner. The objective of this research is to characterize the nature of physicians' information seeking process, and the content and structure of clinical information retrieved during this process. Eight medical intensive care unit physicians provided a verbal think-aloud as they performed a clinical diagnosis task. Verbal descriptions of physicians' activities, sources of information they used, time spent on each information source, and interactions with other clinicians were captured for analysis. The data were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative approaches. We found that the information seeking process was exploratory and iterative and driven by the contextual organization of information. While there was no significant differences between the overall time spent paper or electronic records, there was marginally greater relative information gain (i.e., more unique information retrieved per unit time) from electronic records (t(6)=1.89, p=0.1). Additionally, information retrieved from electronic records was at a higher level (i.e., observations and findings) in the knowledge structure than paper records, reflecting differences in the nature of knowledge utilization across resources. A process of local optimization drove the information seeking process: physicians utilized information that maximized their information gain even though it required significantly more cognitive effort. Implications for the design of health information technology solutions that seamlessly integrate information seeking activities within the workflow, such as enriching the clinical information space and supporting efficient clinical reasoning and decision-making, are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All

  20. Overview of BioCreAtIvE: critical assessment of information extraction for biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirschman Lynette

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The goal of the first BioCreAtIvE challenge (Critical Assessment of Information Extraction in Biology was to provide a set of common evaluation tasks to assess the state of the art for text mining applied to biological problems. The results were presented in a workshop held in Granada, Spain March 28–31, 2004. The articles collected in this BMC Bioinformatics supplement entitled "A critical assessment of text mining methods in molecular biology" describe the BioCreAtIvE tasks, systems, results and their independent evaluation. Results BioCreAtIvE focused on two tasks. The first dealt with extraction of gene or protein names from text, and their mapping into standardized gene identifiers for three model organism databases (fly, mouse, yeast. The second task addressed issues of functional annotation, requiring systems to identify specific text passages that supported Gene Ontology annotations for specific proteins, given full text articles. Conclusion The first BioCreAtIvE assessment achieved a high level of international participation (27 groups from 10 countries. The assessment provided state-of-the-art performance results for a basic task (gene name finding and normalization, where the best systems achieved a balanced 80% precision / recall or better, which potentially makes them suitable for real applications in biology. The results for the advanced task (functional annotation from free text were significantly lower, demonstrating the current limitations of text-mining approaches where knowledge extrapolation and interpretation are required. In addition, an important contribution of BioCreAtIvE has been the creation and release of training and test data sets for both tasks. There are 22 articles in this special issue, including six that provide analyses of results or data quality for the data sets, including a novel inter-annotator consistency assessment for the test set used in task 2.

  1. An efficient biological pathway layout algorithm combining grid-layout and spring embedder for complicated cellular location information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, Kaname; Nagasaki, Masao; Miyano, Satoru

    2010-06-18

    Graph drawing is one of the important techniques for understanding biological regulations in a cell or among cells at the pathway level. Among many available layout algorithms, the spring embedder algorithm is widely used not only for pathway drawing but also for circuit placement and www visualization and so on because of the harmonized appearance of its results. For pathway drawing, location information is essential for its comprehension. However, complex shapes need to be taken into account when torus-shaped location information such as nuclear inner membrane, nuclear outer membrane, and plasma membrane is considered. Unfortunately, the spring embedder algorithm cannot easily handle such information. In addition, crossings between edges and nodes are usually not considered explicitly. We proposed a new grid-layout algorithm based on the spring embedder algorithm that can handle location information and provide layouts with harmonized appearance. In grid-layout algorithms, the mapping of nodes to grid points that minimizes a cost function is searched. By imposing positional constraints on grid points, location information including complex shapes can be easily considered. Our layout algorithm includes the spring embedder cost as a component of the cost function. We further extend the layout algorithm to enable dynamic update of the positions and sizes of compartments at each step. The new spring embedder-based grid-layout algorithm and a spring embedder algorithm are applied to three biological pathways; endothelial cell model, Fas-induced apoptosis model, and C. elegans cell fate simulation model. From the positional constraints, all the results of our algorithm satisfy location information, and hence, more comprehensible layouts are obtained as compared to the spring embedder algorithm. From the comparison of the number of crossings, the results of the grid-layout-based algorithm tend to contain more crossings than those of the spring embedder algorithm due to

  2. Structuring heterogeneous biological information using fuzzy clustering of k-partite graphs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theis Fabian J

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Extensive and automated data integration in bioinformatics facilitates the construction of large, complex biological networks. However, the challenge lies in the interpretation of these networks. While most research focuses on the unipartite or bipartite case, we address the more general but common situation of k-partite graphs. These graphs contain k different node types and links are only allowed between nodes of different types. In order to reveal their structural organization and describe the contained information in a more coarse-grained fashion, we ask how to detect clusters within each node type. Results Since entities in biological networks regularly have more than one function and hence participate in more than one cluster, we developed a k-partite graph partitioning algorithm that allows for overlapping (fuzzy clusters. It determines for each node a degree of membership to each cluster. Moreover, the algorithm estimates a weighted k-partite graph that connects the extracted clusters. Our method is fast and efficient, mimicking the multiplicative update rules commonly employed in algorithms for non-negative matrix factorization. It facilitates the decomposition of networks on a chosen scale and therefore allows for analysis and interpretation of structures on various resolution levels. Applying our algorithm to a tripartite disease-gene-protein complex network, we were able to structure this graph on a large scale into clusters that are functionally correlated and biologically meaningful. Locally, smaller clusters enabled reclassification or annotation of the clusters' elements. We exemplified this for the transcription factor MECP2. Conclusions In order to cope with the overwhelming amount of information available from biomedical literature, we need to tackle the challenge of finding structures in large networks with nodes of multiple types. To this end, we presented a novel fuzzy k-partite graph partitioning

  3. Recent introduction of an allodapine bee into Fiji: A new model system for understanding biological invasions by pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Scott V C; Tuiwawa, Marika V; Stevens, Mark I; Schwarz, Michael P

    2015-08-01

    Morphology-based studies have suggested a very depauperate bee fauna for islands in the South West Pacific, and recent genetic studies since have indicated an even smaller endemic fauna with many bee species in this region resulting from human-aided dispersal. These introduced species have the potential to both disrupt native pollinator suites as well as augment crop pollination, but for most species the timings of introduction are unknown. We examined the distribution and nesting biology of the long-tongued bee Braunsapis puangensis that was first recorded from Fiji in 2007. This bee has now become widespread in Fiji and both its local abundance and geographical range are likely to increase dramatically. The impacts of this invasion are potentially enormous for agriculture and native ecosystems, but they also provide opportunities for understanding how social insect species adapt to new environments. We outline the major issues associated with this recent invasion and argue that a long-term monitoring study is needed. © 2014 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  4. Understanding the biology of bone sarcoma from early initiating events through late events in metastasis and disease progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Limin eZhu

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The two most common primary bone malignancies, osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, are both aggressive, highly metastatic cancers that most often strike teens, though both can be found in younger children and adults. Despite distinct origins and pathogenesis, both diseases share several mechanisms of progression and metastasis, including neovascularization, invasion, anoikis resistance, chemoresistance and evasion of the immune response. Some of these processes are well-studies in more common carcinoma models, and the observation from adult diseases may be readily applied to pediatric bone sarcomas. Neovascularization, which includes angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, is a clear example of a process that is likely to be similar between carcinomas and sarcomas, since the responding cells are the same in each case. Chemoresistance mechanisms also may be similar between other cancers and the bone sarcomas. Since osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma are mesenchymal in origin, the process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation is largely absent in bone sarcomas, necessitating different approaches to study progression and metastasis in these diseases. One process that is less well-studied in bone sarcomas is dormancy, which allows micrometastatic disease to remain viable but not growing in distant sites – typically the lungs – for months or years before renewing growth to become overt metastatic disease. By understanding the basic biology of these processes, novel therapeutic strategies may be developed that could improve survival in children with osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma.

  5. Social insect colony as a biological regulatory system: modelling information flow in dominance networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandi, Anjan K; Sumana, Annagiri; Bhattacharya, Kunal

    2014-12-06

    Social insects provide an excellent platform to investigate flow of information in regulatory systems since their successful social organization is essentially achieved by effective information transfer through complex connectivity patterns among the colony members. Network representation of such behavioural interactions offers a powerful tool for structural as well as dynamical analysis of the underlying regulatory systems. In this paper, we focus on the dominance interaction networks in the tropical social wasp Ropalidia marginata-a species where behavioural observations indicate that such interactions are principally responsible for the transfer of information between individuals about their colony needs, resulting in a regulation of their own activities. Our research reveals that the dominance networks of R. marginata are structurally similar to a class of naturally evolved information processing networks, a fact confirmed also by the predominance of a specific substructure-the 'feed-forward loop'-a key functional component in many other information transfer networks. The dynamical analysis through Boolean modelling confirms that the networks are sufficiently stable under small fluctuations and yet capable of more efficient information transfer compared to their randomized counterparts. Our results suggest the involvement of a common structural design principle in different biological regulatory systems and a possible similarity with respect to the effect of selection on the organization levels of such systems. The findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that dominance behaviour has been shaped by natural selection to co-opt the information transfer process in such social insect species, in addition to its primal function of mediation of reproductive competition in the colony. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Understanding and using comparative healthcare information: the effect of the amount of information and consumer characteristics and skills.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwijnenberg, N.C.; Hendriks, M.; Damman, O.C.; Bloemendal, E.; Wendel, S.; Jong, J.D. de; Rademakers, J.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Consumers are increasingly exposed to comparative healthcare information (information about the quality of different healthcare providers). Partly because of its complexity, the use of this information has been limited. The objective of this study was to examine how the amount of

  7. Understanding and using comparative healthcare information; the effect of the amount of information and consumer characteristics and skills

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwijnenberg, N.C.; Hendriks, M.; Damman, O.C.; Bloemendal, E.; Wendel, S.; de Jong, J.D.; Rademakers, J.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Consumers are increasingly exposed to comparative healthcare information (information about the quality of different healthcare providers). Partly because of its complexity, the use of this information has been limited. The objective of this study was to examine how the amount of

  8. Understanding of Technical Terms and Contents of Informed Consent Forms for Sedative Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Procedures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ihnsook Jeong, RN, PhD

    2013-03-01

    Conclusion: The understanding of the terms and knowledge about the procedures were disappointing. Therefore, sufficient explanations should be provided to the patients. While the informed consent was taken by doctors, the level of understanding should be monitored by nurses. In particular, subjects who did not have any previous experience with endoscopy procedures showed relatively lower level of understanding. We recommend that medical terms should be replaced with more common and nontechnical words in consent forms.

  9. [Can anybody understand the informed consent documents? A proposal to make it easier].

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Picazo, J J; Tomás-Garcia, N; Ros Abellán, M P

    2016-01-01

    To assess the readability of informed consent documents as written by doctors, by analysing the results and the differences between the sections of the document and services, with the aim of helping to improve them. Descriptive study of the texts from 359 documents sent for accreditation in the Arrixaca Hospital (Murcia, Spain). Both length and readability are assessed. Length is measured in words (adequate up to 470, excessive over 940), and readability in INFLESZ points (suitable if over 55). Length ranged from 73 to 1018 words (mean 360, standard error 8.8, adequate length OR 3.66±0.81). The larger sections were "risks" and "nature of the procedure", and the shorter ones, "alternatives" and "contraindications", P<.0001. The INFLESZ value ranged from 18.1 to 86.4 points (mean 45.8, standard error 0.45), and was better in non-surgical services. Only 12.5% of the documents achieved an INFLESZ value over 55 (OR 0.12±0.03), with 70% in non-surgical procedures, P<.0001. The better readability sections were the "nature" and the "risks", and the worst ones, were "contraindications" and "alternatives", P<.0001. The length of proposed documents is adequate, but they are not sufficiently readable, especially if they come from surgical services. The section length is unbalanced, with "contraindications" and "alternatives" being shorter and more difficult to understand. It is essential to check the readability before using an informed consent document. For this purpose, tools like that proposed could be useful. Copyright © 2015 SECA. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  10. Simple, complex and hyper-complex understanding - enhanced sensitivity in observation of information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bering Keiding, Tina

    enhanced transparency in selection of understanding as well as enhanced sensitivity and definition in dept. The contribution suggest that we distinguish between three types of understanding; simple, complex and hyper-complex understanding. Simple understanding is the simultaneous selection of understanding......-order observation. Hyper-complex, or third-order observation, observes conditions for indication; that is conditions for actualization of the specific form of the difference constructed through second-order observation. The three types are partly deduced from Luhmanns concept of understanding, partly generated...

  11. Biology and Nursing Students’ Perceptions of a Web-based Information Literacy Tutorial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon Weiner

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available This study assessed student perceptions about an online information literacy tutorial, CORE (Comprehensive Online Research Education, to plan for the next generation of tutorials. The CORE tutorial includes seven modules: “Planning Your Project,” “Topic Exploration,” “Types of Information,” “Search Tools,” “Search Strategies,” “Evaluating Sources,” and “Copyright, Plagiarism, and Citing Sources.” First-year students in biology and nursing courses responded to a survey after they completed the CORE modules. The students liked learning through an online tutorial. They thought that the tutorial could be improved with shorter modules and the addition of video and audio content. Few students reported learning important information from the “Copyright, Plagiarism, and Citing Sources,” “Evaluating Resources,” and “Types of Information” modules. They suggested topics for additional tutorials: how to use library databases and Microsoft Excel; how to evaluate the quality of information, how to cite references in a bibliography, and how to find statistics.

  12. Understanding and using comparative healthcare information; the effect of the amount of information and consumer characteristics and skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zwijnenberg Nicolien C

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Consumers are increasingly exposed to comparative healthcare information (information about the quality of different healthcare providers. Partly because of its complexity, the use of this information has been limited. The objective of this study was to examine how the amount of presented information influences the comprehension and use of comparative healthcare information when important consumer characteristics and skills are taken into account. Methods In this randomized controlled experiment, comparative information on total hip or knee surgery was used as a test case. An online survey was distributed among 800 members of the NIVEL Insurants Panel and 76 hip- or knee surgery patients. Participants were assigned to one of four subgroups, who were shown 3, 7, 11 or 15 quality aspects of three hospitals. We conducted Kruskall-Wallis tests, Chi-square tests and hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses to examine relationships between the amount of information and consumer characteristics and skills (literacy, numeracy, active choice behaviour on one hand, and outcome measures related to effectively using information (comprehension, perceived usefulness of information, hospital choice, ease of making a choice on the other hand. Results 414 people (47% participated. Regression analysis showed that the amount of information slightly influenced the comprehension and the perceived usefulness of comparative healthcare information. It did not affect consumers’ hospital choice and ease of making this choice. Consumer characteristics (especially age and skills (especially literacy were the most important factors affecting the comprehension of information and the ease of making a hospital choice. For the perceived usefulness of comparative information, active choice behaviour was the most influencing factor. Conclusion The effects of the amount of information were not unambiguous. It remains unclear what the ideal amount of

  13. Understanding and using comparative healthcare information; the effect of the amount of information and consumer characteristics and skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwijnenberg, Nicolien C; Hendriks, Michelle; Damman, Olga C; Bloemendal, Evelien; Wendel, Sonja; de Jong, Judith D; Rademakers, Jany

    2012-09-07

    Consumers are increasingly exposed to comparative healthcare information (information about the quality of different healthcare providers). Partly because of its complexity, the use of this information has been limited. The objective of this study was to examine how the amount of presented information influences the comprehension and use of comparative healthcare information when important consumer characteristics and skills are taken into account. In this randomized controlled experiment, comparative information on total hip or knee surgery was used as a test case. An online survey was distributed among 800 members of the NIVEL Insurants Panel and 76 hip- or knee surgery patients. Participants were assigned to one of four subgroups, who were shown 3, 7, 11 or 15 quality aspects of three hospitals. We conducted Kruskall-Wallis tests, Chi-square tests and hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses to examine relationships between the amount of information and consumer characteristics and skills (literacy, numeracy, active choice behaviour) on one hand, and outcome measures related to effectively using information (comprehension, perceived usefulness of information, hospital choice, ease of making a choice) on the other hand. 414 people (47%) participated. Regression analysis showed that the amount of information slightly influenced the comprehension and the perceived usefulness of comparative healthcare information. It did not affect consumers' hospital choice and ease of making this choice. Consumer characteristics (especially age) and skills (especially literacy) were the most important factors affecting the comprehension of information and the ease of making a hospital choice. For the perceived usefulness of comparative information, active choice behaviour was the most influencing factor. The effects of the amount of information were not unambiguous. It remains unclear what the ideal amount of quality information to be presented would be. Reducing the

  14. Molecular Biology: Are We Getting Any Closer to Providing Clinically Useful Information?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karagkounis, Georgios; Kalady, Matthew F

    2017-11-01

    Advances in molecular biology and biomarker research have significantly impacted our understanding and treatment of multiple solid malignancies. In rectal cancer, where neoadjuvant chemoradiation is widely used for locally advanced disease, most efforts have focused on the identification of predictors of response in an attempt to appropriately select patients for multimodality therapy. A variety of biomarkers have been studied, including genetic mutations, chromosomal copy number alterations, and single as well as multigene expression patterns. Also, as transanal resection of rectal tumors requires accurate preoperative detection of lymph node metastasis, the identification of biomarkers of regional nodal involvement has been another important field of active research. While preliminary results have been promising, lack of external validation means has a limited translation to clinical use. This review summarizes recent developments in rectal cancer biomarker research, highlighting the challenges associated with their adoption, and evaluating their potential for clinical use.

  15. Water Diplomacy: A Synthesis of Water Information and Understanding to Create Actionable Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Y.; Islam, S.

    2010-12-01

    Water issues are complex because they cross multiple boundaries and involve various stakeholders with competing needs. The origin of many water issues is a dynamic consequence of competition and feedback among variables in the natural, societal and political domains. When viewed as a limited resource, water lends itself to destructive conflicts over its division; knowledge of water, however, can transform a finite water quantity into a flexible resource. To generate such a transformative knowledge base for water, we need a framework to synthesize explicit (scientific information) and tacit (contextual understanding) water knowledge. Such a framework must build on scientific objectivity and be cognizant of contextual differences inherent to water issues. An example of such an approach is qualitative reasoning (QR) that was developed by the artificial intelligence community to provide non-numerical descriptions of systems and their qualitative and quantitative behavior while preserving important behavioral properties and qualitative distinctions. Using the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (ACF Basin) as an example we will illustrate the use of QR to model and analyze water conflicts in the context of a coupled Natural and Societal Domain (NSD) framework. Two QR models related to the ACF water dispute will be compared and contrasted. Our results suggest that QR models within a NSD framework can provide ways to resolve complex water problems through negotiated solutions.

  16. Applications of Geographical Information Systems in Understanding Spatial Distribution of Asthma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad A. Rob

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Geographical Information Systems (GIS are becoming useful tools in making strategic decisions when-ever data are found to have spatial distribution. Federal, state, and local governments are using GIS for assessment and planning in such areas as housing, healthcare, land use, natural resources, environmental monitoring and transportation. Companies are also using it to expand and consolidate existing businesses, perform market analysis, and to find optimum delivery routes. In this paper, we illustrate the usefulness of GIS in the analysis and presentation of spatially distributed asthma prevalence among school children (13-17 years in the New York City area. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first presentation of asthma survey results distributed over the zip codes of a large city. Preliminary results show good correlation between asthma and poverty. They also correlate well with the spatial distribution of asthma hospitalization data. Results reveal an overall asthma prevalence of ~ 16% as compared to the national average of ~12% for a similar age group (5-17 years. When comparing asthma rates among the predominant racial groups of the city - Blacks and Hispanics are found to have a higher prevalence than Whites or Asians. The inner-city population shows a significantly higher asthma prevalence than those in the suburbs. This study shows our understanding of asthma prevalence in a dimension that could not have been possible prior to the availability of GIS. The results will help us making further decisions in planning for asthma research.

  17. Health information technology adoption: Understanding research protocols and outcome measurements for IT interventions in health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colicchio, Tiago K; Facelli, Julio C; Del Fiol, Guilherme; Scammon, Debra L; Bowes, Watson A; Narus, Scott P

    2016-10-01

    To classify and characterize the variables commonly used to measure the impact of Information Technology (IT) adoption in health care, as well as settings and IT interventions tested, and to guide future research. We conducted a descriptive study screening a sample of 236 studies from a previous systematic review to identify outcome measures used and the availability of data to calculate these measures. We also developed a taxonomy of commonly used measures and explored setting characteristics and IT interventions. Clinical decision support is the most common intervention tested, primarily in non-hospital-based clinics and large academic hospitals. We identified 15 taxa representing the 79 most commonly used measures. Quality of care was the most common category of these measurements with 62 instances, followed by productivity (11 instances) and patient safety (6 instances). Measures used varied according to type of setting, IT intervention and targeted population. This study provides an inventory and a taxonomy of commonly used measures that will help researchers select measures in future studies as well as identify gaps in their measurement approaches. The classification of the other protocol components such as settings and interventions will also help researchers identify underexplored areas of research on the impact of IT interventions in health care. A more robust and standardized measurement system and more detailed descriptions of interventions and settings are necessary to enable comparison between studies and a better understanding of the impact of IT adoption in health care settings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Understanding and Informing the Policy Environment: State-Level Renewable Fuels Standards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, E.; Cory, K.; Arent, D.

    2007-01-01

    Renewable fuels standard (RFS) policies are becoming a popular public policy mechanism for developing the market for renewable fuels in the transportation sector. During the past decade, U.S. states and several countries began implementing these more market-based (less command and control) policies to support increased biofuels production and use. This paper presents an overview of current and proposed U.S. state-level policies, as well as selected electric sector policies and international fuel standard policies. Current U.S. state-level renewable fuel policies list drivers including an improved economy and environment, as well as fuel self-sufficiency. Best practices and experience from an evaluation of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in the United States and international RFS policies can inform U.S. state-level policy by illustrating the importance of policy flexibility, binding targets, effective cost caps, and tradable permits. Understanding and building on the experiences from these previous policies can improve the policy mechanism and further develop a market for renewable fuels to meet the goals of improved economy, environment, and fuel self-sufficiency.

  19. Making Information Visible, Accessible, and Understandable: Meta-Data and Registries

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robinson, Clay

    2007-01-01

    .... Expanded use of metadata leads to better-informed decision making, improved management of information, increased return on investment for digital asset production and publishing, improved security...

  20. Gaps in college biology students' understanding of photosynthesis: Implications for human constructivist learning theory and college classroom practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffard, Phyllis Baudoin

    1999-11-01

    The main research question of this study was: What gaps in biochemical understanding are revealed by a range of university introductory biology students as they work through a critically acclaimed multimedia program on photosynthesis, and what are the corresponding implications for elaboration of the Ausubel-Novak-Gowin Learning Theory (ANG, now Human Constructivism)? Twelve students, mixed for ability, gender and ethnicity, were recruited from two sections of "Bio 101." Before and after instruction in photosynthesis, in-depth clinical interviews were conducted during which participants completed a range of cognitive tasks such as sorting, concept mapping, explaining and predicting. Some tasks involved interacting with a computer simulation of photosynthesis. This study primarily employed qualitative case study and verbal analysis methods. Verbal analysis of the clinical interviews revealed numerous gaps that were categorized into typologies. The two major categories were propositional gaps and processing gaps. Propositional gaps were evident in development of participants' concepts, links and constructs. Significant among these were conceptual distance gaps and continuity of matter gaps. Gaps such as convention gaps and relative significance gaps seem to be due to naivete in the discipline. Processing gaps included gaps in graphic decoding skills and relevant cognitive habits such as self-monitoring and consulting prior knowledge. Although the gaps were easier to detect and isolate with the above-average participants, all participants showed evidence of at least some of these gaps. Since some gaps are not unexpected at all but the highest literacy levels, not all the gaps identified are to be considered deficiencies. The gaps identified support the attention given by ANG theorists to the role of prior knowledge and metacognition as well as the value of graphic organizers in knowledge construction. In addition, this study revealed numerous gaps in graphic decoding

  1. Understanding the addiction cycle: a complex biology with distinct contributions of genotype vs. sex at each stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, C J; Hashimoto, J G; Roberts, M L; Sonmez, M K; Wiren, K M

    2014-10-24

    Ethanol abuse can lead to addiction, brain damage and premature death. The cycle of alcohol addiction has been described as a composite consisting of three stages: intoxication, withdrawal and craving/abstinence. There is evidence for contributions of both genotype and sex to alcoholism, but an understanding of the biological underpinnings is limited. Utilizing both sexes of genetic animal models with highly divergent alcohol withdrawal severity, Withdrawal Seizure-Resistant (WSR) and Withdrawal Seizure-Prone (WSP) mice, the distinct contributions of genotype/phenotype and of sex during addiction stages on neuroadaptation were characterized. Transcriptional profiling was performed to identify expression changes as a consequence of chronic intoxication in the medial prefrontal cortex. Significant expression differences were identified on a single platform and tracked over a behaviorally relevant time course that covered each stage of alcohol addiction; i.e., after chronic intoxication, during peak withdrawal, and after a defined period of abstinence. Females were more sensitive to ethanol with higher fold expression differences. Bioinformatics showed a strong effect of sex on the data structure of expression profiles during chronic intoxication and at peak withdrawal irrespective of genetic background. However, during abstinence, differences were observed instead between the lines/phenotypes irrespective of sex. Confirmation of identified pathways showed distinct inflammatory signaling following intoxication at peak withdrawal, with a pro-inflammatory phenotype in females but overall suppression of immune signaling in males. Combined, these results suggest that each stage of the addiction cycle is influenced differentially by sex vs. genetic background and support the development of stage- and sex-specific therapies for alcohol withdrawal and the maintenance of sobriety. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Biologically inspired information theory: Adaptation through construction of external reality models by living systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Toshiyuki

    2015-12-01

    Higher animals act in the world using their external reality models to cope with the uncertain environment. Organisms that have not developed such information-processing organs may also have external reality models built in the form of their biochemical, physiological, and behavioral structures, acquired by natural selection through successful models constructed internally. Organisms subject to illusions would fail to survive in the material universe. How can organisms, or living systems in general, determine the external reality from within? This paper starts with a phenomenological model, in which the self constitutes a reality model developed through the mental processing of phenomena. Then, the it-from-bit concept is formalized using a simple mathematical model. For this formalization, my previous work on an algorithmic process is employed to constitute symbols referring to the external reality, called the inverse causality, with additional improvements to the previous work. Finally, as an extension of this model, the cognizers system model is employed to describe the self as one of many material entities in a world, each of which acts as a subject by responding to the surrounding entities. This model is used to propose a conceptual framework of information theory that can deal with both the qualitative (semantic) and quantitative aspects of the information involved in biological processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Synthetic biology with artificially expanded genetic information systems. From personalized medicine to extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benner, Steven A; Hutter, Daniel; Sismour, A Michael

    2003-01-01

    Over 15 years ago, the Benner group noticed that the DNA alphabet need not be limited to the four standard nucleotides known in natural DNA. Rather, twelve nucleobases forming six base pairs joined by mutually exclusive hydrogen bonding patterns are possible within the geometry of the Watson-Crick pair (Fig. 1). Synthesis and studies on these compounds have brought us to the threshold of a synthetic biology, an artificial chemical system that does basic processes needed for life (in particular, Darwinian evolution), but with unnatural chemical structures. At the same time, the artificial genetic information systems (AEGIS) that we have developed have been used in FDA-approved commercial tests for managing HIV and hepatitis C infections in individual patients, and in a tool that seeks the virus for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). AEGIS also supports the next generation of robotic probes to search for genetic molecules on Mars, Europa, and elsewhere where NASA probes will travel.

  4. Insights into biological information processing: structural and dynamical analysis of a human protein signalling network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fuente, Alberto de la; Fotia, Giorgio; Maggio, Fabio; Mancosu, Gianmaria; Pieroni, Enrico [CRS4 Bioinformatica, Parco Tecnologico POLARIS, Ed.1, Loc Piscinamanna, Pula (Italy)], E-mail: alf@crs4.it

    2008-06-06

    We present an investigation on the structural and dynamical properties of a 'human protein signalling network' (HPSN). This biological network is composed of nodes that correspond to proteins and directed edges that represent signal flows. In order to gain insight into the organization of cell information processing this network is analysed taking into account explicitly the edge directions. We explore the topological properties of the HPSN at the global and the local scale, further applying the generating function formalism to provide a suitable comparative model. The relationship between the node degrees and the distribution of signals through the network is characterized using degree correlation profiles. Finally, we analyse the dynamical properties of small sub-graphs showing high correlation between their occurrence and dynamic stability.

  5. Fair Value Versus Historical Cost-Based Valuation for Biological Assets: Predictability of Financial Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep M. Argilés

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available There is an intense debate on the convenience of moving from historical cost (HC toward the fair value (FV principle. The debate and academic research is usually concerned with financial instruments, but the IAS 41 requirement of fair valuation for biological assets brings it into the agricultural domain.This paper performs an empirical study with a sample of Spanish farms valuing biological assets at HC and a sample applying FV, finding no significant differences between both valuation methods to assess future cash flows. However, most tests reveal more predictive power of future earnings under fair valuation of biological assets, which is not explained by differences in volatility of earnings and profitability. The study also evidences the existence of flawed HC accounting practices for biological assets in agriculture, which suggests scarce information content of this valuation method in the predominant small business units existing in the agricultural sector in advanced Western countries.La evolución de la contabilidad desde el coste histórico (CH hacia el valor razonable (VR ha suscitado debates y controversias, tanto en el ámbito profesional, como en el académico. Si bien el debate y los estudios se han referido principalmente a los instrumentos financieros, el requerimiento de la NIC41 de valorar los activos biológicos al VR ha ampliado el debate a la contabilidad agrícola.Este trabajo realiza un estudio empírico mediante una muestra de explotaciones agrícolas españolas que valoran sus activos biológicos al CH y otra que valoran al VR, para comparar el poder predictivo de ambos criterios de valoración. No se encuentran diferencias significativas entre ambos criterios para la predicción de los futuros flujos de tesorería. No obstante, la mayor parte de los tests realizados revelan un mayor poder predictivo de los futuros resultados contables bajo el valor razonable, que no se explica en función de diferencias en la

  6. Ethnic variations in the provision of biologic therapy for Crohn's disease: a Freedom of Information study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrukh, Affifa; Mayberry, John F

    2015-06-01

    In this study, we investigate whether the provision of biologic therapy for Crohn's disease is equitable across South Asian and English groups in NHS Trusts, which serve areas with significant ethnic variation. Data were requested from 10 NHS Trusts using a Freedom of Information (FOI) approach. Details of numbers of patients by ethnicity treated with infliximab or adalumimab for Crohn's disease between 2010 and 2012 were requested. Using population-based estimates of disease prevalence and Census data on population structure, observed and expected numbers who should have received treatment were calculated. In three Trusts, the number of South Asian patients who received such treatment was significantly less than British/White patients. These were: Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust covering Oldham and North Manchester, Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. The study is limited by several factors: 1. The only data available on prevalence in both English and South Asian communities comes from Leicester and was published in 1993. More recent data suggests that the prevalence of Crohn's disease now approaches 150/10(5) compared to the 76/10(5) for English patients which was recorded in Leicester. However, the two subsequent studies on prevalence which were published in 2000 from the North of England and 2010 from Scotland do not provide a breakdown by ethnicity. 2. The data were collected by administrative staff using a variety of approaches to their Trust's data bases and so the techniques used in each Trust are not comparable. In addition, studies from elsewhere suggest that the quality of FOI data is affected by the motivation of staff who collect the data. 3. With the exception of Leicester, there was no quality check on the accuracy of the data. In Leicester, 139 patients were on a register of biologic therapy and this compared with 343 patients reported by the FOI request. However, the

  7. A framework for modeling information propagation of biological systems at critical states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Feng; Yang, Fang

    2016-03-01

    We explore the dynamics of information propagation at the critical state of a biologically inspired system by an individual-based computer model. "Quorum response", a type of social interaction which has been recognized taxonomically in animal groups, is applied as the sole interaction rule among individuals. In the model, we assume a truncated Gaussian distribution to depict the distribution of the individuals' vigilance level. Each individual can assume either a naïve state or an alarmed one and only switches from the former state to the latter one. If an individual has turned into an alarmed state, it stays in the state during the process of information propagation. Initially, each individual is set to be at the naïve state and information is tapped into the system by perturbing an individual at the boundaries (alerting it to the alarmed state). The system evolves as individuals turn into the alarmed state, according to the quorum response rules, consecutively. We find that by fine-tuning the parameters of the mean and the standard deviation of the Gaussian distribution, the system is poised at a critical state. We present the phase diagrams to exhibit that the parameter space is divided into a super-critical and a sub-critical zone, in which the dynamics of information propagation varies largely. We then investigate the effects of the individuals' mobility on the critical state, and allow a proportion of randomly chosen individuals to exchange their positions at each time step. We find that mobility breaks down criticality of the system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Satellite tracking of sympatric marine megafauna can inform the biological basis for species co-management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Gredzens

    Full Text Available CONTEXT: Systematic conservation planning is increasingly used to identify priority areas for protection in marine systems. However, ecosystem-based approaches typically use density estimates as surrogates for animal presence and spatial modeling to identify areas for protection and may not take into account daily or seasonal movements of animals. Additionally, sympatric and inter-related species are often managed separately, which may not be cost-effective. This study aims to demonstrate an evidence-based method to inform the biological basis for co-management of two sympatric species, dugongs and green sea turtles. This approach can then be used in conservation planning to delineate areas to maximize species protection. METHODOLOGY/RESULTS: Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry was used to track eleven dugongs and ten green turtles at two geographically distinct foraging locations in Queensland, Australia to evaluate the inter- and intra-species spatial relationships and assess the efficacy of existing protection zones. Home-range analysis and bathymetric modeling were used to determine spatial use and compared with existing protection areas using GIS. Dugong and green turtle home-ranges significantly overlapped in both locations. However, both species used different core areas and differences existed between regions in depth zone use and home-range size, especially for dugongs. Both species used existing protection areas in Shoalwater Bay, but only a single tracked dugong used the existing protection area in Torres Strait. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry can provide evidence-based information on individual animal movements to delineate relationships between dugongs and green turtles in regions where they co-occur. This information can be used to increase the efficacy of conservation planning and complement more broadly based survey information. These species also use similar habitats, making complimentary co

  9. Satellite tracking of sympatric marine megafauna can inform the biological basis for species co-management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gredzens, Christian; Marsh, Helene; Fuentes, Mariana M P B; Limpus, Colin J; Shimada, Takahiro; Hamann, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Systematic conservation planning is increasingly used to identify priority areas for protection in marine systems. However, ecosystem-based approaches typically use density estimates as surrogates for animal presence and spatial modeling to identify areas for protection and may not take into account daily or seasonal movements of animals. Additionally, sympatric and inter-related species are often managed separately, which may not be cost-effective. This study aims to demonstrate an evidence-based method to inform the biological basis for co-management of two sympatric species, dugongs and green sea turtles. This approach can then be used in conservation planning to delineate areas to maximize species protection. Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry was used to track eleven dugongs and ten green turtles at two geographically distinct foraging locations in Queensland, Australia to evaluate the inter- and intra-species spatial relationships and assess the efficacy of existing protection zones. Home-range analysis and bathymetric modeling were used to determine spatial use and compared with existing protection areas using GIS. Dugong and green turtle home-ranges significantly overlapped in both locations. However, both species used different core areas and differences existed between regions in depth zone use and home-range size, especially for dugongs. Both species used existing protection areas in Shoalwater Bay, but only a single tracked dugong used the existing protection area in Torres Strait. Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry can provide evidence-based information on individual animal movements to delineate relationships between dugongs and green turtles in regions where they co-occur. This information can be used to increase the efficacy of conservation planning and complement more broadly based survey information. These species also use similar habitats, making complimentary co-management possible, but important differences exist between locations making it

  10. A Cross-sectional Investigation of Cancer-Screening Intentions, Sources of Information, and Understanding of Cancer in Japanese Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugisaki, Koshu; Ueda, Seiji; Ueji, Masaru; Monobe, Hirofumi; Yako-Suketomo, Hiroko; Eto, Takashi; Watanabe, Masaki; Mori, Ryoichi

    2018-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe the cancer-screening intention, sources of cancer information, and cancer understanding among Japanese adolescents. A cross-sectional nationwide survey involving a self-administered questionnaire was conducted. Response rates of the target schools were 46.4 % (n = 103) for junior high schools and 55.8 % (n = 116) for high schools. From these, we analyzed the data of 2960 junior high school students (1520 males, 1440 females) and 3703 high school students (1546 males, 2157 females) to examine the association between cancer-screening intention and sources of cancer-related information and understanding. A significant association between cancer-screening intention and sources of cancer information and cancer understanding was observed. The screening intention group identified more sources of cancer information than the no-screening intention group did. Understanding about cancer was reported by a higher proportion of students in the screening intention group compared with the no-screening intention group. Recognition that healthy people must take part in cancer screening was significantly associated with screening intention in both junior high (odds ratio (OR), 1.859; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.582-2.185; P information, although the association was not significant. The present survey indicated that those in of our sample who intended to undergo future cancer screening (67.8 %) had more sources of information and understanding regarding cancer. Thus, schools should enrich health education curricula with more information and understanding about cancer to promote cancer-screening intention among Japanese adolescents.

  11. Perceptions of patients with rheumatic diseases treated with subcutaneous biologicals on their level of information: RHEU-LIFE Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Toro, Javier; Cea-Calvo, Luis; Battle, Enrique; Carmona, Loreto; Arteaga, María J; Fernández, Sabela; González, Carlos M

    2017-12-22

    To investigate, in Spanish patients with rheumatic diseases treated with subcutaneous biological drugs, their sources of information, which sources they consider most relevant, and their satisfaction with the information received in the hospital. Rheumatologists from 50 hospitals handed out an anonymous survey to 20 consecutive patients with rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis or psoriatic arthritis treated with subcutaneous biologicals. The survey was developed ad hoc by 4 rheumatologists and 3 patients, and included questions with closed-ended responses on sources of information and satisfaction. The survey was handed-out to 1,000 patients, 592 of whom completed it (response rate: 59.2%). The rheumatologist was mentioned as the most important source of information (75%), followed by the primary care physician, nurses, and electronic resources; 45.2% received oral and written information about the biological, 46.1% oral only, and 6.0% written only; 8.7% stated that they had not been taught to inject the biological. The percentage of patients satisfied with the information received was high (87.2%), although the satisfaction was lower in relation to safety. If the information came from the rheumatologist, the satisfaction was higher (89.6%) than when coming from other sources (59.6%; P<.001). Satisfaction was also higher if the information was provided orally and written (92.8%) than if provided only orally (86.1%; P=.013); 45.2% reported having sought information from sources outside the hospital. The rheumatologist is key in transmitting satisfactory information on biological treatment to patients. He or she must also act as a guide, since a high percentage of patients seeks information in other different sources. Copyright © 2017. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U.

  12. What it takes to understand and cure a living system: computational systems biology and a systems biology-driven pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics platform

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swat, Maciej; Kiełbasa, Szymon M.; Polak, Sebastian; Olivier, Brett; Bruggeman, Frank J.; Tulloch, Mark Quinton; Snoep, Jacky L.; Verhoeven, Arthur J.; Westerhoff, Hans V.

    2011-01-01

    The utility of model repositories is discussed in the context of systems biology (SB). It is shown how such repositories, and in particular their live versions, can be used for computational SB: we calculate the robustness of the yeast glycolytic network with respect to perturbations of one of its

  13. Understanding Parent Perspectives Concerning Adolescents' Online Access to Personal Health Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskin, Gregory L; Bruce, Janine; Anoshiravani, Arash

    Although today's youth are interested in using the internet to access and manage information related to their health, little information exists about parental attitudes towards the release of health information to adolescents. Structured interviews were conducted with the parents of 83 adolescents detained at a large Northern California juvenile detention facility to examine parental perceptions toward allowing their children online access to their own health information. The majority of parents interviewed (70%) wanted their children to have online access to their own health information. Seventy-nine percent of these parents were also comfortable allowing their children to choose with whom they would share this information. This study is one of the first to examine parental attitudes towards providing adolescents access to their own health information, and the first among parents of underserved youth. This study demonstrates that parents may be quite supportive of allowing their adolescent children to have secure online access to their own health information.

  14. Understanding Information Security Culture in an Organization: An Interpretive Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bess, Donald Arlo

    2012-01-01

    Information systems are considered to be a critical and strategic part of most organizations today. Because of this it has become increasingly important to ensure that there is an effective information security program in place protecting those information systems. It has been well established by researchers that the success of an information…

  15. Effects of Consistency and Adequacy of Language Information on Understanding Elementary Mathematics Word Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Che Kan; Jerred, Wendy D.

    2001-01-01

    A study involving 91 children (ages 3-5) divided into more able and less able sub-groups found mathematical word problems containing inconsistent information were more difficult than those with consistent information. Word problems containing inadequate and redundant information were more difficult to explain than those items with just enough…

  16. Understanding Instructional Support Needs of Emerging Internet Users for Web-Based Information Seeking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Naman K.; Penstein Rosé, Carolyn

    2010-01-01

    As the wealth of information available on the Web increases, Web-based information seeking becomes a more and more important skill for supporting both formal education and lifelong learning. However, Web-based information access poses hurdles that must be overcome by certain student populations, such as low English competency users, low literacy…

  17. College Students' Understanding of the Carbon Cycle: Contrasting Principle-Based and Informal Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Laurel M.; Wilke, Brook J.; Schramm, Jonathon W.; D'Avanzo, Charlene; Anderson, Charles W.

    2011-01-01

    Processes that transform carbon (e.g., photosynthesis) play a prominent role in college biology courses. Our goals were to learn about student reasoning related to these processes and provide faculty with tools for instruction and assessment. We created a framework illustrating how carbon-transforming processes can be related to one another during…

  18. Understanding How Cognitive Psychology Can Inform and Improve Spanish Vocabulary Acquisition in High School Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbes, Stella; Folkerts, Michael; Gergis, Christina; Pederson, Sarah; Stivers, Holly

    2010-01-01

    Educators deal with the many dynamic functions and applications of the human brain on a daily basis. The theoretical research of the biology and functionality of the human brain is on the rise, and educational publishers continue to support books and scholarly articles that promote the notion that "brain research" can and should be applied to…

  19. Nutrition knowledge, and use and understanding of nutrition information on food labels among consumers in the UK

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grunert, Klaus G.; Wills, Josephine M.; Fernández-Celemín, Laura

    2010-01-01

    Based on in-store observations in three major UK retailers, in-store interviews (2019) and questionnaires filled out at home and returned (921), use of nutrition information on food labels and its understanding were investigated. Respondents' nutrition knowledge was also measured, using a compreh......Based on in-store observations in three major UK retailers, in-store interviews (2019) and questionnaires filled out at home and returned (921), use of nutrition information on food labels and its understanding were investigated. Respondents' nutrition knowledge was also measured, using.......5% of respondents being able to identify the healthiest product in a set of three. Differences between level of understanding and level of usage are explained by different causal mechanisms. Regression analysis showed that usage is mainly related to interest in healthy eating, whereas understanding of nutrition...

  20. Exploiting publicly available biological and biochemical information for the discovery of novel short linear motifs.

    KAUST Repository

    Sayadi, Ahmed

    2011-07-20

    The function of proteins is often mediated by short linear segments of their amino acid sequence, called Short Linear Motifs or SLiMs, the identification of which can provide important information about a protein function. However, the short length of the motifs and their variable degree of conservation makes their identification hard since it is difficult to correctly estimate the statistical significance of their occurrence. Consequently, only a small fraction of them have been discovered so far. We describe here an approach for the discovery of SLiMs based on their occurrence in evolutionarily unrelated proteins belonging to the same biological, signalling or metabolic pathway and give specific examples of its effectiveness in both rediscovering known motifs and in discovering novel ones. An automatic implementation of the procedure, available for download, allows significant motifs to be identified, automatically annotated with functional, evolutionary and structural information and organized in a database that can be inspected and queried. An instance of the database populated with pre-computed data on seven organisms is accessible through a publicly available server and we believe it constitutes by itself a useful resource for the life sciences (http://www.biocomputing.it/modipath).

  1. Understanding and Improving Blind Students' Access to Visual Information in Computer Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Catherine M.

    Teaching people with disabilities tech skills empowers them to create solutions to problems they encounter and prepares them for careers. However, computer science is typically taught in a highly visual manner which can present barriers for people who are blind. The goal of this dissertation is to understand and decrease those barriers. The first projects I present looked at the barriers that blind students face. I first present the results of my survey and interviews with blind students with degrees in computer science or related fields. This work highlighted the many barriers that these blind students faced. I then followed-up on one of the barriers mentioned, access to technology, by doing a preliminary accessibility evaluation of six popular integrated development environments (IDEs) and code editors. I found that half were unusable and all had some inaccessible portions. As access to visual information is a barrier in computer science education, I present three projects I have done to decrease this barrier. The first project is Tactile Graphics with a Voice (TGV). This project investigated an alternative to Braille labels for those who do not know Braille and showed that TGV was a potential alternative. The next project was StructJumper, which created a modified abstract syntax tree that blind programmers could use to navigate through code with their screen reader. The evaluation showed that users could navigate more quickly and easily determine the relationships of lines of code when they were using StructJumper compared to when they were not. Finally, I present a tool for dynamic graphs (the type with nodes and edges) which had two different modes for handling focus changes when moving between graphs. I found that the modes support different approaches for exploring the graphs and therefore preferences are mixed based on the user's preferred approach. However, both modes had similar accuracy in completing the tasks. These projects are a first step towards

  2. Quick concurrent responses to global and local cognitive information underlie intuitive understanding in board-game experts

    OpenAIRE

    Nakatani, Hironori; Yamaguchi, Yoko

    2014-01-01

    Experts have the superior cognitive capability of quickly understanding complex information in their domain; however, little is known about the neural processes underlying this ability. Here, using a board game named shogi (Japanese chess), we investigated the brain activity in expert players that was involved in their quick understanding of board-game patterns. The frontal area responded only to meaningful game positions, whereas the temporal area responded to both game and random positions ...

  3. Using iterative learning to improve understanding during the informed consent process in a South African psychiatric genomics study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susser, Ezra; Mall, Sumaya; Mqulwana, Sibonile G.; Mndini, Michael M.; Ntola, Odwa A.; Nagdee, Mohamed; Zingela, Zukiswa; Van Wyk, Stephanus; Stein, Dan J.

    2017-01-01

    Obtaining informed consent is a great challenge in global health research. There is a need for tools that can screen for and improve potential research participants’ understanding of the research study at the time of recruitment. Limited empirical research has been conducted in low and middle income countries, evaluating informed consent processes in genomics research. We sought to investigate the quality of informed consent obtained in a South African psychiatric genomics study. A Xhosa language version of the University of California, San Diego Brief Assessment of Capacity to Consent Questionnaire (UBACC) was used to screen for capacity to consent and improve understanding through iterative learning in a sample of 528 Xhosa people with schizophrenia and 528 controls. We address two questions: firstly, whether research participants’ understanding of the research study improved through iterative learning; and secondly, what were predictors for better understanding of the research study at the initial screening? During screening 290 (55%) cases and 172 (33%) controls scored below the 14.5 cut-off for acceptable understanding of the research study elements, however after iterative learning only 38 (7%) cases and 13 (2.5%) controls continued to score below this cut-off. Significant variables associated with increased understanding of the consent included the psychiatric nurse recruiter conducting the consent screening, higher participant level of education, and being a control. The UBACC proved an effective tool to improve understanding of research study elements during consent, for both cases and controls. The tool holds utility for complex studies such as those involving genomics, where iterative learning can be used to make significant improvements in understanding of research study elements. The UBACC may be particularly important in groups with severe mental illness and lower education levels. Study recruiters play a significant role in managing the quality

  4. Using iterative learning to improve understanding during the informed consent process in a South African psychiatric genomics study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan M Campbell

    Full Text Available Obtaining informed consent is a great challenge in global health research. There is a need for tools that can screen for and improve potential research participants' understanding of the research study at the time of recruitment. Limited empirical research has been conducted in low and middle income countries, evaluating informed consent processes in genomics research. We sought to investigate the quality of informed consent obtained in a South African psychiatric genomics study. A Xhosa language version of the University of California, San Diego Brief Assessment of Capacity to Consent Questionnaire (UBACC was used to screen for capacity to consent and improve understanding through iterative learning in a sample of 528 Xhosa people with schizophrenia and 528 controls. We address two questions: firstly, whether research participants' understanding of the research study improved through iterative learning; and secondly, what were predictors for better understanding of the research study at the initial screening? During screening 290 (55% cases and 172 (33% controls scored below the 14.5 cut-off for acceptable understanding of the research study elements, however after iterative learning only 38 (7% cases and 13 (2.5% controls continued to score below this cut-off. Significant variables associated with increased understanding of the consent included the psychiatric nurse recruiter conducting the consent screening, higher participant level of education, and being a control. The UBACC proved an effective tool to improve understanding of research study elements during consent, for both cases and controls. The tool holds utility for complex studies such as those involving genomics, where iterative learning can be used to make significant improvements in understanding of research study elements. The UBACC may be particularly important in groups with severe mental illness and lower education levels. Study recruiters play a significant role in managing

  5. Information Behavior and Japanese Students: How Can an Understanding of the Research Process Lead to Better Information Literacy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishimura, Yusuke

    2013-01-01

    Academic librarians are striving to better serve international students as this emerging population grows on university campuses. Past studies of international students generally focus on linguistic and cultural differences in relation to information literacy skills development. However, it is necessary to go beyond these factors to better serve…

  6. Use and understanding of nutrition information on foodlabels in six European countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grunert, Klaus G.; Fernandez-Celemin, Laura; Wills, Josephine M.

    2010-01-01

    =2337), Germany (n=1963), Poland (n=1800) and Hungary (n=1804), supplemented by questionnaires filled out at home and returned (overall response rate 50.3%). Use of labels was measured by combining in-store observation and in-store interview on concrete purchases in six product categories. Understanding...... of GDA front-of-pack nutrition labels was measured by a variety of tasks dealing with conceptual understanding, substantial understanding and health inferences. Demographics, nutrition knowledge, and interest in healthy eating were measured as potential determinants. Results: Across six product...... of GDA labels was high in the UK, Sweden and Germany, and more limited in the other countries. Regression analysis showed that, in addition to country-specific differences, use and understanding are also affected by differences in interest in healthy eating and in nutrition knowledge and by social grade...

  7. Understanding biological control of greenhouse whitefly with the parasitoid Encarsia formosa : from individual behaviour to population dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roermund, van H.J.W.

    1995-01-01

    The greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae), is a very common, highly polyphagous pest insect all over the world. Biological control of whiteflies with the parasitoid Encarsia formosa Gahan (Hymenoptera, Aphelinidae) was already applied in the 1920s in

  8. Information security of children and adolescents in understanding parents and teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bovina I.B.

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The article presents the first part of the work devoted to the study of ordinary representations of parents and teachers about information security of children and adolescents. It is about addressing the problem of information security of children and adolescents, discuss the effects of observing violence in the mass media on the subsequent behaviour of viewers, refers to directing television roles on the example of transfer schemes by S. Milgram in the context of television game (experiment J. L. Beauvois with colleagues. This paper examines the impact on users has the Internet, discusses the main directions of action in relation to ensuring information security of children and adolescents, focusing on psychological aspects of the concept of information security of children, demonstrates the importance of studying "naive theories" that govern the actions aimed at ensuring information security of children. The authors explain the prospect of studying problems of information security of children in the framework of the theory of social representations.

  9. Improving data analysis in herpetology: Using Akaike's information criterion (AIC) to assess the strength of biological hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazerolle, M.J.

    2006-01-01

    In ecology, researchers frequently use observational studies to explain a given pattern, such as the number of individuals in a habitat patch, with a large number of explanatory (i.e., independent) variables. To elucidate such relationships, ecologists have long relied on hypothesis testing to include or exclude variables in regression models, although the conclusions often depend on the approach used (e.g., forward, backward, stepwise selection). Though better tools have surfaced in the mid 1970's, they are still underutilized in certain fields, particularly in herpetology. This is the case of the Akaike information criterion (AIC) which is remarkably superior in model selection (i.e., variable selection) than hypothesis-based approaches. It is simple to compute and easy to understand, but more importantly, for a given data set, it provides a measure of the strength of evidence for each model that represents a plausible biological hypothesis relative to the entire set of models considered. Using this approach, one can then compute a weighted average of the estimate and standard error for any given variable of interest across all the models considered. This procedure, termed model-averaging or multimodel inference, yields precise and robust estimates. In this paper, I illustrate the use of the AIC in model selection and inference, as well as the interpretation of results analysed in this framework with two real herpetological data sets. The AIC and measures derived from it is should be routinely adopted by herpetologists. ?? Koninklijke Brill NV 2006.

  10. The ISSAS Model: Understanding the Information Needs of Sexual Assault Survivors on College Campuses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Julia; Gross, Melissa

    2017-01-01

    Sexual assault is a prevalent, yet underreported and stigmatizing crime that disproportionately affects college-age students. The literature of Library & Information Studies does not currently address the ways in which survivors may seek information after an assault. Blending findings from Psychology and LIS, this study proposes the…

  11. Understanding Information Anxiety and How Academic Librarians Can Minimize Its Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklof, Ashley

    2013-01-01

    Information anxiety is a serious issue that has the potential to hinder the success of a large percentage of the population in both education and professional settings. It has become more prevalent as societies begin to focus more on the value of technology, multitasking, and instant information access. The majority of the population has felt, to…

  12. Understanding the Online Information-Seeking Behaviours of Young People: The Role of Networks of Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eynon, R.; Malmberg, L.-E.

    2012-01-01

    Information seeking is one of the most popular online activities for young people and can provide an additional information channel, which may enhance learning. In this study, we propose and test a model that adds to the existing literature by examining the ways in which parents, schools, and friends (what we call networks of support) effect young…

  13. Healthy Older Observers Cannot Use Biological-Motion Point-Light Information Efficiently within 4 m of Themselves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Legault

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Healthy aging is associated with a number of perceptual changes, but measures of biological-motion perception have yielded conflicting results. Biological motion provides information about a walker, from gender and identity to speed, direction, and distance. In our natural environment, as someone approaches us (closer distances, the walker spans larger areas of our field of view, the extent of which can be underutilized with age. Yet, the effect of age on biological-motion perception in such real-world scenarios remains unknown. We assessed the effect of age on discriminating walking direction in upright and inverted biological-motion patterns, positioned at various distances in virtual space. Findings indicate that discrimination is worse at closer distances, an effect exacerbated by age. Older adults' performance decreases at distances as far away as 4 m, whereas younger adults maintain their performance as close as 1 m (worse at 0.5 m. This suggests that older observers are limited in their capacity to integrate information over larger areas of the visual field and supports the notion that age-related effects are more apparent when larger neural networks are required to process simultaneous information. This has further implications for social contexts where information from biological motion is critical.

  14. Healthy older observers cannot use biological-motion point-light information efficiently within 4 m of themselves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legault, Isabelle; Troje, Nikolaus F; Faubert, Jocelyn

    2012-01-01

    Healthy aging is associated with a number of perceptual changes, but measures of biological-motion perception have yielded conflicting results. Biological motion provides information about a walker, from gender and identity to speed, direction, and distance. In our natural environment, as someone approaches us (closer distances), the walker spans larger areas of our field of view, the extent of which can be underutilized with age. Yet, the effect of age on biological-motion perception in such real-world scenarios remains unknown. We assessed the effect of age on discriminating walking direction in upright and inverted biological-motion patterns, positioned at various distances in virtual space. Findings indicate that discrimination is worse at closer distances, an effect exacerbated by age. Older adults' performance decreases at distances as far away as 4 m, whereas younger adults maintain their performance as close as 1 m (worse at 0.5 m). This suggests that older observers are limited in their capacity to integrate information over larger areas of the visual field and supports the notion that age-related effects are more apparent when larger neural networks are required to process simultaneous information. This has further implications for social contexts where information from biological motion is critical.

  15. When Statistical Literacy Really Matters: Understanding Published Information about the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobden, Sally

    2014-01-01

    Information on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa is often interpreted through a veil of secrecy and shame and, I argue, with flawed understanding of basic statistics. This research determined the levels of statistical literacy evident in 316 future Mathematical Literacy teachers' explanations of the median in the context of HIV/AIDS…

  16. Understanding the Concept of Information Literacy Students--For Example, the City Library "Don Mihovil Pavlinovic" Imotski

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovic, Marija

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a study on the understanding of the term information literacy of primary and secondary school students, from the fifth grade of elementary school to the fourth year of high school at the local level, and who are members of the City Library in Imotski. The study examined 98 members of the City Library, through a…

  17. Fröhlich Condensate: Emergence of Synergetic Dissipative Structures in Information Processing Biological and Condensed Matter Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Luzzi

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available We consider the case of a peculiar complex behavior in open boson systems sufficiently away from equilibrium, having relevance in the functioning of information-processing biological and condensed matter systems. This is the so-called Fröhlich–Bose–Einstein condensation, a self-organizing-synergetic dissipative structure, a phenomenon apparently working in biological processes and present in several cases of systems of boson-like quasi-particles in condensed inorganic matter. Emphasis is centered on the quantum-mechanical-statistical irreversible thermodynamics of these open systems, and the informational characteristics of the phenomena.

  18. Understanding of genetic information in higher secondary students in northeast India and the implications for genetics education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chattopadhyay, Ansuman

    2005-01-01

    Since the work of Watson and Crick in the mid-1950s, the science of genetics has become increasingly molecular. The development of recombinant DNA technologies by the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries led to the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). By the end of the twentieth century, reports of animal cloning and recent completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP), as well techniques developed for DNA fingerprinting, gene therapy and others, raised important ethical and social issues about the applications of such technologies. For citizens to understand these issues, appropriate genetics education is needed in schools. A good foundation in genetics also requires knowledge and understanding of topics such as structure and function of cells, cell division, and reproduction. Studies at the international level report poor understanding by students of genetics and genetic technologies, with widespread misconceptions at various levels. Similar studies were nearly absent in India. In this study, I examine Indian higher secondary students' understanding of genetic information related to cells and transmission of genetic information during reproduction. Although preliminary in nature, the results provide cause for concern over the status of genetics education in India. The nature of students' conceptual understandings and possible reasons for the observed lack of understanding are discussed.

  19. Social relevance: toward understanding the impact of the individual in an information cascade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Robert T.; White, Joshua S.; Fields, Jeremy

    2016-05-01

    Information Cascades (IC) through a social network occur due to the decision of users to disseminate content. We define this decision process as User Diffusion (UD). IC models typically describe an information cascade by treating a user as a node within a social graph, where a node's reception of an idea is represented by some activation state. The probability of activation then becomes a function of a node's connectedness to other activated nodes as well as, potentially, the history of activation attempts. We enrich this Coarse-Grained User Diffusion (CGUD) model by applying actor type logics to the nodes of the graph. The resulting Fine-Grained User Diffusion (FGUD) model utilizes prior research in actor typing to generate a predictive model regarding the future influence a user will have on an Information Cascade. Furthermore, we introduce a measure of Information Resonance that is used to aid in predictions regarding user behavior.

  20. Cybersecurity via Intermediaries : Analyzing Security Measurements to Understand Intermediary Incentives and Inform Public Policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Asghari, H.

    2016-01-01

    Research in the field of information security economics has clarified how attacker and defender incentives affect cybersecurity. It has also highlighted the role of intermediaries in strengthening cybersecurity. Intermediaries are organizations and firms that provide the Internet’s infrastructure

  1. Socializing Infants toward a Cultural Understanding of Expressing Negative Affect: A Bakhtinian Informed Discursive Psychology Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demuth, Carolin

    2013-01-01

    This article addresses the socialization of emotion expression in infancy. It argues that in order to adequately understand emotion development we need to consider the appraisal of emotion expression through caregivers in mundane, everyday interactions. Drawing on sociocultural and Bakhtinian theorizing, it claims that caregivers' appraisals of…

  2. How Trauma and Attachment Can Impact Neurodevelopment: Informing Our Understanding and Treatment of Sexual Behaviour Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creeden, Kevin

    2009-01-01

    Over the last several years there has been a notable increase in neurological and neurodevelopmental research, with a keen interest in applying this research to our understanding of everyday human learning and behaviour. One aspect of this research has examined how the experience of trauma in childhood can affect neurodevelopment with implications…

  3. Learning Informally to Use Teaching Games for Understanding: The Experiences of a Recently Qualified Teacher

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, Nick

    2014-01-01

    This article reports on a study of one recently qualified teacher's employment of the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) model in a UK secondary school. The study sought to examine how the teacher, not formally educated in its use, delivered TGfU and to identify those factors that led to this interpretation of the model. Occupational…

  4. Understanding and Improving Blind Students' Access to Visual Information in Computer Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Catherine M.

    2017-01-01

    Teaching people with disabilities tech skills empowers them to create solutions to problems they encounter and prepares them for careers. However, computer science is typically taught in a highly visual manner which can present barriers for people who are blind. The goal of this dissertation is to understand and decrease those barriers. The first…

  5. Aesthetic Understanding as Informed Experience: The Role of Knowledge in Our Art Viewing Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachapelle, Richard; Murray, Deborah; Neim, Sandy

    2003-01-01

    A common misconception about the nature of art and of aesthetic appreciation is that these activities are essentially a question of "feeling," as if tuning in to the right feeling will automatically lead to a full understanding of the work of art. Another widespread misunderstanding essentially reduces art viewing to a simple question of…

  6. Taming a wild beast: Developing molecular tools and new methods to understand the biology of Zymoseptoria tritici.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, Nicholas J

    2015-06-01

    Septoria blotch of wheat is one of the world's most serious plant diseases, which is difficult to control due to the absence of durable host resistance and the increasing frequency of fungicide-resistance. The ascomycete fungus that causes the disease, Zymoseptoria tritici, has been very challenging to study. This special issue of Fungal Genetics and Biology showcases an integrated approach to method development and the innovation of new molecular tools to study the biology of Z. tritici. When considered together, these new methods will have a rapid and dramatic effect on our ability to combat this significant disease. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Understanding views on everyday use of personal health information: Insights from community dwelling older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartzler, A L; Osterhage, K; Demiris, G; Phelan, E A; Thielke, S M; Turner, A M

    2017-04-11

    Older adults apply various strategies to pursue healthy aging, but we know little about their views and use of personal health information to accomplish those ends. As a first step in formulating the role of personal health information management (PHIM) in healthy aging, we explored the perspectives of older adults on health and health information used in their everyday lives through four focus groups with 25 community-dwelling adults aged 60 and over. We found that the concept of wellness-the holistic and multidimensional nature of health and wellbeing-plays prominently in how older adults think about health and health information. Participants expressed wellness from a position of personal strength, rather than health-related deficits, by focusing on wellness activities for staying healthy through: (1) personal health practices, (2) social network support, and (3) residential community engagement. Although these themes involve personal health information, existing PHIM systems that focus on disease management are generally not designed to support wellness activities. Substantial opportunity exists to fill this wellness support gap with innovative health information technology designed for older adults. Findings carry implications for the design of PHIM tools that support healthy aging and methods for engaging older adults as co-producers of this critical support.

  8. Toward theoretical understanding of the fertility preservation decision-making process: examining information processing among young women with cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hershberger, Patricia E; Finnegan, Lorna; Altfeld, Susan; Lake, Sara; Hirshfeld-Cytron, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Young women with cancer now face the complex decision about whether to undergo fertility preservation. Yet little is known about how these women process information involved in making this decision. The purpose of this article is to expand theoretical understanding of the decision-making process by examining aspects of information processing among young women diagnosed with cancer. Using a grounded theory approach, 27 women with cancer participated in individual, semistructured interviews. Data were coded and analyzed using constant-comparison techniques that were guided by 5 dimensions within the Contemplate phase of the decision-making process framework. In the first dimension, young women acquired information primarily from clinicians and Internet sources. Experiential information, often obtained from peers, occurred in the second dimension. Preferences and values were constructed in the third dimension as women acquired factual, moral, and ethical information. Women desired tailored, personalized information that was specific to their situation in the fourth dimension; however, women struggled with communicating these needs to clinicians. In the fifth dimension, women offered detailed descriptions of clinician behaviors that enhance or impede decisional debriefing. Better understanding of theoretical underpinnings surrounding women's information processes can facilitate decision support and improve clinical care.

  9. Understanding the information needs of people with haematological cancers. A meta-ethnography of quantitative and qualitative research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atherton, K; Young, B; Salmon, P

    2017-11-01

    Clinical practice in haematological oncology often involves difficult diagnostic and treatment decisions. In this context, understanding patients' information needs and the functions that information serves for them is particularly important. We systematically reviewed qualitative and quantitative evidence on haematological oncology patients' information needs to inform how these needs can best be addressed in clinical practice. PsycINFO, Medline and CINAHL Plus electronic databases were searched for relevant empirical papers published from January 2003 to July 2016. Synthesis of the findings drew on meta-ethnography and meta-study. Most quantitative studies used a survey design and indicated that patients are largely content with the information they receive from physicians, however much or little they actually receive, although a minority of patients are not content with information. Qualitative studies suggest that a sense of being in a caring relationship with a physician allows patients to feel content with the information they have been given, whereas patients who lack such a relationship want more information. The qualitative evidence can help explain the lack of association between the amount of information received and contentment with it in the quantitative research. Trusting relationships are integral to helping patients feel that their information needs have been met. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Traceability of Biologics in The Netherlands: An Analysis of Information-Recording Systems in Clinical Practice and Spontaneous ADR Reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Kevin; Scholl, Joep H G; Vermeer, Niels S; Broekmans, André W; Van Puijenbroek, Eugène P; De Bruin, Marie L; Stolk, Pieter

    2016-02-01

    Pharmacovigilance requirements for biologics mandate that EU Member States shall ensure that any biologic that is the subject of a suspected adverse drug reaction (ADR) is identifiable by brand name and batch number. Recent studies showed that brand name identification is well established, whereas batch numbers are (still) poorly reported. We evaluated information-recording systems and practices in the Dutch hospital setting to identify determinants for brand name and batch number recording as well as success factors and bottlenecks for traceability. We surveyed Dutch hospital pharmacists with an online questionnaire on systems and practices in hospitals for recording brand names and batch numbers. Additionally, we performed an analysis of the traceability of recombinant biologics in spontaneous ADR reports (received between 2009 and 2014) from the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb. The survey showed that brand names are not routinely recorded in the clinical practice of Dutch hospitals, whereas batch numbers are poorly recorded. Seventy-six percent of the 1523 ADR reports for recombinant biologics had a traceable brand name whereas 5% of these reports contained a batch number. The results suggest a possible relationship between the availability of brand and batch number information in clinical practice and the inclusion of this information in ADR reports for biologics. The limited traceability of brand names and batch numbers in ADR reports may be primarily caused by the shortcomings in the recording of information in clinical practice. We recommend efforts to improve information-recording systems as a first step to improve the traceability of biologics in ADR reporting.

  11. Using Biology Education Research and Qualitative Inquiry to Inform Genomic Nursing Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Linda D

    Decades of research in biology education show that learning genetics is difficult and reveals specific sources of learning difficulty. Little is known about how nursing students learn in this domain, although they likely encounter similar difficulties as nonnursing students. Using qualitative approaches, this study investigated challenges to learning genetics among nursing students. Findings indicate that nursing students face learning difficulties already identified among biology students, suggesting that nurse educators might benefit from biology education research.

  12. Understanding attitudes toward information and communication technology in home-care: Information and communication technology as a market good within Norwegian welfare services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Øyen, Karianne Røssummoen; Sunde, Olivia Sissil; Solheim, Marit; Moricz, Sara; Ytrehus, Siri

    2018-09-01

    The aim of this study was to better understand nurses' and other staff members' attitudes toward the usefulness of information and communication technology in home-care settings. Research has found that beliefs about the expected benefits of information and communication technology impact the use of technology. Furthermore, inexperience with using information and communication technology may cause negative attitudes. This article is based on a questionnaire to 155 nurses and other staff members in home-care in Sogn og Fjordane county in Norway. The results revealed minimal use of information and communication technology at work; however, participants had positive attitudes regarding the potential benefits of information and communication technology use in home-care. Individuals' extensive use of and familiarity with different solutions in private lives could be an important context for explaining employees' attitudes. Given that information and communication technology is both a welfare service and a market good, this may explain individuals' positive attitudes toward information and communication technology despite their lack of experience with it at work. Experiences with information and communication technology as a market good and the way new technologies can affect work routines will affect the implementation of information and communication technology in home-care.

  13. Biological Principles and Threshold Concepts for Understanding Natural Selection: Implications for Developing Visualizations as a Pedagogic Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibell, Lena A. E.; Harms, Ute

    2017-01-01

    Modern evolutionary theory is both a central theory and an integrative framework of the life sciences. This is reflected in the common references to evolution in modern science education curricula and contexts. In fact, evolution is a core idea that is supposed to support biology learning by facilitating the organization of relevant knowledge. In…

  14. A Bayesian spatial model for neuroimaging data based on biologically informed basis functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huertas, Ismael; Oldehinkel, Marianne; van Oort, Erik S B; Garcia-Solis, David; Mir, Pablo; Beckmann, Christian F; Marquand, Andre F

    2017-11-01

    . This spatial model constitutes an elegant alternative to voxel-based approaches in neuroimaging studies; not only are their atoms biologically informed, they are also adaptive to high resolutions, represent high dimensions efficiently, and capture long-range spatial dependencies, which are important and challenging objectives for neuroimaging data. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Regulatory and information support for evaluation of biological productivity of Ukrainian forests and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakyda, Petro; Vasylyshyn, Roman; Lakyda, Ivan

    2013-04-01

    Stabilization and preservation of the planet's climate system today is regarded as one of the most important global political-economic, environmental and social problems of mankind. Rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the planet's atmosphere due to anthropogenic impact is the main reason leading to global climate change. Due to the above mentioned, social demands on forests are changing their biosphere role and function of natural sink of greenhouse gases becomes top priority. It is known that one of the most essential components of biological productivity of forests is their live biomass. Absorption, long-term sequestration of carbon and generation of oxygen are secured by its components. System research of its parametric structure and development of regulatory and reference information for assessment of aboveground live biomass components of trees and stands of the main forest-forming tree species in Ukraine began over twenty-five years ago at the department of forest mensuration and forest inventory of National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, involving staff from other research institutions. Today, regulatory and reference materials for evaluation of parametric structure of live biomass are developed for trees of the following major forest-forming tree species of Ukraine: Scots pine of natural and artificial origin, Crimean pine, Norway spruce, silver fir, pedunculate oak, European beech, hornbeam, ash, common birch, aspen and black alder (P.I. Lakyda et al., 2011). An ongoing process on development of similar regulatory and reference materials for forest stands of the abovementioned forest-forming tree species of Ukraine is secured by scientists of departments of forest management, and forest mensuration and forest inventory. The total experimental research base is 609 temporary sample plots, where 4880 model trees were processed, including 3195 model trees with estimates of live biomass components. Laboratory studies conducted

  16. Understanding Reef Flat Sediment Regimes and Hydrodynamics can Inform Erosion Mitigation on Land

    OpenAIRE

    Lida Tenkova Teneva; Margaret Anne McManus; Conor Jerolmon; Anna B Neuheimer; Susan Jeanette Clark; Gordon Walker; Kolomona Kaho'ohalahala; Eric Shimabukuro; Chris Ostrander; John Nils Kittinger

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs worldwide are affected by excessive sediment and nutrient delivery from adjacent watersheds. Land cover and land use changes contribute to reef ecosystem degradation, which in turn, diminish many ecosystem services, including coastal protection, recreation, and food provisioning. The objectives of this work were to understand the role of coastal oceanic and biophysical processes in mediating the effects of sedimentation in shallow reef environments, and to assess the efficacy of l...

  17. Understanding passengers’ experiences of train journeys to inform the design of technological innovations\\ud

    OpenAIRE

    Oliveira, Luis; Bradley, Callum; Birrell, Stewart A.; Davies, Andy; Tinworth, Neil; Cain, Rebecca

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we present results from a collaborative research between academic institutions and industry partners in the UK, which aimed to understand the experience of rail passengers and to identify how the design of technology can improve this experience. Travelling by train can often provide passengers with negative experiences. New technologies give the opportunity to design new interactions that support the creation of positive experiences, but the design should be based on solid unde...

  18. "Promising Practices"--Fluency: Helping Your Child Read and Understand. Alliance Action Information Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers, 2007

    2007-01-01

    In order to be a good reader, your child must be able to do two things at the same time: (1) decode the words on the page and (2) understand what the words mean. Early reading instruction focuses on teaching a child how to read single words. But being good at reading single words is not the only skill your child needs. Once your child has become…

  19. Understanding odor information segregation in the olfactory bulb by means of mitral and tufted cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Polese

    Full Text Available Odor identification is one of the main tasks of the olfactory system. It is performed almost independently from the concentration of the odor providing a robust recognition. This capacity to ignore concentration information does not preclude the olfactory system from estimating concentration itself. Significant experimental evidence has indicated that the olfactory system is able to infer simultaneously odor identity and intensity. However, it is still unclear at what level or levels of the olfactory pathway this segregation of information occurs. In this work, we study whether this odor information segregation is performed at the input stage of the olfactory bulb: the glomerular layer. To this end, we built a detailed neural model of the glomerular layer based on its known anatomical connections and conducted two simulated odor experiments. In the first experiment, the model was exposed to an odor stimulus dataset composed of six different odorants, each one dosed at six different concentrations. In the second experiment, we conducted an odor morphing experiment where a sequence of binary mixtures going from one odor to another through intermediate mixtures was presented to the model. The results of the experiments were visualized using principal components analysis and analyzed with hierarchical clustering to unveil the structure of the high-dimensional output space. Additionally, Fisher's discriminant ratio and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used to quantify odor identity and odor concentration information respectively. Our results showed that the architecture of the glomerular layer was able to mediate the segregation of odor information obtaining output spiking sequences of the principal neurons, namely the mitral and external tufted cells, strongly correlated with odor identity and concentration, respectively. An important conclusion is also that the morphological difference between the principal neurons is not key to achieve odor

  20. Further Understanding of Complex Information Processing in Verbal Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Diane L.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Goldstein, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    More than 20?years ago, Minshew and colleagues proposed the Complex Information Processing model of autism in which the impairment is characterized as a generalized deficit involving multiple modalities and cognitive domains that depend on distributed cortical systems responsible for higher order abilities. Subsequent behavioral work revealed a…

  1. Understanding the Online Informal Learning of English as a Complex Dynamic System: An Emic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sockett, Geoffrey

    2013-01-01

    Research into the online informal learning of English has already shown it to be a widespread phenomenon involving a range of comprehension and production activities such as viewing original version television series, listening to music on demand and social networking with other English users. Dynamic systems theory provides a suitable framework…

  2. Understanding managerial behaviour during initial steps of a clinical information system adoption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozzebon Marlei

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While the study of the information technology (IT implementation process and its outcomes has received considerable attention, the examination of pre-adoption and pre-implementation stages of configurable IT uptake appear largely under-investigated. This paper explores managerial behaviour during the periods prior the effective implementation of a clinical information system (CIS by two Canadian university multi-hospital centers. Methods Adopting a structurationist theoretical stance and a case study research design, the processes by which CIS managers' patterns of discourse contribute to the configuration of the new technology in their respective organizational contexts were longitudinally examined over 33 months. Results Although managers seemed to be aware of the risks and organizational impact of the adoption of a new clinical information system, their decisions and actions over the periods examined appeared rather to be driven by financial constraints and power struggles between different groups involved in the process. Furthermore, they largely emphasized technological aspects of the implementation, with organizational dimensions being put aside. In view of these results, the notion of 'rhetorical ambivalence' is proposed. Results are further discussed in relation to the significance of initial decisions and actions for the subsequent implementation phases of the technology being configured. Conclusions Theoretical and empirically grounded, the paper contributes to the underdeveloped body of literature on information system pre-implementation processes by revealing the crucial role played by managers during the initial phases of a CIS adoption.

  3. Understanding managerial behaviour during initial steps of a clinical information system adoption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Charo; Pozzebon, Marlei

    2011-06-17

    While the study of the information technology (IT) implementation process and its outcomes has received considerable attention, the examination of pre-adoption and pre-implementation stages of configurable IT uptake appear largely under-investigated. This paper explores managerial behaviour during the periods prior the effective implementation of a clinical information system (CIS) by two Canadian university multi-hospital centers. Adopting a structurationist theoretical stance and a case study research design, the processes by which CIS managers' patterns of discourse contribute to the configuration of the new technology in their respective organizational contexts were longitudinally examined over 33 months. Although managers seemed to be aware of the risks and organizational impact of the adoption of a new clinical information system, their decisions and actions over the periods examined appeared rather to be driven by financial constraints and power struggles between different groups involved in the process. Furthermore, they largely emphasized technological aspects of the implementation, with organizational dimensions being put aside. In view of these results, the notion of 'rhetorical ambivalence' is proposed. Results are further discussed in relation to the significance of initial decisions and actions for the subsequent implementation phases of the technology being configured. Theoretical and empirically grounded, the paper contributes to the underdeveloped body of literature on information system pre-implementation processes by revealing the crucial role played by managers during the initial phases of a CIS adoption.

  4. Understanding and Specifying Information Security Needs to Support the Delivery of High Quality Security Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Su, X.; Bolzoni, D.; van Eck, Pascal

    2007-01-01

    In this paper we present an approach for specifying and prioritizing information security requirements in organizations. It is important to prioritize security requirements since hundred per cent security is not achievable and the limited resources available should be directed to satisfy the most

  5. A Systematic Understanding of Successful Web Searches in Information-Based Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Mingming

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to research how Chinese university students solve information-based problems. With the Search Performance Index as the measure of search success, participants were divided into high, medium and low-performing groups. Based on their web search logs, these three groups were compared along five dimensions of the search…

  6. What Should We Share? : Understanding the Aim of Intercultural Information Ethics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wong, Pak-Hang

    2009-01-01

    The aim of Intercultural Information Ethics (IIE), as Ess aptly puts, is to “(a) address both local and global issues evoked by ICTs / CMC, etc., (b) in a ways that both sustain local traditions / values / preference, etc. and (c) provide shared, (quasi-) universal responses to central ethical

  7. A Business Goal Driven Approach for Understanding and Specifying Information Security Requirements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Su, X.; Bolzoni, D.; van Eck, Pascal

    In this paper we present an approach for specifying and prioritizing information security requirements in organizations. It is important to prioritize security requirements since hundred per cent security is not achievable and the limited resources available should be directed to satisfy the most

  8. Understanding and Specifying Information Security Needs to Support the Delivery of High Quality Security Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Su, X.; Bolzoni, D.; van Eck, Pascal

    2006-01-01

    In this paper we present an approach for specifying and prioritizing information security requirements in organizations. It is important to prioritize security requirements since hundred per cent security is not achievable and the limited resources available should be directed to satisfy the most

  9. Understanding employees' informal workplace learning: The joint influence of career motivation and self-construal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rijn, Monique; Yang, H.; Sanders, Karin

    2013-01-01

    Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the joint influence of employees' career motivation and their self-construal on their engagement in three informal workplace learning activities: keeping up-to-date, asking for feedback from supervisors and knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approach –

  10. Towards a Personality Understanding of Information Technology Students and Their IT Learning in UAE University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Qirim, Nabeel; Rouibah, Kamel; Tarhini, Ali; Serhani, Mohamed Adel; Yammahi, Aishah Rashid; Yammahi, Maraim Ahmed

    2018-01-01

    This research investigates the personality characteristics of Information Technology students (CIT) in UAE University (UAEU) and how such features impact their IT learning. To achieve this objective, this research attempts to explain the impact of the Big-5 factors on learning using survey research. Results from 179 respondents suggested that…

  11. A Foundation for Understanding Knowledge Sharing: Organizational Culture, Informal Workplace Learning, Performance Support, and Knowledge Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Shirley J.

    2017-01-01

    This paper serves as an exploration into some of the ways in which organizations can promote, capture, share, and manage the valuable knowledge of their employees. The problem is that employees typically do not share valuable information, skills, or expertise with other employees or with the entire organization. The author uses research as well as…

  12. The Relevance of the Social Information Processing Model for Understanding Relational Aggression in Girls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crain, Marcelle M.; Finch, Cambra L.; Foster, Sharon L.

    2005-01-01

    Two studies examined whether social information-processing variables predict relational aggression in girls. In Study 1, fourth- through sixth-grade girls reported their intent attributions, social goals, outcome expectancies for relational aggression, and the likelihood that they would choose a relationally aggressive response in response to…

  13. A semiotic framework to understand how signs in construction process simulations convey information

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartmann, Timo; Vossebeld, Niels

    2013-01-01

    Planning the production sequence for a construction project requires the combination and transfer of information and knowledge from a large variety of areas. To support this knowledge combination and transfer, construction process visualizations, also referred to as 4D CAD, have proven to be

  14. Understanding vaccination resistance: vaccine search term selection bias and the valence of retrieved information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Jeanette B; Bell, Robert A

    2014-10-07

    Dubious vaccination-related information on the Internet leads some parents to opt out of vaccinating their children. To determine if negative, neutral and positive search terms retrieve vaccination information that differs in valence and confirms searchers' assumptions about vaccination. A content analysis of first-page Google search results was conducted using three negative, three neutral, and three positive search terms for the concepts "vaccine," "vaccination," and "MMR"; 84 of the 90 websites retrieved met inclusion requirements. Two coders independently and reliably coded for the presence or absence of each of 15 myths about vaccination (e.g., "vaccines cause autism"), statements that countered these myths, and recommendations for or against vaccination. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Across all websites, at least one myth was perpetuated on 16.7% of websites and at least one myth was countered on 64.3% of websites. The mean number of myths perpetuated on websites retrieved with negative, neutral, and positive search terms, respectively, was 1.93, 0.53, and 0.40. The mean number of myths countered on websites retrieved with negative, neutral, and positive search terms, respectively, was 3.0, 3.27, and 2.87. Explicit recommendations regarding vaccination were offered on 22.6% of websites. A recommendation against vaccination was more often made on websites retrieved with negative search terms (37.5% of recommendations) than on websites retrieved with neutral (12.5%) or positive (0%) search terms. The concerned parent who seeks information about the risks of childhood immunizations will find more websites that perpetuate vaccine myths and recommend against vaccination than the parent who seeks information about the benefits of vaccination. This suggests that search term valence can lead to online information that supports concerned parents' misconceptions about vaccines. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Networked Authoritarianism and the Geopolitics of Information: Understanding Russian Internet Policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathalie Maréchal

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. election, researchers, policymakers and the general public are grappling with the notion that the 45th president of the United States may very well owe his electoral victory to a sophisticated propaganda effort masterminded by the Kremlin. This article synthesizes existing research on Russia’s domestic information controls, its internet policy at the global level (notably via internet governance processes, and the country’s resurgence as a major geopolitical player to argue that policymakers as well as the general public should consider these themes holistically, particularly as they formulate responses to what many see as the Russian threat to Western liberal democracy. Russia may have lost the Cold War, but it is now waging information warfare against the liberal democracies of Europe and North America in a sophisticated bid to win the next round. Russia does not view internet governance, cybersecurity, and media policy as separate domains. Rather, all the areas covered by those disciplines fall under “information security” for Russian foreign policy. The paper begins by tracing the history of information controls within what is now the Russian Federation before discussing the role of information and internet policy in Russian foreign policy, drawing connections between the Russian government’s control and manipulation of information—including its internet policy—in the domestic and international arenas. Next, it discusses the spread of networked authoritarianism and suggests that a “geopolitics of information” will become increasingly necessary in the coming years. Just as networked authoritarianism establishes strategic infrastructures to control the message domestically and intervene in global media systems, liberal democracies need to rethink media and communication infrastructures to ensure they foster pluralist, rights-respecting societies that are resilient to authoritarianism and

  16. Understanding why we age and how: Evolutionary biology meets different model organisms and multi-level omics: Meeting report on "Comparative Biology of Aging," Roscoff, October 12-16, 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilson, Eric; Bosch, Thomas C G

    2016-06-01

    The conference explored an extraordinary diversity of aging strategies in organisms ranging from short-lived species to "immortal" animals and plants. Research on the biological processes of aging is at the brink of a revolution with respect to our understanding of its underlying mechanisms as well as our ability to prevent and cure a wide variety of age-related pathologies. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Improving access to health information for older migrants by using grounded theory and social network analysis to understand their information behaviour and digital technology use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodall, K T; Newman, L A; Ward, P R

    2014-11-01

    Migrant well-being can be strongly influenced by the migration experience and subsequent degree of mainstream language acquisition. There is little research on how older Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) migrants who have 'aged in place' find health information, and the role which digital technology plays in this. Although the research for this paper was not focused on cancer, we draw out implications for providing cancer-related information to this group. We interviewed 54 participants (14 men and 40 women) aged 63-94 years, who were born in Italy or Greece, and who migrated to Australia mostly as young adults after World War II. Constructivist grounded theory and social network analysis were used for data analysis. Participants identified doctors, adult children, local television, spouse, local newspaper and radio as the most important information sources. They did not generally use computers, the Internet or mobile phones to access information. Literacy in their birth language, and the degree of proficiency in understanding and using English, influenced the range of information sources accessed and the means used. The ways in which older CALD migrants seek and access information has important implications for how professionals and policymakers deliver relevant information to them about cancer prevention, screening, support and treatment, particularly as information and resources are moved online as part of e-health. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Exploring biological and social networks to better understand and treat diabetes mellitus. Comment on "Network science of biological systems at different scales: A review" by Gosak et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belgardt, Bengt-Frederik; Jarasch, Alexander; Lammert, Eckhard

    2018-03-01

    Improvements and breakthroughs in computational sciences in the last 20 years have paralleled the rapid gain of influence of social networks on our daily life. As timely reviewed by Perc and colleagues [1], understanding and treating complex human diseases, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), from which already more than 5% of the global population suffer, will necessitate analyzing and understanding the multi-layered and interconnected networks that usually keep physiological functions intact, but are disturbed in disease states. These networks range from intra- and intercellular networks influencing cell behavior (e.g., secretion of insulin in response to food intake and anabolic response to insulin) to social networks influencing human behavior (e.g., food intake and physical activity). This commentary first expands on the background of pancreatic beta cell networks in human health and T2D, briefly introduces exosomes as novel signals exchanged between distant cellular networks, and finally discusses potential pitfalls and chances in network analyses with regards to experimental data acquisition and processing.

  19. Current perspectives and challenges in understanding the role of nitrite as an integral player in nitric oxide biology and therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitturi, Dario A; Patel, Rakesh P

    2011-08-15

    Beyond an inert oxidation product of nitric oxide (NO) metabolism, current thinking posits a key role for nitrite as a mediator of NO signaling, especially during hypoxia. This concept has been discussed in the context of nitrite serving a role as an endogenous modulator of NO homeostasis, but also from a novel clinical perspective whereby nitrite therapy may replenish NO signaling and prevent ischemic tissue injury. Indeed, the relatively rapid translation of studies delineating mechanisms of action to ongoing and planned clinical trials has been critical in fuelling interest in nitrite biology, and several excellent reviews have been written on this topic. In this article we limit our discussions to current concepts and what we feel are questions that remain unanswered within the paradigm of nitrite being a mediator of NO biology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Understanding the Biological Roles of Pectins in Plants through Physiological and Functional Characterizations of Plant and Fungal Mutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

    polysaccharides and consist of backbones rich in galacturonic acids, which are decorated with a range of functional groups including acetyl esters and arabinan sidechains. Although much effort has been made to uncover biological functions of pectins in plants and remarkable progresses have taken place, many...... aspects remain elusive. Studies described in this thesis aimed at gaining new insights into the biological roles of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The thesis consists of four chapters: physiological characterization of cell wall mutants affected in cell......-degrading enzyme secreted by B. cinerea during infection of plants (Chapter 5). The results described resulted in valuable new knowledge regarding the role of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana documented in three published research papers, one manuscript and one...

  1. Biological removal of iron and manganese in rapid sand filters - Process understanding of iron and manganese removal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lin, Katie

    -filter, where iron is removed. Step 2: Filtration in an after-filter where e.g. ammonium and manganese is removed. The treatment relies on microbial processes and may present an alternative, greener and more sustainable approach for drinking water production spending less chemicals and energy than chemical (e...... of manganese by simple aeration and precipitation under normal drinking water treatment conditions insignificant. Manganese may also be oxidized autocatalytically. Iron is usually easier to remove. First, iron is rapidly chemically oxidized by oxygen at neutral pH followed by precipitation and filtration...... manganese removal. Iron had a negative effect on manganese removal and even caused an increase in manganese concentration (release). Experiments with filter material from another water works, Astrup, specially designed to remove iron biologically, showed that the biological iron removal increased...

  2. Nutritional sub-fertility in the dairy cow: towards improved reproductive management through a better biological understanding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friggens, Nic; Disenhaus, C; Petit, H V

    2010-01-01

    There has been a significant decline in the reproductive performance of dairy cattle in recent decades. Cows, take longer time to return to the oestrus after calving, have poorer conception rates, and show fewer signs of oestrus. Achieving good reproductive performance is an increasing challenge ...... strategies that seek to modulate body mobilisation and the endocrine environment by use of glucogenic and lipogenic diets, and the use of in-line progesterone profiles to monitor reproductive status are then discussed in this biological context...

  3. Understanding and retention of the informed consent process among parents in rural northern Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atuguba Frank

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The individual informed consent model remains critical to the ethical conduct and regulation of research involving human beings. Parental informed consent process in a rural setting of northern Ghana was studied to describe comprehension and retention among parents as part of the evaluation of the existing informed consent process. Methods The study involved 270 female parents who gave consent for their children to participate in a prospective cohort study that evaluated immune correlates of protection against childhood malaria in northern Ghana. A semi-structured interview with questions based on the informed consent themes was administered. Parents were interviewed on their comprehension and retention of the process and also on ways to improve upon the existing process. Results The average parental age was 33.3 years (range 18–62, married women constituted a majority (91.9%, Christians (71.9%, farmers (62.2% and those with no formal education (53.7%. Only 3% had ever taken part in a research and 54% had at least one relation ever participate in a research. About 90% of parents knew their children were involved in a research study that was not related to medical care, and 66% said the study procedures were thoroughly explained to them. Approximately, 70% recalled the study involved direct benefits compared with 20% for direct risks. The majority (95% understood study participation was completely voluntary but only 21% recalled they could withdraw from the study without giving reasons. Younger parents had more consistent comprehension than older ones. Maternal reasons for allowing their children to take part in the research were free medical care (36.5%, better medical care (18.8%, general benefits (29.4%, contribution to research in the area (8.8% and benefit to the community (1.8%. Parental suggestions for improving the consent process included devoting more time for explanations (46.9%, use of the local languages (15

  4. Using the internet to understand smokers' treatment preferences: informing strategies to increase demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westmaas, J Lee; Abroms, Lorien; Bontemps-Jones, Jeuneviette; Bauer, Joseph E; Bade, Jeanine

    2011-08-26

    Most smokers attempt to quit on their own even though cessation aids can substantially increase their chances of success. Millions of smokers seek cessation advice on the Internet, so using it to promote cessation products and services is one strategy for increasing demand for treatments. Little is known, however, about what cessation aids these smokers would find most appealing or what predicts their preferences (eg, age, level of dependence, or timing of quit date). The objective of our study was to gain insight into how Internet seekers of cessation information make judgments about their preferences for treatments, and to identify sociodemographic and other predictors of preferences. An online survey assessing interest in 9 evidence-based cessation products and services was voluntarily completed by 1196 smokers who visited the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout (GASO) webpage. Cluster analysis was conducted on ratings of interest. In total, 48% (572/1196) of respondents were "quite a bit" or "very much" interested in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), 45% (534/1196) in a website that provides customized quitting advice, and 37% (447/1196) in prescription medications. Only 11.5% (138/1196) indicated similar interest in quitlines, and 17% (208/1196) in receiving customized text messages. Hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis revealed that interest in treatments formed 3 clusters: interpersonal-supportive methods (eg, telephone counseling, Web-based peer support, and in-person group programs), nonsocial-informational methods (eg, Internet programs, tailored emails, and informational booklets), and pharmacotherapy (NRT, bupropion, and varenicline). Only 5% (60/1196) of smokers were "quite a bit" or "very much" interested in interpersonal-supportive methods compared with 25% (298/1196) for nonsocial-informational methods and 33% (399/1196) for pharmacotherapy. Multivariate analyses and follow-up comparisons indicated that level of interest in

  5. Brain reflections: A circuit-based framework for understanding information processing and cognitive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gratton, Gabriele

    2018-03-01

    Here, I propose a view of the architecture of the human information processing system, and of how it can be adapted to changing task demands (which is the hallmark of cognitive control). This view is informed by an interpretation of brain activity as reflecting the excitability level of neural representations, encoding not only stimuli and temporal contexts, but also action plans and task goals. The proposed cognitive architecture includes three types of circuits: open circuits, involved in feed-forward processing such as that connecting stimuli with responses and characterized by brief, transient brain activity; and two types of closed circuits, positive feedback circuits (characterized by sustained, high-frequency oscillatory activity), which help select and maintain representations, and negative feedback circuits (characterized by brief, low-frequency oscillatory bursts), which are instead associated with changes in representations. Feed-forward activity is primarily responsible for the spread of activation along the information processing system. Oscillatory activity, instead, controls this spread. Sustained oscillatory activity due to both local cortical circuits (gamma) and longer corticothalamic circuits (alpha and beta) allows for the selection of individuated representations. Through the interaction of these circuits, it also allows for the preservation of representations across different temporal spans (sensory and working memory) and their spread across the brain. In contrast, brief bursts of oscillatory activity, generated by novel and/or conflicting information, lead to the interruption of sustained oscillatory activity and promote the generation of new representations. I discuss how this framework can account for a number of psychological and behavioral phenomena. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  6. Understanding Health and Health-Related Behavior of Users of Internet Health Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimble, Matt

    2016-10-01

    Little is known about how actual use of Internet health-related information is associated with health or health-related behavior. Using a nationally representative sample of 34,525 from 2012, this study examined the demographics of users of Internet health-related information (users), reports estimates of association with several health and behavioral outcomes adjusting for demographic factors, and analyzed the sample by education level, race, gender, and age. Analysis of a large nationally representative sample shows evidence that users of health-related information (users) on the Internet are younger, more educated, more likely to be insured, more likely to be female, and less likely to be African American. After adjusting for demographic differences, users are more likely to have been diagnosed with hypertension, cancer, stroke, and high cholesterol, but no evidence of current hypertension, weight-related issues, or being in fair or poor health. Users are less likely to smoke and among smokers are more likely to attempt quitting. Users are more likely to exercise, get a flu shot, pap smear, mammogram, HIV test, colon cancer screening, blood pressure check, and cholesterol check, but likely to be heavy drinkers. With few exceptions, results appear robust across gender, age groups, level of education, and ethnicity. Use is generally positively associated with prior diagnosis for several conditions and behaviors related to improved health, but I find no relationship with existing health status. The association between use of health-related Internet information and health-related behavior seems robust across levels of education, age, gender, and race.

  7. Understanding the Acceptance of Local Public Officers on Computer-based Urban Spatial Information System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isti Andini

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Information technology is developed to assist people in minimizing processing time, reducing errors, increasing the accuracy and simplifying the overall process. The process of recording, retrieving and displaying data and information can thus be easily and accurately undertaken. Information technology in its initial development, however, tends to be too costly and complicated to make a real particularly for people in developing countries. Fortunately, universities as the centers of innovation, can be a game changer for the adoption of the innovative processes, for the benefits of the community at large. In all Indonesian universities, this role is associated with a, so called Tri Dharma Perguruan Tinggi (Three Devotions of Higher Education, TDHE. This paper examines the acceptance of the collaborating officials and the obstacles i.e. internal and environmental factors. We proposed the use of GIS-based technology to coordinate the administrative units of local government at all levels, particularly the Kelurahan as the lowest hierarchy of the administrative unit in local government system. The Kelurahan will then be the spearhead in a local government system in Indonesia in promoting administrative services to all Citizens. We undertook an integrated training and tutorial for select official staff of the Kelurahan on the system. Evaluation of shows that the information system can be used to simplify the collaborators’ activities. The evaluation was done through in-depth interview to the collaborating officials. The collaborators interested in learning more about the system as an innovative way in providing service to the community as well as spatial data input to support urban planning and management.

  8. Understanding the care.data conundrum: New information flows for economic growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paraskevas Vezyridis

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of data from electronic health records aspires to facilitate healthcare efficiencies and biomedical innovation. There are also ethical, legal and social implications from the handling of sensitive patient information. The paper explores the concerns, expectations and implications of the National Health Service (NHS England care.data programme: a national data sharing initiative of linked electronic health records for healthcare and other research purposes. Using Nissenbaum’s contextual integrity of privacy framework through a critical Science and Technology Studies (STS lens, it examines the way technologies and policies are developed to promote sustainability, governance and economic growth as the de facto social values, while reducing privacy to an individualistic preference. The state, acting as a new, central data broker reappropriates public ownership rights and establishes those information flows and transmission principles that facilitate the assetisation of NHS datasets for the knowledge economy. Various actors and processes from other contexts attempt to erode the public healthcare sector and privilege new information recipients. However, such data sharing initiatives in healthcare will be resisted if we continue to focus only on the monetary and scientific values of these datasets and keep ignoring their equally important social and ethical values.

  9. Toward a Better Understanding of Patient Health Literacy: A Focus on the Skills Patients Need to Find Health Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champlin, Sara; Mackert, Michael; Glowacki, Elizabeth M; Donovan, Erin E

    2017-07-01

    While many health literacy assessments exist, this area of research lacks an instrument that isolates and reflects the four components driving this concept (abilities to find, understand, use, and communicate about health information). The purpose of this study was to determine what abilities comprise the first component, how a patient finds health information. Low ( n = 13) and adequate ( n = 14) health literacy patients, and health professionals ( n = 10) described their experiences when looking for health information and the skills they employed to complete these tasks. Major skills/themes elicited included knowing when to search, credibility assessments, finding text and numerical information, interpersonal seeking, technology and online search, and spatial navigation. Findings from this study suggest that each of the dimensions included in the definition of health literacy warrants specific attention and assessment. Given identification of the skills comprising each dimension, interventions targeting deficits across health literacy dimensions could be developed to improve patient health.

  10. Understanding public perceptions of risk regarding outdoor pet cats to inform conservation action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramza, Ashley; Teel, Tara; VandeWoude, Susan; Crooks, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    Free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) incur and impose risks on ecosystems and represent a complex issue of critical importance to biodiversity conservation and cat and human health globally. Prior social science research on this topic is limited and has emphasized feral cats even though owned cats often comprise a large proportion of the outdoor cat population, particularly in urban areas. To address this gap, we examined public risk perceptions and attitudes toward outdoor pet cats across varying levels of urbanization, including along the wildland-urban interface, in Colorado (U.S.A.), through a mail survey of 1397 residents. Residents did not view all types of risks uniformly. They viewed risks of cat predation on wildlife and carnivore predation on cats as more likely than disease-related risks. Additionally, risk perceptions were related to attitudes, prior experiences with cats and cat-wildlife interactions, and cat-owner behavior. Our findings suggest that changes in risk perceptions may result in behavior change. Therefore, knowledge of cat-related risk perceptions and attitudes could be used to develop communication programs aimed at promoting risk-aversive behaviors among cat owners and cat-management strategies that are acceptable to the public and that directly advance the conservation of native species. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Understanding the aerosol information content in multi-spectral reflectance measurements using a synergetic retrieval algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Martynenko

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available An information content analysis for multi-wavelength SYNergetic AErosol Retrieval algorithm SYNAER was performed to quantify the number of independent pieces of information that can be retrieved. In particular, the capability of SYNAER to discern various aerosol types is assessed. This information content depends on the aerosol optical depth, the surface albedo spectrum and the observation geometry. The theoretical analysis is performed for a large number of scenarios with various geometries and surface albedo spectra for ocean, soil and vegetation. When the surface albedo spectrum and its accuracy is known under cloud-free conditions, reflectance measurements used in SYNAER is able to provide for 2–4° of freedom that can be attributed to retrieval parameters: aerosol optical depth, aerosol type and surface albedo.

    The focus of this work is placed on an information content analysis with emphasis to the aerosol type classification. This analysis is applied to synthetic reflectance measurements for 40 predefined aerosol mixtures of different basic components, given by sea salt, mineral dust, biomass burning and diesel aerosols, water soluble and water insoluble aerosols. The range of aerosol parameters considered through the 40 mixtures covers the natural variability of tropospheric aerosols. After the information content analysis performed in Holzer-Popp et al. (2008 there was a necessity to compare derived degrees of freedom with retrieved aerosol optical depth for different aerosol types, which is the main focus of this paper.

    The principle component analysis was used to determine the correspondence between degrees of freedom for signal in the retrieval and derived aerosol types. The main results of the analysis indicate correspondence between the major groups of the aerosol types, which are: water soluble aerosol, soot, mineral dust and sea salt and degrees of freedom in the algorithm and show the ability of the SYNAER to

  12. Moving beyond a descriptive aquatic toxicology: the value of biological process and trait information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segner, Helmut

    2011-10-01

    In order to improve the ability to link chemical exposure to toxicological and ecological effects, aquatic toxicology will have to move from observing what chemical concentrations induce adverse effects to more explanatory approaches, that are concepts which build on knowledge of biological processes and pathways leading from exposure to adverse effects, as well as on knowledge on stressor vulnerability as given by the genetic, physiological and ecological (e.g., life history) traits of biota. Developing aquatic toxicology in this direction faces a number of challenges, including (i) taking into account species differences in toxicant responses on the basis of the evolutionarily developed diversity of phenotypic vulnerability to environmental stressors, (ii) utilizing diversified biological response profiles to serve as biological read across for prioritizing chemicals, categorizing them according to modes of action, and for guiding targeted toxicity evaluation; (iii) prediction of ecological consequences of toxic exposure from knowledge of how biological processes and phenotypic traits lead to effect propagation across the levels of biological hierarchy; and (iv) the search for concepts to assess the cumulative impact of multiple stressors. An underlying theme in these challenges is that, in addition to the question of what the chemical does to the biological receptor, we should give increasing emphasis to the question how the biological receptor handles the chemicals, i.e., through which pathways the initial chemical-biological interaction extends to the adverse effects, how this extension is modulated by adaptive or compensatory processes as well as by phenotypic traits of the biological receptor. 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Definitional ceremonies: narrative practices for psychologists to inform interdisciplinary teams' understanding of children's spirituality in pediatric settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Kelsey; Talwar, Victoria; Moxley-Haegert, Linda

    2015-03-01

    In pediatric settings, parents and children often seek spiritual and religious support from their healthcare provider, as they try to find meaning in their illness. Narrative practices, such as definitional ceremonies, can provide a unique framework for psychologists to explore children's spirituality and its role in the midst of illness. In addition, definitional ceremonies can be used as a means for psychologists to inform interdisciplinary teams' understanding of children's spirituality and its relevance in pediatric treatment settings. In this article, our objectives are to (a) provide a brief overview of the literature on children's spirituality, (b) review some of the literature on childhood cancer patients' spirituality, (c) highlight the importance of whole-person care for diverse pediatric patients, and (d) introduce definitional ceremonies as appropriate narrative practices that psychologists can use to both guide their therapy and inform interdisciplinary teams' understanding of children's spirituality. © The Author(s) 2015.

  14. Understanding genetic information as a commons: From bioprospecting to personalized medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Lucchi

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the paper is to discuss how the concept of commons can be enlarged to include genetic resources – both naturally occurring and as essential resources in research laboratories – that are increasingly considered as part of market frameworks. Looking beyond the enclosure of traditional public goods (such as land or water, the paper emphasizes the debate around the progressive commodification of genetic resources and associated genetic information operated by means of intellectual property rights or other forms of management of knowledge. The discourse around commons is used to evaluate alternative tools and strategies to the issue of private appropriation of human genetic resources and natural compounds.

  15. Potential and limitations of using soil mapping information to understand landscape hydrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Terribile

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses the following points: how can whole soil data from normally available soil mapping databases (both conventional and those integrated by digital soil mapping procedures be usefully employed in hydrology? Answering this question requires a detailed knowledge of the quality and quantity of information embedded in and behind a soil map.

    To this end a description of the process of drafting soil maps was prepared (which is included in Appendix A of this paper. Then a detailed screening of content and availability of soil maps and database was performed, with the objective of an analytical evaluation of the potential and the limitations of soil data obtained through soil surveys and soil mapping. Then we reclassified the soil features according to their direct, indirect or low hydrologic relevance. During this phase, we also included information regarding whether this data was obtained by qualitative, semi-quantitative or quantitative methods. The analysis was performed according to two main points of concern: (i the hydrological interpretation of the soil data and (ii the quality of the estimate or measurement of the soil feature.

    The interaction between pedology and hydrology processes representation was developed through the following Italian case studies with different hydropedological inputs: (i comparative land evaluation models, by means of an exhaustive itinerary from simple to complex modelling applications depending on soil data availability, (ii mapping of soil hydrological behaviour for irrigation management at the district scale, where the main hydropedological input was the application of calibrated pedo-transfer functions and the Hydrological Function Unit concept, and (iii flood event simulation in an ungauged basin, with the functional aggregation of different soil units for a simplified soil pattern.

    In conclusion, we show that special care is required in handling data from soil

  16. Understanding Information Technology Investment Decision-Making in the Context of Hotel Global Distribution Systems: a Multiple-Case Study

    OpenAIRE

    Connolly, Daniel J.

    1999-01-01

    UNDERSTANDING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT DECISION-MAKING IN THE CONTEXT OF HOTEL GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS: A MULTIPLE-CASE STUDY by Daniel J. Connolly Dr. Michael D. Olsen, Chair Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management ABSTRACT This study investigates what three large, multinational hospitality companies do in practice when evaluating and making IT investment decisions. This study was launched in an attempt to 1) learn more about ...

  17. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Systems biology seeks to study biological systems as a whole, contrary to the reductionist approach that has dominated biology. Such a view of biological systems emanating from strong foundations of molecular level understanding of the individual components in terms of their form, function and interactions is promising to ...

  18. Understanding and Managing Our Earth through Integrated Use and Analysis of Geo-Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Kainz

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available All things in our world are related to some location in space and time, and according to Tobler’s first law of geography “everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things” [1]. Since humans exist they have been contemplating about space and time and have tried to depict and manage the geographic space they live in. We know graphic representations of the land from various regions of the world dating back several thousands of years. The processing and analysis of spatial data has a long history in the disciplines that deal with spatial data such as geography, surveying engineering, cartography, photogrammetry, and remote sensing. Until recently, all these activities have been analog in nature; only since the invention of the computer in the second half of the 20th century and the use of computers for the acquisition, storage, analysis, and display of spatial data starting in the 1960s we speak of geo-information and geo-information systems. [...

  19. Using the internet to understand angler behavior in the information age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Dustin R.; Pracheil, Brenda M.; DeBoer, Jason A.; Wilde, Gene R.; Pope, Kevin L.

    2012-01-01

    Declining participation in recreational angling is of great concern to fishery managers because fishing license sales are an important revenue source for protection of aquatic resources. This decline is frequently attributed, in part, to increased societal reliance on electronics. Internet use by anglers is increasing and fishery managers may use the Internet as a unique means to increase angler participation. We examined Internet search behavior using Google Insights for Search, a free online tool that summarizes Google searches from 2004 to 2011 to determine (1) trends in Internet search volume for general fishing related terms and (2) the relative usefulness of terms related to angler recruitment programs across the United States. Though search volume declined for general fishing terms (e.g., fishing, fishing guide), search volume increased for social media and recruitment terms (e.g., fishing forum, family fishing) over the 7-year period. We encourage coordinators of recruitment programs to capitalize on anglers’ Internet usage by considering Internet search patterns when creating web-based information. Careful selection of terms used in web-based information to match those currently searched by potential anglers may help to direct traffic to state agency websites that support recruitment efforts.

  20. The Diamond Light Source and the challenges ahead for structural biology: some informal remarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, V

    2015-03-06

    The remarkable advances in structural biology in the past three decades have led to the determination of increasingly complex structures that lie at the heart of many important biological processes. Many of these advances have been made possible by the use of X-ray crystallography using synchrotron radiation. In this short article, some of the challenges and prospects that lie ahead will be summarized. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  1. Students' Participation in an Interdisciplinary, Socioscientific Issues Based Undergraduate Human Biology Major and Their Understanding of Scientific Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, Jennifer L.; Sadler, Troy D.; Sherwood, Robert D.; Schlegel, Whitney M.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether Socioscientific Issues (SSI) based learning environments affect university students' epistemological understanding of scientific inquiry differently from traditional science educational contexts. We identify and compare conceptions of scientific inquiry of students participating in an…

  2. Community Resilience: Increasing Public Understanding of Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Hazards through Informal Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salna, E.

    2017-12-01

    The Extreme Events Institute's (EEI) International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida, as a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, is dedicated to make South Florida, Ready, Responsive and Resilient. IHRC with funding from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has developed several museum exhibits and events. This includes the hands-on FIU Wall of Wind exhibit for the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, the Frost Science Museum in Miami, Florida, and the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The exhibit teaches the public about hurricane wind engineering research, enhanced building codes, and the importance of protecting your home's windows and doors with code-approved shutters. In addition, IHRC and MODS facilitate Eye of the Storm, a free-of-charge, community event with interactive hurricane science, and preparedness activities, including the entertaining Owlie Skywarn live theater show and live air cannon missile impact demonstrations. This annual event includes many local, state and federal partners, including NOAA and NWS. The IHRC also developed the FIU Wall of Wind Mitigation Challenge. As the next generation of engineers to address natural hazards and extreme weather, this STEM education event features a competition between high school teams to develop innovative wind mitigation concepts and real-life human safety and property protection solutions. IHRC and MODS are also developing a new exhibit of a Hazard/Risk Equation that will "come to life," through virtual reality (VR) technology in a state-of-the art 7D theater. The exhibit will provide a better public understanding of how changes in exposures and vulnerabilities will determine whether a community experiences an emergency, disaster or catastrophe. It will raise public consciousness and drive home the point that communities need not passively accept natural hazard risks. Ultimately, if we raise

  3. Geographic information science: Contribution to understanding salt and sodium affected soils in the Senegal River Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndiaye, Ramatoulaye

    The Senegal River valley and delta (SRVD) are affected by long term climate variability. Indicators of these climatic shifts include a rainfall deficit, warmer temperatures, sea level rise, floods, and drought. These shifts have led to environmental degradation, water deficits, and profound effects on human life and activities in the area. Geographic Information Science (GIScience), including satellite-based remote sensing methods offer several advantages over conventional ground-based methods used to map and monitor salt-affected soil (SAS) features. This study was designed to assess the accuracy of information on soil salinization extracted from Landsat satellite imagery. Would available imagery and GIScience data analysis enable an ability to discriminate natural soil salinization from soil sodication and provide an ability to characterize the SAS trend and pattern over 30 years? A set of Landsat MSS (June 1973 and September 1979), Landsat TM (November 1987, April 1994 and November 1999) and ETM+ (May 2001 and March 2003) images have been used to map and monitor salt impacted soil distribution. Supervised classification, unsupervised classification and post-classification change detection methods were used. Supervised classifications of May 2001 and March 2003 images were made in conjunction field data characterizing soil surface chemical characteristics that included exchange sodium percentage (ESP), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and the electrical conductivity (EC). With this supervised information extraction method, the distribution of three different types of SAS (saline, saline-sodic, and sodic) was mapped with an accuracy of 91.07% for 2001 image and 73.21% for 2003 image. Change detection results confirmed a decreasing trend in non-saline and saline soil and an increase in saline-sodic and sodic soil. All seven Landsat images were subjected to the unsupervised classification method which resulted in maps that separate SAS according to their degree of

  4. Below the Callus Surface: Applying Paleohistological Techniques to Understand the Biology of Bone Healing in Skeletonized Human Remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assis, Sandra; Keenleyside, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Bone trauma is a common occurrence in human skeletal remains. Macroscopic and imaging scrutiny is the approach most currently used to analyze and describe trauma. Nevertheless, this line of inquiry may not be sufficient to accurately identify the type of traumatic lesion and the associated degree of bone healing. To test the usefulness of histology in the examination of bone healing biology, we used an integrative approach that combines gross inspection and microscopy. Six bone samples belonging to 5 adult individuals with signs of bone trauma were collected from the Human Identified Skeletal Collection from the Museu Bocage (Lisbon, Portugal). Previous to sampling, the lesions were described according to their location, morphology, and healing status. After sampling, the bone specimens were prepared for plane light and polarized light analysis. The histological analysis was pivotal: (1) to differentiate between types of traumatic lesions; (2) to ascertain the posttraumatic interval, and (3) to diagnose other associated pathological conditions. The outer surface of a bone lesion may not give a complete picture of the biology of the tissue's response. Accordingly, microscopic analysis is essential to differentiate, characterize, and classify trauma signs. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Towards an Understanding of Information Technology Strategy Development Based on Knowledge Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Henrique de Souza Bermejo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-8077.2014v16n40p139 The formulation of IT strategies is increasingly seen as a collaborative process, where knowledge management (KM and learning become central to building a shared view of how information technology (IT can support and extend business strategies. This article presents three interrelated components that support the application of KM to IT strategy development (actors and types of knowledge, knowledge conversion modes, and technological tools and artifacts. Through a longitudinal, qualitative case study, we illustrate strategies for applying these components. Faced with the importance of knowledge and collaboration to IT strategies, the results provide recommendations so that organizations can apply concepts and practices of KM processes in formulating IT strategies.

  6. Understanding Sulfide Capacity of Molten Aluminosilicates via Structural Information from 'Raman' and 'NMR' Spectroscopic Methodologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Joo Hyun

    The effect of Ca-Mn substitution on the sulfide capacity of the MnO-CaO-SiO2 (-Al2O3-MgO) melts were explained from the Raman scattering data, from which the structure information for the network modifying role and sulfur stabilizing role of Ca2+ and Mn2+ ions were obtained. The effect of Ce2O3 on the sulfide capacity of the MnO-SiO2-Al2O3-Ce2O3 melts were understood based on the structure data, from which the charge compensating role of Ce3+ and the amphoteric behavior of alumina were obtained. Employing the structure analysis, the thermochemical properties such as capacity of the oxide melts with no thermodynamic data can be understood in terms of `composition-structure-property' relationship.

  7. Improving understanding in the research informed consent process: a systematic review of 54 interventions tested in randomized control trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Adam; Carey, Jantey; Erwin, Patricia J; Tilburt, Jon C; Murad, M Hassan; McCormick, Jennifer B

    2013-07-23

    Obtaining informed consent is a cornerstone of biomedical research, yet participants comprehension of presented information is often low. The most effective interventions to improve understanding rates have not been identified. To systematically analyze the random controlled trials testing interventions to research informed consent process. The primary outcome of interest was quantitative rates of participant understanding; secondary outcomes were rates of information retention, satisfaction, and accrual. Interventional categories included multimedia, enhanced consent documents, extended discussions, test/feedback quizzes, and miscellaneous methods. The search spanned from database inception through September 2010. It was run on Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, Ovid CINAHL, Ovid PsycInfo and Cochrane CENTRAL, ISI Web of Science and Scopus. Five reviewers working independently and in duplicate screened full abstract text to determine eligibility. We included only RCTs. 39 out of 1523 articles fulfilled review criteria (2.6%), with a total of 54 interventions. A data extraction form was created in Distiller, an online reference management system, through an iterative process. One author collected data on study design, population, demographics, intervention, and analytical technique. Meta-analysis was possible on 22 interventions: multimedia, enhanced form, and extended discussion categories; all 54 interventions were assessed by review. Meta-analysis of multimedia approaches was associated with a non-significant increase in understanding scores (SMD 0.30, 95% CI, -0.23 to 0.84); enhanced consent form, with significant increase (SMD 1.73, 95% CI, 0.99 to 2.47); and extended discussion, with significant increase (SMD 0.53, 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.84). By review, 31% of multimedia interventions showed significant improvement in understanding; 41% for enhanced consent form; 50% for extended discussion; 33% for test/feedback; and 29% for miscellaneous.Multiple sources of variation

  8. Improving understanding in the research informed consent process: a systematic review of 54 interventions tested in randomized control trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Obtaining informed consent is a cornerstone of biomedical research, yet participants comprehension of presented information is often low. The most effective interventions to improve understanding rates have not been identified. Purpose To systematically analyze the random controlled trials testing interventions to research informed consent process. The primary outcome of interest was quantitative rates of participant understanding; secondary outcomes were rates of information retention, satisfaction, and accrual. Interventional categories included multimedia, enhanced consent documents, extended discussions, test/feedback quizzes, and miscellaneous methods. Methods The search spanned from database inception through September 2010. It was run on Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, Ovid CINAHL, Ovid PsycInfo and Cochrane CENTRAL, ISI Web of Science and Scopus. Five reviewers working independently and in duplicate screened full abstract text to determine eligibility. We included only RCTs. 39 out of 1523 articles fulfilled review criteria (2.6%), with a total of 54 interventions. A data extraction form was created in Distiller, an online reference management system, through an iterative process. One author collected data on study design, population, demographics, intervention, and analytical technique. Results Meta-analysis was possible on 22 interventions: multimedia, enhanced form, and extended discussion categories; all 54 interventions were assessed by review. Meta-analysis of multimedia approaches was associated with a non-significant increase in understanding scores (SMD 0.30, 95% CI, -0.23 to 0.84); enhanced consent form, with significant increase (SMD 1.73, 95% CI, 0.99 to 2.47); and extended discussion, with significant increase (SMD 0.53, 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.84). By review, 31% of multimedia interventions showed significant improvement in understanding; 41% for enhanced consent form; 50% for extended discussion; 33% for test/feedback; and 29% for

  9. Student understanding development in chemistry concepts through constructivist-informed laboratory and science camp process in secondary school

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathommapas, Nookorn

    2018-01-01

    Science Camp for Chemistry Concepts was the project which designed to provide local students with opportunities to apply chemistry concepts and thereby developing their 21st century skills. The three study purposes were 1) to construct and develop chemistry stations for encouraging students' understandings in chemistry concepts based on constructivist-informed laboratory, 2) to compare students' understandings in chemistry concepts before and after using chemistry learning stations, and 3) to study students' satisfactions of using their 21st century skills in science camp activities. The research samples were 67 students who attended the 1-day science camp. They were levels 10 to 11 students in SumsaoPittayakarn School, UdonThani Province, Thailand. Four constructivist-informed laboratory stations of chemistry concepts were designed for each group. Each station consisted of a chemistry scenario, a question, answers in tier 1 and supporting reasons in tier 2, and 4 sets of experimental instruments. Four to five-member subgroups of four student groups parallel participated in laboratory station for an hour in each station. Student activities in each station concluded of individual pretest, group prediction, experimental design, testing out and collection data, interpreting the results, group conclusion, and individual post-test. Data collection was done by station mentors using two-tier multiple choice questions, students' written work and interviews. Data triangulation was used for interpreting and confirming students' understandings of chemistry concepts which divided into five levels, Sound Understanding (SU), Partial Understanding (PU), Specific Misconception (SM), No Understanding (NU) and No Response (NR), before and after collaborating at each station. The study results found the following: 1) four constructivist-laboratory stations were successfully designed and used to investigate student' understandings in chemistry concepts via collaborative workshop of

  10. Understanding the acceptance factors of an Hospital Information System: evidence from a French University Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ologeanu-Taddei, R; Morquin, D; Domingo, H; Bourret, R

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the perceived usefulness, the perceived ease of use and the perceived behavioral control of a Hospital Information System (HIS) for the care staff. We administrated a questionnaire composed of open-end and closed questions, based on the main concepts of Technology Acceptance Model. As results, the perceived usefulness, ease of use and behavioral control (self-efficacy and organizational support) are correlated with medical occupations. As an example, we found that a half of the medical secretaries consider the HIS is ease of use, at the opposite to the anesthesiologists, surgeons and physicians. Medical secretaries reported also the highest rate of PBC and a high rate of PU. Pharmacists reported the highest rate of PU but a low rate of PBC, which is similar to the rate of the surgeons and physicians. Content analysis of open questions highlights factors influencing these constructs: ergonomics, errors in the documenting process, insufficient compatibility with the medical department or the occupational group. Consequently, we suggest that the gap between the perceptions of the different occupational groups may be explained by the use of different modules and by interdependency of the care stare staff.

  11. Lexical analysis in schizophrenia: how emotion and social word use informs our understanding of clinical presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minor, Kyle S; Bonfils, Kelsey A; Luther, Lauren; Firmin, Ruth L; Kukla, Marina; MacLain, Victoria R; Buck, Benjamin; Lysaker, Paul H; Salyers, Michelle P

    2015-05-01

    The words people use convey important information about internal states, feelings, and views of the world around them. Lexical analysis is a fast, reliable method of assessing word use that has shown promise for linking speech content, particularly in emotion and social categories, with psychopathological symptoms. However, few studies have utilized lexical analysis instruments to assess speech in schizophrenia. In this exploratory study, we investigated whether positive emotion, negative emotion, and social word use was associated with schizophrenia symptoms, metacognition, and general functioning in a schizophrenia cohort. Forty-six participants generated speech during a semi-structured interview, and word use categories were assessed using a validated lexical analysis measure. Trained research staff completed symptom, metacognition, and functioning ratings using semi-structured interviews. Word use categories significantly predicted all variables of interest, accounting for 28% of the variance in symptoms and 16% of the variance in metacognition and general functioning. Anger words, a subcategory of negative emotion, significantly predicted greater symptoms and lower functioning. Social words significantly predicted greater metacognition. These findings indicate that lexical analysis instruments have the potential to play a vital role in psychosocial assessments of schizophrenia. Future research should replicate these findings and examine the relationship between word use and additional clinical variables across the schizophrenia-spectrum. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Complicated Pericarditis: Understanding Risk Factors and Pathophysiology to Inform Imaging and Treatment.

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    Cremer, Paul C; Kumar, Arnav; Kontzias, Apostolos; Tan, Carmela D; Rodriguez, E Rene; Imazio, Massimo; Klein, Allan L

    2016-11-29

    Most patients with acute pericarditis have a benign course and a good prognosis. However, a minority of patients develop complicated pericarditis, and the care of these patients is the focus of this review. Specifically, we address risk factors, multimodality imaging, pathophysiology, and novel treatments. The authors conclude that: 1) early high-dose corticosteroids, a lack of colchicine, and an elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein are associated with the development of complicated pericarditis; 2) in select cases, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging may aid in the assessment of pericardial inflammation and constriction; 3) given phenotypic similarities between recurrent idiopathic pericarditis and periodic fever syndromes, disorders of the inflammasome may contribute to relapsing attacks; and 4) therapies that target the inflammasome may lead to more durable remission and resolution. Finally, regarding future investigations, the authors discuss the potential of cardiovascular magnetic resonance to inform treatment duration and the need to compare steroid-sparing treatments to pericardiectomy. Copyright © 2016 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The invisibility of informal interpreting in mental health care in South Africa: notes towards a contextual understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Leslie; Kilian, Sanja

    2014-12-01

    Despite South Africa's constitutional commitment to equality, represented by 11 official languages and the promotion of South African Sign Language, many users of the public health system receive treatment from people who cannot speak their language, and there are no formal interpreting services. This is a legacy of service provision from the apartheid era, and interpreting is currently undertaken by nurses, cleaners, security guards, and family members of patients, amongst others. We provide a preliminary outline of proximal and distal issues which may bear upon this situation. Changing understandings of the nature of careers in the health field, international trends in mental health theory and practice toward crude biologism, and ongoing patterns of social exclusion and stigma all contribute not only to a continuing state of compromised linguistic access to mental health care, but also to processes of rendering invisible the actual work of care in the mental health field.

  14. Robustness leads close to the edge of chaos in coupled map networks: toward the understanding of biological networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Nen; Kikuchi, Macoto

    2013-05-01

    Dynamics in biological networks are, in general, robust against several perturbations. We investigate a coupled map network as a model motivated by gene regulatory networks and design systems that are robust against phenotypic perturbations (perturbations in dynamics), as well as systems that are robust against mutation (perturbations in network structure). To achieve such a design, we apply a multicanonical Monte Carlo method. Analysis based on the maximum Lyapunov exponent and parameter sensitivity shows that systems with marginal stability, which are regarded as systems at the edge of chaos, emerge when robustness against network perturbations is required. This emergence of the edge of chaos is a self-organization phenomenon and does not need a fine tuning of parameters.

  15. Biological warfare warriors, secrecy and pure science in the Cold War: how to understand dialogue and the classifications of science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bud, Robert

    2014-01-01

    This paper uses a case study from the Cold War to reflect on the meaning at the time of the term 'Pure Science'. In 1961, four senior scientists from Britain's biological warfare centre at Porton Down visited Moscow both attending an International Congress and visiting Russian microbiological and biochemical laboratories. The reports of the British scientists in talking about a limited range of topics encountered in the Soviet Union expressed qualities of openness, sociologists of the time associated with pure science. The paper reflects on the discourses of "Pure Science", secrecy and security in the Cold War. Using Bakhtin's approach, I suggest the cordial communication between scientists from opposing sides can be seen in terms of the performance, or speaking, of one language among several at their disposal. Pure science was the language they were allowed to share outside their institutions, and indeed political blocs.

  16. Understanding Reef Flat Sediment Regimes and Hydrodynamics can Inform Erosion Mitigation on Land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lida Tenkova Teneva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs worldwide are affected by excessive sediment and nutrient delivery from adjacent watersheds. Land cover and land use changes contribute to reef ecosystem degradation, which in turn, diminish many ecosystem services, including coastal protection, recreation, and food provisioning. The objectives of this work were to understand the role of coastal oceanic and biophysical processes in mediating the effects of sedimentation in shallow reef environments, and to assess the efficacy of land-based sediment remediation in the coastal areas near Maunalei reef, Lāna’i Island, Hawai’i. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first study of sediment dynamics on an east-facing (i.e., facing the trade winds reef in the Hawaiian Islands. We developed ridge-to-reef monitoring systems at two paired stream bed-to-reef sites, where one of the reef sites was adjacent to a community stream sediment remediation project. We found that the two reef sites were characterized by different processes that affected the sediment removal rates; the two sites were also exposed to different amounts of sediment runoff. The community stream sediment remediation project appeared to keep at least 77 tonnes of sediment off the reef flat in one wet season. We found that resuspension of sediments on this reef was similar to that on north-facing and south-facing reefs that also are exposed to the trade winds. We posit that sites with slower sediment removal rates due to slower current velocities or high resuspension rates will require more-robust sediment capture systems on land to reduce sediment input rates and maximize potential for reef health recovery. This suggests that interventions such as local sediment remediation and watershed restoration may mitigate sediment delivery to coral reefs, but these interventions are more likely to be effective if they account for how adjacent coastal oceanographic processes distribute, accumulate, or advect sediment away from

  17. From Observation to Information: Data-Driven Understanding of on Farm Yield Variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Jiménez

    Full Text Available Agriculture research uses "recommendation domains" to develop and transfer crop management practices adapted to specific contexts. The scale of recommendation domains is large when compared to individual production sites and often encompasses less environmental variation than farmers manage. Farmers constantly observe crop response to management practices at a field scale. These observations are of little use for other farms if the site and the weather are not described. The value of information obtained from farmers' experiences and controlled experiments is enhanced when the circumstances under which it was generated are characterized within the conceptual framework of a recommendation domain, this latter defined by Non-Controllable Factors (NCFs. Controllable Factors (CFs refer to those which farmers manage. Using a combination of expert guidance and a multi-stage analytic process, we evaluated the interplay of CFs and NCFs on plantain productivity in farmers' fields. Data were obtained from multiple sources, including farmers. Experts identified candidate variables likely to influence yields. The influence of the candidate variables on yields was tested through conditional forests analysis. Factor analysis then clustered harvests produced under similar NCFs, into Homologous Events (HEs. The relationship between NCFs, CFs and productivity in intercropped plantain were analyzed with mixed models. Inclusion of HEs increased the explanatory power of models. Low median yields in monocropping coupled with the occasional high yields within most HEs indicated that most of these farmers were not using practices that exploited the yield potential of those HEs. Varieties grown by farmers were associated with particular HEs. This indicates that farmers do adapt their management to the particular conditions of their HEs. Our observations confirm that the definition of HEs as recommendation domains at a small-scale is valid, and that the effectiveness of

  18. The Effects of an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Human Biology Program on Socioscientific Reasoning, Content Learning, and Understanding of Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, Jennifer L.

    2010-01-01

    Preparing students to take informed positions on complex problems through critical evaluation is a primary goal of university education. Socioscientific issues (SSI) have been established as effective contexts for students to develop this competency, as well as reasoning skills and content knowledge. This mixed-methods study investigates the…

  19. Deep Neural Networks: A New Framework for Modeling Biological Vision and Brain Information Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus

    2015-11-24

    Recent advances in neural network modeling have enabled major strides in computer vision and other artificial intelligence applications. Human-level visual recognition abilities are coming within reach of artificial systems. Artificial neural networks are inspired by the brain, and their computations could be implemented in biological neurons. Convolutional feedforward networks, which now dominate computer vision, take further inspiration from the architecture of the primate visual hierarchy. However, the current models are designed with engineering goals, not to model brain computations. Nevertheless, initial studies comparing internal representations between these models and primate brains find surprisingly similar representational spaces. With human-level performance no longer out of reach, we are entering an exciting new era, in which we will be able to build biologically faithful feedforward and recurrent computational models of how biological brains perform high-level feats of intelligence, including vision.

  20. The paths of mortality: how understanding the biology of aging can help explain systems behavior of single cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Matthew M; Kaeberlein, Matt

    2018-04-01

    Aging is a fundamental aspect of life, yet also one of the most confounding. In individual cells, aging results in a progressive decline which affects all organelles and reduces a cell's ability to maintain homeostasis. Because of the interconnected nature of cellular systems, the failure of even a single organelle can have cascading effects. We are just beginning to understand the dramatic physiological changes that occur during aging. Because most aging research has focused on population dynamics, or differences between wild-type and mutant populations, single-cell behavior has been largely overlooked. An open question is whether aging cells are defined by predictable sequences of physiological changes, or whether they proceed along divergent aging trajectories defined by whichever system begins to fail first. Can aging be best characterized by a cell-cycle like model with stereotyped states all cells progress through, or a Waddington landscape with divergent trajectories? Here we present work on understanding the changing physiological states of aging cells, why it will impact systems and synthetic biologists, and how the systems community can contribute significantly to the study of aging.