Sample records for understand human nature

  1. [Human nature--understanding psychology in Nietzsche]. (United States)

    Dieckhöfer, K


    It was tried to show some decisive and essential points of the psychological analyses contained in the complex work of the philosopher Nietzsche. The extent of his knowledge of man and his changeability constitutes here the field of an understanding, "unmasking" psychology with a sociological-historical touch. The thorough, slow ("lento") study of the original sources on the part of the master of a "connaisseurship of the word" seems to be indispensable for any reader trying to occupy himself with Nietzsche in a work of his own and the questions arising therefrom.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Kostiuchkov


    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.

  3. Homo Ethicus : Understanding the Human Nature that Underlies ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. The themes of human rights and human rights education in South Africa's multi-cultural society are central to the work of Cornelia Roux. This article discusses the human reality and ethics underlying those themes, using an approach based on a view of human nature. It has six sections, starting with an introduction ...

  4. Children's Understanding of Human and Super-Natural Mind (United States)

    Makris, Nikos; Pnevmatikos, Dimitris


    Barrett, Richert, and Driesenga [Barrett, J. L., Richert, R. A., & Driesenga, A. (2001). "God's beliefs versus mother's: The development of nonhuman agents concepts." "Child Development," 72(1), 50-65] have suggested that children are able to conceptualize the representational properties held by certain super-natural entities, such as God, before…

  5. Neurobiological approaches to a better understanding of human nature and human values

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    Gerald Hüther


    Full Text Available The most important finding made in the field of neurobiological research during the last decade is the discovery of the enormous experience-dependent plasticity of the human brain. The elaboration and stabilization of synaptic connectivity, and therefore, the complexity of neuronal networks in the higher brain centres depend to a far greater extent than previously believed on how – or rather, for which purpose – an individual uses his brain, the goals pursued, the experiences made in the course of his life, the models used for orientation, the values providing stability and eliciting a sense of commitment. The transmission and internalization of culture-specific abilities and of culture-specific values is achieved primarily during childhood by nonverbal communication (mirror neuron system, imitation learning as well as by implicit and explicit experiences (reward system, avoidance and reinforcement learning. Therefore the structural and functional organization of the human brain is crucially determined by social and cultural factors. Especially the frontal cortex with its highly complex neuronal networks involved in executive functions, evaluation an decision making must be conceptualized as a social, culturally shaped construct. The most important prerequisites for the transgenerational transmission of human values and their deep implementation into the higher frontocortical networks of the brains of subsequent generations are secure affectional relationships and a broad spectrum of different challenges. Only under such conditions, children are able to stabilize sufficiently complex networks and internal representations for metacognitive competences in their brains. This delicate process of experience-dependent organization of neuronal connectivity is seriously and often also persistently hampered or prematurely terminated by uncontrollable stress experiences. This danger ought be minimized by education programs aiming at the implementation

  6. Understanding coupling between natural and human systems to ensure disease resilient societies (United States)

    Jutla, A.; Nguyen, T. H.; Colwell, R. R.; Akanda, A. S.


    Human well-being is one of the key long-term indicators of a sustainable environment. John Snow, a prominent 19th century physician, provided insights on the role of drinking contaminated water and cholera outbreak(s). Extrapolation of Snow's discovery on locating source of cholera bacteria (in local wells) lead to the tenets of traditional doctrines of environmental sustainability of water where source capacities (such as physical condition of water) are directly linked to sink capacities (e.g., bacterial growth in water) of a system, a balance that must be maintained to sustain human life supporting mechanisms. With a changing climate, stress on availability of safe drinking water is likely to increase, particularly where population vulnerability intersects with hydroclimatic extremes. This raises a critical question on how environmental sustainability of water will affect human societies. A dynamic equilibrium exists between large scale geophysical (e.g., sea surface temperature-SST; precipitation, evaporative fluxes) and local scale water-ecological processes (salinity, plankton, organic matter) in water resources (ponds, rivers, lakes). The ecological processes aid in growth and proliferation of water based pathogens (such as cholera, Rotavirus, Shigella and other vibrios). Societal determinants, such as access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, defines interaction of human population with water. The feedback loop, between geophysical and water-ecological processes is fundamental to ensure a sustainable environment for human well-being. However, the feedback loops are often misconstrued resulting in massive loss of human life, and further leading to outbreak of diseases at various spatial and temporal scales across region(s). Using historical data on Cholera and Zika virus as examples, we will demonstrate the intricacies involved in understanding coupled human-natural system. The two infections result from a very different asymmetric

  7. The Importance of Ecology-Based Nature Education Project in Terms of Nature Integration and Understanding the Human-Ecosystem Relationship (United States)

    Meydan, Ali


    The aim of this project is to define the importance of 12-day ecology-based education training upon integration with nature and understanding the human-ecosystem relationship. In accordance with this purpose, there has been collected some survey data interviewing with the participants of "Lake Beysehir National Park and Ecology-based Nature…

  8. Enhancing Understanding Of Coupled Human-Natural Systems Through Collaborative Learning (United States)

    Santelmann, M. V.; Chan, S.; Morzillo, A.; Stebbins, A.; Wright, M.


    In the past decade, it has become clear that the dynamic nature of coupled human-natural systems must be better understood and incorporated into decision making. If the interactions between society and the rest of the ecosystem are poorly represented in system models, our ability to explore the potential consequences of feedbacks between the biophysical system and policy or management actions will be limited. Teams of researchers from three Oregon universities are collaborating with regional experts, water managers, and decision-makers to examine how climate change, population growth, and economic growth may alter the availability and use of water in the Willamette River Basin over the next one hundred years. A central project component is development of a version of the ENVISION modeling framework that will provide decision makers with a way to visualize the Willamette water system and evaluate the interaction of management choices with changing environmental and socioeconomic conditions. Key objectives of the project broader impacts team include: 1) assist with incorporating the human component of the system into the model, (2) fostering growth of the research team as an interdependent, interdisciplinary research community, and (3) communicating effectively with regional stakeholders. Through Learning-Action Networks we have been able to gather insightful, project-relevant knowledge on water use, management, policies and issues that impact water management in the region. We have identified the types of project outputs that managers and decision makers would find useful for anticipating water scarcity and informing integrative water systems responses. Events and processes used to accomplish our objectives began with field trips involving researchers, educators, and other stakeholders. Follow-up meetings and an all day symposium featured focus group interviews, plenary sessions on project progress, and interactive poster sessions in which participants could help

  9. ′Tigers are Our Brothers′: Understanding Human-Nature Relations in the Mishmi Hills, Northeast India

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    Ambika Aiyadurai


    Full Text Available Human-nature relations are diverse, multifaceted and often contradictory, especially the relationships with animals. Mishmi people living on the Sino-India border claim tigers to be their brothers and take credit for tiger protection as they observe taboos against hunting tigers. Drawing on this notion of relatedness with tigers, local residents of the Dibang Valley question the governments' recent plans to declare the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary into Dibang Tiger Reserve and its scientific surveys of tigers and habitat mapping. This paper highlights how Mishmi people relate to tigers and how their understanding of tigers is in contest with versions of state and science, as national property or endangered species. Using in-depth interviews and participant observations in the Dibang Valley, I provide an ethnographic analysis of how different ideas of nature are played out by different actors in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. Tiger conservation projects bring these conflicting versions of nature together, creating unexpected encounters between Mishmi, state and scientists. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of changing notions of nature in the age of globalisation and an increasingly interconnected world.

  10. Human Computer Collaboration at the Edge: Enhancing Collective Situation Understanding with Controlled Natural Language (United States)


    has conceptually noted lim- itations of COPs [26]; our research empirically illustrates the tradeoffs with a COP even if all users have a shared group size and dynamics. To further assess the effects of a COP on information quality and quantity, we plan to run a conceptual replication of the...2] T. Kuhn, “A survey and classification of controlled natural languages,” Computational Linguistics , vol. 40, pp. 121–170, 2014. [3] E. Cambria

  11. The Cultural Argument for Understanding Nature of Science. A Chance to Reflect on Similarities and Differences Between Science and Humanities (United States)

    Reiners, Christiane S.; Bliersbach, Markus; Marniok, Karl


    Understanding Nature of Science (NOS) is a central component of scientific literacy, which is agreed upon internationally, and consequently has been a major educational goal for many years all over the globe. In order to justify the promotion of an adequate understanding of NOS, educators have developed several arguments, among them the cultural argument. But what is behind this argument? In order to answer this question, C. P. Snow's vision of two cultures was used as a starting point. In his famous Rede Lecture from 1959, he complained about a wide gap between the arts and humanities on the one hand and sciences on the other hand. While the representatives of the humanities refer to themselves as real intellectuals, the scientists felt rather ignored as a culture, despite the fact that their achievements had been so important for Western society. Thus, Snow argued that as these intellectual cultures were completely different from each other, a mutual understanding was impossible. The first European Regional IHPST Conference took up the cultural view on science again. Thus, the topic of the conference "Science as Culture in the European Context" encouraged us to look at the two cultures and to figure out possibilities to bridge the gap between them in chemistry teacher education. For this reason, we put together three studies—one theoretical and two independent research projects (one dealing with creativity in science, the other with scientific laws and theories) which contribute to our main research field (promoting an understanding of NOS)—in order to address the cultural argument for understanding science from an educational point of view. Among the consented tenets of what understanding NOS implies in an educational context, there are aspects which are associated mainly with the humanities, like the tentativeness of knowledge, creativity, and social tradition, whereas others seem to have a domain-specific meaning, like empirical evidence, theories and laws

  12. Understanding the coupled natural and human systems in Dryland East Asia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qi Jiaguo; Chen Jiquan; Wan Shiqian; Ai Likun


    Stressors including regional climate change, economic development effects upon land use and an increasing demand for food production have resulted in significant impacts on the dryland ecosystems in the East Asia (DEA) region. Ecosystem services, such as its provisional services in providing forage for grazing as well as its functional services in regulating water and carbon fluxes, have been significantly altered over the past three decades. Conversely, changes in the landscape, particularly land cover types, have also been blamed for intensified climatic events such as dust storms and severe and frequent droughts within the region. The interactive nature of climate, ecosystems and society is complex and not fully understood, making it difficult, if not impossible, to develop effective adaptation strategies for the region. A special synthesis workshop on ‘Dryland Ecosystems in East Asia: State, Changes, Knowledge Gaps, and Future’ was held from 18–20 July 2011 in Kaifeng, Henan Province, China, with the aim of identifying knowledge gaps, quantifying impacts and developing a future research agenda for the region. The specific objectives of this workshop were to answer some key socio-environmental questions, including the following. (1) What do we know about the drylands in DEA? (2) What are the knowledge gaps? (3) What are the solutions to these issues? This paper provides a synthesis of the workshop consensus and findings on the state of knowledge and challenges in addressing these science issues for the DEA region. (letter)

  13. Nature of Human Rights

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    Carlos López Dawson


    Full Text Available In the formation of a new Constitution the constituents will require to know or reach an agreement on the nature of human rights; then, to determine how the State will enforce the respect to those rights. To do so, it is necessary to resort to the history and evolution of these rights, and the present work aims to contribute to an efficient productive debate about the nature of human rights, so that citizens can decide on the understanding that this is a thoughtful democratic and humanistic founded decision. The analysis is in the actual technical-ideological republican system which correspond to the current state of international law

  14. Human niche, human behaviour, human nature. (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin


    The concept of a 'human nature' or 'human natures' retains a central role in theorizing about the human experience. In Homo sapiens it is clear that we have a suite of capacities generated via our evolutionary past, and present, and a flexible capacity to create and sustain particular kinds of cultures and to be shaped by them. Regardless of whether we label these capacities 'human natures' or not, humans occupy a distinctive niche and an evolutionary approach to examining it is critical. At present we are faced with a few different narratives as to exactly what such an evolutionary approach entails. There is a need for a robust and dynamic theoretical toolkit in order to develop a richer, and more nuanced, understanding of the cognitively sophisticated genus Homo and the diverse sorts of niches humans constructed and occupied across the Pleistocene, Holocene, and into the Anthropocene. Here I review current evolutionary approaches to 'human nature', arguing that we benefit from re-framing our investigations via the concept of the human niche and in the context of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES). While not a replacement of standard evolutionary approaches, this is an expansion and enhancement of our toolkit. I offer brief examples from human evolution in support of these assertions.

  15. When nature's robots go rogue: exploring protein homeostasis dysfunction and the implications for understanding human aging disease pathologies. (United States)

    Reisz, Julie A; Barrett, Alexander S; Nemkov, Travis; Hansen, Kirk C; D'Alessandro, Angelo


    Proteins have been historically regarded as "nature's robots": Molecular machines that are essential to cellular/extracellular physical mechanical properties and catalyze key reactions for cell/system viability. However, these robots are kept in check by other protein-based machinery to preserve proteome integrity and stability. During aging, protein homeostasis is challenged by oxidation, decreased synthesis, and increasingly inefficient mechanisms responsible for repairing or degrading damaged proteins. In addition, disruptions to protein homeostasis are hallmarks of many neurodegenerative diseases and diseases disproportionately affecting the elderly. Areas covered: Here we summarize age- and disease-related changes to the protein machinery responsible for preserving proteostasis and describe how both aging and disease can each exacerbate damage initiated by the other. We focus on alteration of proteostasis as an etiological or phenomenological factor in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's, along with Down syndrome, ophthalmic pathologies, and cancer. Expert commentary: Understanding the mechanisms of proteostasis and their dysregulation in health and disease will represent an essential breakthrough in the treatment of many (senescence-associated) pathologies. Strides in this field are currently underway and largely attributable to the introduction of high-throughput omics technologies and their combination with novel approaches to explore structural and cross-link biochemistry.

  16. Research in Natural Language Understanding (United States)


    of the lexical material to explain how many actions there were, how many actors , etc., and the nature of the map from actor onto action, etc. For...direction and make a measurement there, or may scan from the current focus in a specified " direccion " (or by some other specification of a trajectory

  17. Shape understanding system machine understanding and human understanding

    CERN Document Server

    Les, Zbigniew


    This is the third book presenting selected results of research on the further development of the shape understanding system (SUS) carried out by authors in the newly founded Queen Jadwiga Research Institute of Understanding. In this book the new term Machine Understanding is introduced referring to a new area of research aiming to investigate the possibility of building machines with the ability to understand. It is presented that SUS needs to some extent mimic human understanding and for this reason machines are evaluated according to the rules applied for the evaluation of human understanding. The book shows how to formulate problems and how it can be tested if the machine is able to solve these problems.    

  18. Bridging Human and Natural Sciences for a Better Understanding of Urban Floral Patterns: the Role of Planting Practices in Mediterranean Gardens

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    Audrey Marco


    Full Text Available Biodiversity research in urban settings constitutes an interdisciplinary field combining both the natural and human sciences. A full understanding of the patterns and processes underlying the dynamic of biodiversity in urban ecosystems needs to include humans in models of ecological functioning. We focus on the planting practices of gardeners to identify the bottom-up and top-down human influences on the floral diversity of the Mediterranean gardens in an urbanizing rural zone. An initial ecological study of cultivated flora in 120 private gardens showing floristic pattern variations along an urbanization gradient was combined with a sociological survey. This survey aimed at collecting reasons for planting in gardens in connection with cultivated species. These reasons were classified into categories and analyzed according to the frequency of cultivated species within the entire gradient. Floristic heterogeneity in gardens, represented by the richness of uncommon species, is predominantly caused by social factors, particularly related to the practices and social networks of gardeners who tend to diversify the range of species that are planted. Floristic uniformity, defined by a high frequency of occurrence of plant species, results not only from social factors but also from natural factors that exert high pressure in the Mediterranean region. This "floristic norm" is also influenced by the urban context, which can modify the expression of natural and social factors and lead to differences in plant species compositions between housing density zones. More generally, these results stress the importance of considering both individual choices and city-level influences through an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the underlying processes that establish urban biodiversity patterns at a small scale.

  19. Challenges in human behavior understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salah, A.A.; Gevers, T.; Sebe, N.; Vinciarelli, A.


    Recent advances in pattern recognition has allowed computer scientists and psychologists to jointly address automatic analysis of of human behavior via computers. The Workshop on Human Behavior Understanding at the International Conference on Pattern Recognition explores a number of different

  20. Cultivating human nature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derksen, Maarten


    Evolutionary psychology claims to offer a unified perspective on human nature and culture, which can serve to further the integration of psychology and the social sciences. I describe four approaches to evolutionary psychology, and note increasing attention to the agency of the individual in

  1. Hauntings of Human Nature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clasen, Mathias


    The central conflicts of Stephen King’s horror novel The Shining are rooted in human nature and reflect evolutionarily recurrent adaptive problems—the problem of balancing conflicting evolved motives, such as motives for selfish status striving versus motives for affiliative nurturing behavior...... the psychological underpinnings of the novel and the crucial function of the supernatural elements in the meaning structure of the novel. Hence we need an evolutionary psychological perspective which builds on recent findings in the sciences of human nature to account for the novel’s meaning, effects, and continued......, and the problem of surviving the hostile forces of nature. Moreover, the supernatural elements of the novel resonate with evolved intuitions about non-material, moral forces at work in the world. That is why the novel continues to engage readers worldwide. Most critics, however, have overlooked or distorted...

  2. Understanding the interaction between henipaviruses and their natural host, fruit bats: Paving the way toward control of highly lethal infection in humans. (United States)

    Enchéry, François; Horvat, Branka


    Hendra virus and Nipah virus (NiV) are highly pathogenic zoonotic paramyxoviruses, from henipavirus genus, that have emerged in late 1990s in Australia and South-East Asia, respectively. Since their initial identification, numerous outbreaks have been reported, affecting both domestic animals and humans, and multiple rounds of person-to-person NiV transmission were observed. Widely distributed fruit bats from Pteropodidae family were found to be henipavirus natural reservoir. Numerous studies have reported henipavirus seropositivity in pteropid bats, including bats in Africa, thus expanding notably the geographic distribution of these viruses. Interestingly, henipavirus infection in bats seems to be asymptomatic, in contrast to severe disease induced in numerous other mammals. Unique among the mammals by their ability to fly, these intriguing animals are natural reservoir for many other emerging and remerging viruses highly pathogenic for humans. This feature, combined with absence of clinical symptoms, has attracted the interest of scientific community to virus-bat interactions. Therefore, several bat genomes were sequenced and particularities of the bat immune system have been intensively analyzed during the last decade to understand their coexistence with viruses in the absence of disease. The peculiarities in inflammasome activation, a constitutive expression of interferon alpha, and some differences in adaptive immunity have been recently reported in fruit bats. Studies on virus-bat interactions have thus emerged as an exciting novel area of research that should shed new light on the mechanisms that regulate viral infection and may allow development of novel therapeutic approaches to control this highly lethal emerging infectious disease in humans.

  3. Ayurgenomics: Understanding human individuality through ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Ayurgenomics: Understanding human individuality through integration of. Ayurveda and Genomics for stratified medicine. Mitali Mukerji. Programme Director- CSIR-TRISUTRA. (Translational Research and Innovative Science Through Ayurgenomics). & Scientist CSIR-IGIB. Public health Modern medicine. Ayurveda others ...

  4. Human nature, human culture: the case of cultural evolution. (United States)

    Lewens, Tim


    In recent years, far from arguing that evolutionary approaches to our own species permit us to describe the fundamental character of human nature, a prominent group of cultural evolutionary theorists has instead argued that the very idea of 'human nature' is one we should reject. It makes no sense, they argue, to speak of human nature in opposition to human culture. The very same sceptical arguments have also led some thinkers-usually from social anthropology-to dismiss the intimately related idea that we can talk of human culture in opposition to human nature. How, then, are we supposed to understand the cultural evolutionary project itself, whose proponents seem to deny the distinction between human nature and human culture, while simultaneously relying on a closely allied distinction between 'genetic' (or sometimes 'organic') evolution and 'cultural' evolution? This paper defends the cultural evolutionary project against the charge that, in refusing to endorse the concept of human nature, it has inadvertently sabotaged itself.

  5. Theoretical approaches to natural language understanding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    This book discusses the following: Computational Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science and the current state of natural language understanding. Three topics form the focus for discussion; these topics include aspects of grammars, aspects of semantics/pragmatics, and knowledge representation.

  6. What is 'Natural' in Natural Selection? To understand Darwin's ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    level, and it could be at the level of populations. If we underline the distinctive nature of changes at different levels of biological organisation, we can understand how they are related in the long history of life. .... selection lies in the usefulness of variations: in their being “useful to man” or “useful in some way to each being” ...

  7. Human Rights and Human Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vittorio Possenti


    Full Text Available There seems to be two different versions of human rights in Western tradition: say Rationalistic and Christian; the former adopted in revolutionary France, the latter highly developed in Renaissance Spain. Current relativistic criticisms attempt to deny the universality of human rights alleging that this theory has been created in Western countries or it has no strong justification, and therefore cannot have universal approach; but this objection can be dismissed with an alternative justification of human rights.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Boychenko


    Full Text Available Purpose. In order to consistently distinguish between violence, which is always primarily a destructive force, and the civilized use of force that involves constructive, creative goals, one should explore the main possible philosophical approaches to understand the nature of violence and try to give it a systematic outline. Methodology. This study uses a systematic approach to identify the internal relationship between different forms of violence and, accordingly, the counteraction against violence. Also, the author uses an axiology to identify the values that are the basis for distinguishing violence from its prototypes, as well as for the distinction between violence and coercion, as well as different types of coercion. Originality. This article presents significant clarifications on the classification of types of violence, in particular, it is clearly established that certain types of violence can not have ethical relevance, since they belong to the sphere of biology (expansion, aggression or social anthropology (cultural, institutional coercion. Actually violence or violence in the narrow sense implies the existence of will, consciousness and destructive purpose. Accordingly, counteraction against violence should include the formation of a certain non-violent type of will, non-violent culture and creative, constructive goals. This requires both personal effort and institutional support and the availability of appropriate moral traditions. Ethical theory is intended to clarify and systematize these efforts. In this sense, ethics is the core of practical philosophy. To the extent that the influence of ethics on changes in human culture and sociality in the counterfactual regime is increasing, one should also speak of the anthropological significance of ethics. Conclusions. From the socio-philosophical point of view, it is necessary to specify exactly which social institutions and in which constellation generate violence. The ethical aspect of

  9. Solidarity and human nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Miguel dos Santos Luzio


    Full Text Available The concept of solidarity inhabits the collective unconscious and is usually related to something consensual, linked to the most basic values of mankind, but to expand that understanding leads to more complex views. Human solidarity would be conditioned by biological, or cultural issue that goes beyond any possible biological determinism. This study seeks to analyze the phenomenon of solidarity and its correlation with life in society from the perspective of complexity, through a cross-sectional analysis in order to cover the phenomenon in question from different perspectives. For that, we appealed to sociobiology, and the social sciences interpretation. We tried to thereby renounce the sole idea and permanent solution, by approaching to the assumptions of complex thinking, which rely precisely to overcome a single organizing principle or a single cause to explain the same phenomenon. It noticed the need of new societal experiences, which would block the advance of competitive individualist paradigm as the sole alternative, highlighting the experiences of the solidarity economy and third sector organizations that have a new business logic, a third social force among the state and the market.

  10. Understanding individual human mobility patterns. (United States)

    González, Marta C; Hidalgo, César A; Barabási, Albert-László


    Despite their importance for urban planning, traffic forecasting and the spread of biological and mobile viruses, our understanding of the basic laws governing human motion remains limited owing to the lack of tools to monitor the time-resolved location of individuals. Here we study the trajectory of 100,000 anonymized mobile phone users whose position is tracked for a six-month period. We find that, in contrast with the random trajectories predicted by the prevailing Lévy flight and random walk models, human trajectories show a high degree of temporal and spatial regularity, each individual being characterized by a time-independent characteristic travel distance and a significant probability to return to a few highly frequented locations. After correcting for differences in travel distances and the inherent anisotropy of each trajectory, the individual travel patterns collapse into a single spatial probability distribution, indicating that, despite the diversity of their travel history, humans follow simple reproducible patterns. This inherent similarity in travel patterns could impact all phenomena driven by human mobility, from epidemic prevention to emergency response, urban planning and agent-based modelling.

  11. Mouse models for understanding human developmental anomalies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Generoso, W.M.


    The mouse experimental system presents an opportunity for studying the nature of the underlying mutagenic damage and the molecular pathogenesis of this class of anomalies by virtue of the accessibility of the zygote and its descendant blastomeres. Such studies could contribute to the understanding of the etiology of certain sporadic but common human malformations. The vulnerability of the zygotes to mutagens as demonstrated in the studies described in this report should be a major consideration in chemical safety evaluation. It raises questions regarding the danger to human zygotes when the mother is exposed to drugs and environmental chemicals

  12. Mouse models for understanding human developmental anomalies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Generoso, W.M.


    The mouse experimental system presents an opportunity for studying the nature of the underlying mutagenic damage and the molecular pathogenesis of this class of anomalies by virtue of the accessibility of the zygote and its descendant blastomeres. Such studies could contribute to the understanding of the etiology of certain sporadic but common human malformations. The vulnerability of the zygotes to mutagens as demonstrated in the studies described in this report should be a major consideration in chemical safety evaluation. It raises questions regarding the danger to human zygotes when the mother is exposed to drugs and environmental chemicals.

  13. Nature, Human Nature, and Solutions to Problems. (United States)

    Pedrini, D. T.; Pedrini, B. C.

    This paper promotes an undergraduate course that would discuss the great ideas of Plato, St. Paul, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Jean Paul Sartre, B. F. Skinner, and Konrad Lorenz. This course would help students understand human values and behaviors while focusing on historical, world, and national problems. Tentative solutions would then be…

  14. A guide to understanding social science research for natural scientists. (United States)

    Moon, Katie; Blackman, Deborah


    Natural scientists are increasingly interested in social research because they recognize that conservation problems are commonly social problems. Interpreting social research, however, requires at least a basic understanding of the philosophical principles and theoretical assumptions of the discipline, which are embedded in the design of social research. Natural scientists who engage in social science but are unfamiliar with these principles and assumptions can misinterpret their results. We developed a guide to assist natural scientists in understanding the philosophical basis of social science to support the meaningful interpretation of social research outcomes. The 3 fundamental elements of research are ontology, what exists in the human world that researchers can acquire knowledge about; epistemology, how knowledge is created; and philosophical perspective, the philosophical orientation of the researcher that guides her or his action. Many elements of the guide also apply to the natural sciences. Natural scientists can use the guide to assist them in interpreting social science research to determine how the ontological position of the researcher can influence the nature of the research; how the epistemological position can be used to support the legitimacy of different types of knowledge; and how philosophical perspective can shape the researcher's choice of methods and affect interpretation, communication, and application of results. The use of this guide can also support and promote the effective integration of the natural and social sciences to generate more insightful and relevant conservation research outcomes. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Medicine as combining natural and human science. (United States)

    Dreyfus, Hubert L


    Medicine is unique in being a combination of natural science and human science in which both are essential. Therefore, in order to make sense of medical practice, we need to begin by drawing a clear distinction between the natural and the human sciences. In this paper, I try to bring the old distinction between the Geistes and Naturwissenschaften up to date by defending the essential difference between a realist explanatory theoretical study of nature including the body in which the scientist discovers the causal properties of natural kinds and the interpretive understanding of human beings as embodied agents which, as Charles Taylor has convincingly argued, requires a hermeneutic account of self-interpreting human practices.

  16. Natural Rights and Human Rights


    Nasser Qorban Nia


    Any human rights bereft of philosophical and anthropological foundations are susceptible to weakness and vulnerability. The question as to how from a logical point of view we arrive at the conclusion that the fact of being a human accords us with rights is one that has been provided with several answers. Belief in the natural rights is justification for some prominent proponents. However, in spite of serious challenges facing the proponents of natural rights, it is possible to consider the...

  17. Natural disasters and human mobility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mbaye, L.; Zimmermann, K.


    This paper reviews the effect of natural disasters on human mobility or migration. Although there is an increase of natural disasters and migration recently and more patterns to observe, the relationship remains complex. While some authors find that disasters increase migration, others show that

  18. A natural human hand model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Nierop, O.A.; Van der Helm, A.; Overbeeke, K.J.; Djajadiningrat, T.J.P.


    We present a skeletal linked model of the human hand that has natural motion. We show how this can be achieved by introducing a new biology-based joint axis that simulates natural joint motion and a set of constraints that reduce an estimated 150 possible motions to twelve. The model is based on

  19. Understanding the complexity of the Lévy-walk nature of human mobility with a multi-scale cost∕benefit model. (United States)

    Scafetta, Nicola


    human mobility, that the proposed model predicts the statistical properties of human mobility below 1 km ranges, where people just walk. In the latter case, the threshold between zone 1 and zone 2 may be around 100-200 m and, perhaps, may have been evolutionary determined by the natural human high resolution visual range, which characterizes an area of interest where the benefits are assumed to be randomly and uniformly distributed. This rich and suggestive interpretation of human mobility may characterize other complex random walk phenomena that may also be described by a N-piece fit Pareto distributions with increasing integer exponents. This study also suggests that distribution functions used to fit experimental probability distributions must be carefully chosen for not improperly obscuring the physics underlying a phenomenon.

  20. Understanding the complexity of the Lévy-walk nature of human mobility with a multi-scale cost/benefit model (United States)

    Scafetta, Nicola


    mobility, that the proposed model predicts the statistical properties of human mobility below 1 km ranges, where people just walk. In the latter case, the threshold between zone 1 and zone 2 may be around 100-200 m and, perhaps, may have been evolutionary determined by the natural human high resolution visual range, which characterizes an area of interest where the benefits are assumed to be randomly and uniformly distributed. This rich and suggestive interpretation of human mobility may characterize other complex random walk phenomena that may also be described by a N-piece fit Pareto distributions with increasing integer exponents. This study also suggests that distribution functions used to fit experimental probability distributions must be carefully chosen for not improperly obscuring the physics underlying a phenomenon.

  1. Essential Building Blocks of Human Nature

    CERN Document Server

    Frey, Ulrich J; Willführ, Kai P


    To understand why we humans are as we are, it is necessary to look at the essential building blocks that comprise our nature. The foundations of this structure are our evolutionary origins as primates and our social roots. Upon these rest features such as our emotions, language and aesthetic preferences, with our self-perceptions, self-deceptions and thirst for knowledge right at the top. The unifying force holding these blocks together is evolutionary theory. Evolution provides a deeper understanding of human nature and, in particular, of the common roots of these different perspectives. To build a reliable and coherent model of man, leading authors from fields as diverse as primatology, anthropology, neurobiology and philosophy have joined forces to present essays  each describing their own expert perspective. Together they provide a convincing and complete picture of our own human nature.

  2. Understanding human movement through spatial technologies. The role of natural areas of transit in the Late Prehistory of South-western Iberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murrieta-Flores, Patricia


    Full Text Available Archaeological, historical, and ethnographic research has demonstrated how mountainous environments influence the socio-cultural dynamics of the communities that live in them and in their neighbouring areas. The development of these communities tends to occur at the margins, often far away from centres of political power. This marginality is also extended to movement in these regions, where mountain ranges regularly constitute mighty obstacles on account of their natural configuration which plays a central role in strategy, commerce and travelling. In the case of western Sierra Morena in Spain, its constitution shaped both the ways of transit through the mountains during Later Prehistory and the historical routes of communication that traverse Andalucía. Using a GIS methodology developed specifically to identify particular characteristics of the landscape relevant to human movement, such as passageways, crossing points, and natural areas of transit, we examine the role that natural accessibility had for the late prehistoric societies of this region. We conclude that the location of their habitats and symbolic places are strongly related to corridors, possibly due to an increasing importance of herding activities.

    Investigaciones arqueológicas, históricas y etnográficas han demostrado como los ambientes de montaña tienen una profunda influencia en las dinámicas socioculturales de las comunidades que viven en ellos y en sus áreas vecinas. El desarrollo de estas sociedades tiende a producirse en los márgenes, usualmente lejos de los centros de poder político. Esta marginación se extiende también a la circulación en estas regiones, donde las cordilleras suelen constituir poderosos obstáculos debido a su configuración natural que juega un papel central en sus estrategias, comercio y movimiento humano. Durante la Prehistoria Reciente, la constitución de Sierra Morena Occidental (España moldeó tanto las vías de tránsito a trav

  3. Machine Understanding of Human Behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pantic, Maja; Pentland, Alex; Nijholt, Antinus; Huang, Thomas


    A widely accepted prediction is that computing will move to the background, weaving itself into the fabric of our everyday living spaces and projecting the human user into the foreground. If this prediction is to come true, then next generation computing, which we will call human computing, should

  4. Human economy and natural economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masullo Andrea


    Full Text Available The decline of economy is due to its dependency from a virtual value, the currency, the coin, that in the recent phase of consumerism is so far from real value: human capital and natural capital. If human economy wants to continue to produce wellbeing, it must accept to be a subset of natural economy, intercept flux of matter produced by its circular mechanisms, put constraints in it, i.e. machines and structures, to direct it temporarily for our advantage, and finally release it to the same original flux, in an still usable state. In this way it will assume a function no more parasitic but symbiotic. It will be connected to natural cycles without destroying it, recovering the co-evolutionary link between nature and culture, building an economic web suited to the ecological web; thus we will have a mosaic characterised by biodiversity, technological diversity, and cultural diversity, able to produce a durable prosperity.

  5. Narrativity and enaction: the social nature of literary narrative understanding. (United States)

    Popova, Yanna B


    This paper proposes an understanding of literary narrative as a form of social cognition and situates the study of such narratives in relation to the new comprehensive approach to human cognition, enaction. The particular form of enactive cognition that narrative understanding is proposed to depend on is that of participatory sense-making, as developed in the work of Di Paolo and De Jaegher. Currently there is no consensus as to what makes a good literary narrative, how it is understood, and why it plays such an irreplaceable role in human experience. The proposal thus identifies a gap in the existing research on narrative by describing narrative as a form of intersubjective process of sense-making between two agents, a teller and a reader. It argues that making sense of narrative literature is an interactional process of co-constructing a story-world with a narrator. Such an understanding of narrative makes a decisive break with both text-centered approaches that have dominated both structuralist and early cognitivist study of narrative, as well as pragmatic communicative ones that view narrative as a form of linguistic implicature. The interactive experience that narrative affords and necessitates at the same time, I argue, serves to highlight the active yet cooperative and communal nature of human sociality, expressed in the many forms than human beings interact in, including literary ones.

  6. The nature of human rights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krivokapić Boris


    Full Text Available In the first part of the paper, the author points out that, unlike in the past, in our time human rights developed into a fair legal institution, and even a special system. They are formulated and protected both internally and internationally. The second part deals with the approach according to which human rights are part of the so-called. natural law. The author notes that the theory of natural law can not be accepted for many reasons. It is pure construction, which is far from reality, and besides it is unnecessary. Law and thus human rights as a part of it, is a social creation, developing along with the society itself, whereby, in the longer term, advanced norms in the matter of human rights replace obsolete ones. Life and human needs are the ones who impose such development. In the third part the writer notes that since under human rights one can have in mind various things, at least such a special concept and, on the other hand, specific rights, it is not possible to give a single answer to what is the nature of human rights. It is even harder as human rights, have a variety of dimensions - legal, philosophical, ideological, political, economic, social, educational, etc. However, he gives his view of the main characteristics of the modern concept of human rights. In the fourth part, the author notes that, speaking not about the concept, but human rights as such, their main characteristics are that they are: 1 source - belong to anyone on the grounds that he is a human being (general rights or a member specific vulnerable groups (special rights; 2 universal - belong to everyone or all members of vulnerable groups, without any discrimination based on personal characteristics, and on the other hand, the most important such rights shall be recognized in all states; 3 inalienable - one can not give up or else share his basic human rights, such as the right to life, the right to vote, etc.; 4 somewhat different - although, in principle, all

  7. What is 'Natural' in Natural Selection? To understand Darwin's ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    to circumvent a major misconception, if they fail to appreciate that natural selection is consequent on the variation's usefulness for the variant, not on the static or changing environmental conditions. For example, Darwin writes, “[A]ny variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree.

  8. Understanding the Societal Impact of Humanities Scholarship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, David Budtz; Johansson, Lasse Gøhler


    The critical problem for understanding the societal impact of humanities scholarship is that we currently have no satisfactory tools for understanding how wider social impacts occur and, by implication, very few guidelines for stimulating a reflexive dialogue about the influence of the humanities...... in an incomplete and hence misleading picture of research outcomes and their causality. In this paper, I explore how the emerging research impact agenda is embarking on the humanities and which tools and frameworks are available for tracing and mapping the impact of humanities breakthroughs in society. Examining...... both quantitative and qualitative tools, the paper argues that we need a better and more comprehensive understanding of the role the humanities as part of a wider web of societal institutions, networks, and agents. Granted that the impact of humanities breakthroughs cannot be located at clearly...

  9. Colamus humanitatem: Nurturing human nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio R. Papini


    Full Text Available In an essay on anger, the ancient philosopher Seneca warns of the futility of harboring negative emotions given the imminence of death—the ultimate human equalizer. Ancient philosophers like Seneca believed that emotions are based on cognitions (beliefs and are therefore modifiable through spiritual exercises. Modern research shows that the emotional and cognitive aspects of human psychology are malleable (nurture, but also require gene expression (nature. A parallel between individual behavior and socio-political forces suggests a framework for the current environmental crisis— another human equalizer. Two critical questions are suggested: Is the amassed experience of the last few centuries suffi cient to lead to corrective measures that would avoid environmental degradation? Or would a catastrophic event with signifi cant longterm environmental degradation have to occur before corrective measures reach consensus at the socio-political level?

  10. Epistemological Predictors of Prospective Biology Teachers' Nature of Science Understandings (United States)

    Köseoglu, Pinar; Köksal, Mustafa Serdar


    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…

  11. Current understanding of the human microbiome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilbert, Jack A.; Blaser, Martin J.; Caporaso, J. Gregory; Jansson, Janet K.; Lynch, Susan V.; Knight, Rob


    Our understanding of the link between the human microbiome and disease, including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and autism, is rapidly expanding. Improvements in the throughput and accuracy of DNA sequencing of the genomes of microbial communities associated with human samples, complemented by analysis of transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes and immunomes, and mechanistic experiments in model systems, have vastly improved our ability to understand the structure and function of the microbiome in both diseased and healthy states. However, many challenges remain. In this Review we focus on studies in humans to describe these challenges, and propose strategies that leverage existing knowledge to move rapidly from correlation to causation, and ultimately to translation.

  12. Understanding human trafficking in the United States. (United States)

    Logan, T K; Walker, Robert; Hunt, Gretchen


    The topic of modern-day slavery or human trafficking has received increased media and national attention. However, to date there has been limited research on the nature and scope of human trafficking in the United States. This article describes and synthesizes nine reports that assess the U.S. service organizations' legal representative knowledge of, and experience with, human trafficking cases, as well as information from actual cases and media reports. This article has five main goals: (a) to define what human trafficking is, and is not; (b) to describe factors identified as contributing to vulnerability to being trafficked and keeping a person entrapped in the situation; (c) to examine how the crime of human trafficking differs from other kinds of crimes in the United States; (d) to explore how human trafficking victims are identified; and, (e) to provide recommendations to better address human trafficking in the United States.

  13. Understanding human management of automation errors (United States)

    McBride, Sara E.; Rogers, Wendy A.; Fisk, Arthur D.


    Automation has the potential to aid humans with a diverse set of tasks and support overall system performance. Automated systems are not always reliable, and when automation errs, humans must engage in error management, which is the process of detecting, understanding, and correcting errors. However, this process of error management in the context of human-automation interaction is not well understood. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review of the variables that contribute to error management. We examined relevant research in human-automation interaction and human error to identify critical automation, person, task, and emergent variables. We propose a framework for management of automation errors to incorporate and build upon previous models. Further, our analysis highlights variables that may be addressed through design and training to positively influence error management. Additional efforts to understand the error management process will contribute to automation designed and implemented to support safe and effective system performance. PMID:25383042

  14. Human Nature and Research Paradigms: Theory Meets Physical Therapy Practice (United States)

    Plack, Margaret M.


    Human nature is a very complex phenomenon. In physical therapy this complexity is enhanced by the need to understand the intersection between the art and science of human behavior and patient care. A paradigm is a set of basic beliefs that represent a worldview, defines the nature of the world and the individual's place in it, and helps to…

  15. Genetic approaches to understanding human obesity


    Ramachandrappa, Shwetha; Farooqi, I. Sadaf


    Obesity and its associated comorbidities represent one of the biggest public health challenges facing the world today. The heritability of body weight is high, and genetic variation plays a major role in determining the interindividual differences in susceptibility or resistance to the obesogenic environment. Here we discuss how genetic studies in humans have contributed to our understanding of the central ...

  16. Revising the human mutation rate: implications for understanding human evolution. (United States)

    Scally, Aylwyn; Durbin, Richard


    It is now possible to make direct measurements of the mutation rate in modern humans using next-generation sequencing. These measurements reveal a value that is approximately half of that previously derived from fossil calibration, and this has implications for our understanding of demographic events in human evolution and other aspects of population genetics. Here, we discuss the implications of a lower-than-expected mutation rate in relation to the timescale of human evolution.

  17. Predictive Navigation by Understanding Human Motion Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu-Yun Chung


    Full Text Available To make robots coexist and share the environments with humans, robots should understand the behaviors or the intentions of humans and further predict their motions. In this paper, an A*-based predictive motion planner is represented for navigation tasks. A generalized pedestrian motion model is proposed and trained by the statistical learning method. To deal with the uncertainty, a localization, tracking and prediction framework is also introduced. The corresponding recursive Bayesian formula represented as DBNs (Dynamic Bayesian Networks is derived for real time operation. Finally, the simulations and experiments are shown to validate the idea of this paper.

  18. Conceptual premises for understanding the human security


    Bogdan Ștefanachi


    In the framework of globalization, it is possible to conceive an alternative discourse regarding the statute of individual in international relations. This new narrative – a post-positivist one – transforms the individual in the referent object of security. The study stresses the main theoretical transformations appeared within the post-positivist framework of analysis in order to identify the central components of the new understanding of security – human security.

  19. Conceptual premises for understanding the human security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogdan Ștefanachi


    Full Text Available In the framework of globalization, it is possible to conceive an alternative discourse regarding the statute of individual in international relations. This new narrative – a post-positivist one – transforms the individual in the referent object of security. The study stresses the main theoretical transformations appeared within the post-positivist framework of analysis in order to identify the central components of the new understanding of security – human security.

  20. Understanding human metabolic physiology: a genome-to-systems approach. (United States)

    Mo, Monica L; Palsson, Bernhard Ø


    The intricate nature of human physiology renders its study a difficult undertaking, and a systems biology approach is necessary to understand the complex interactions involved. Network reconstruction is a key step in systems biology and represents a common denominator because all systems biology research on a target organism relies on such a representation. With the recent development of genome-scale human metabolic networks, metabolic systems analysis is now possible and has initiated a shift towards human systems biology. Here, we review the important aspects of reconstructing a bottom-up human metabolic network, the network's role in modeling human physiology and the necessity for a community-based consensus reconstruction of human metabolism to be established.

  1. Megascale processes: Natural disasters and human behavior (United States)

    Kieffer, S.W.; Barton, P.; Chesworth, W.; Palmer, A.R.; Reitan, P.; Zen, E.-A.


    Megascale geologic processes, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, and meteoritic impacts have occurred intermittently throughout geologic time, and perhaps on several planets. Unlike other catastrophes discussed in this volume, a unique process is unfolding on Earth, one in which humans may be the driving agent of megadisasters. Although local effects on population clusters may have been catastrophic in the past, human societies have never been interconnected globally at the scale that currently exists. We review some megascale processes and their effects in the past, and compare present conditions and possible outcomes. We then propose that human behavior itself is having effects on the planet that are comparable to, or greater than, these natural disasters. Yet, unlike geologic processes, human behavior is potentially under our control. Because the effects of our behavior threaten the stability, or perhaps even existence, of a civilized society, we call for the creation of a body to institute coherent global, credible, scientifi cally based action that is sensitive to political, economic, religious, and cultural values. The goal would be to institute aggressive monitoring, identify and understand trends, predict their consequences, and suggest and evaluate alternative actions to attempt to rescue ourselves and our ecosystems from catastrophe. We provide a template modeled after several existing national and international bodies. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  2. Existential ecology: the human/natural world. (United States)

    Gadow, S


    Medicine and ecology share the concern for reconciling human aims and natural processes. That reconciliation is attempted through analogous approaches in the two fields. A dialectical model, described here, provides conceptual organization of those approaches into a coherent progression of paradigms, both existential and theoretical: (1) vulnerability, the immediacy of human exposure to nature's power and the futility of human ascendancy; (2) disengagement, the rational and the romantic objectification of nature; (3) dissection, the scientific and cultural reduction of nature to specimens; (4) holism, the conceptualization of the ecosystem; (5) inherence, the human involvement with nature as home, entailing a local rather than colonial ethic and epistemology. Culmination of the dialectic in ecology, as in medicine, is reconcilation with the otherness of nature, recovering both environment and embodiment as forms of human existence.

  3. Anthropologia transscendentalis. Kant's theory of human nature. (United States)

    Battaglia, F


    In recent years mankind has greatly extended its knowledge of living things, in general, and itself, in particular. Such a wide-ranging body of knowledge has consequently led to the need for a theory to encompass it, that is, a coherent framework in which to systematically arrange mankind's understanding of itself, not only with regard to its physical nature, but to its individuality and sociality as well. Such a theory would moreover provide the means to mediate between the various domains of scientific and technological enquiry, on the one hand, and the cultural dimensions of human society, on the other. Already in the 18th century, Immanuel Kant strove to establish a discipline that was systematic, yet at the same time accessible. It was due to his efforts that philosophical anthropology was introduced into university curricula, to the benefit not only of philosophers, but of physicians and jurists as well. Kant's position is by no means prejudicial towards science. To the contrary, he was quite careful to appraise the impact of the sciences on the overall cognitive horizons of mankind and therefore on their potential to influence humankind's idea of itself. Clearly such a perspective is relevant to today's strongly felt need to reconcile modern neuroscience's revolutionary findings on the biological bases of the mind - of man's experience and behaviour - with the idea man needs of himself in order to orient his actions not only as individual but also as "citizen of the world" as well - something on which Kant worked with unremitting commitment throughout his entire research career. This article traces Kant's anthropological conception with regard to four specific issues: (1) its relation to science; (2) the relationship between empirical and transcendental in the speculative use and in practical use of reason; (3) the dialectic between what nature does and what human beings does, in the construction of humanity itself; (4) and finally about the character of the

  4. Diagnosing Students' Understanding of the Nature of Models (United States)

    Gogolin, Sarah; Krüger, Dirk


    Students' understanding of models in science has been subject to a number of investigations. The instruments the researchers used are suitable for educational research but, due to their complexity, cannot be employed directly by teachers. This article presents forced choice (FC) tasks, which, assembled as a diagnostic instrument, are supposed to measure students' understanding of the nature of models efficiently, while being sensitive enough to detect differences between individuals. In order to evaluate if the diagnostic instrument is suitable for its intended use, we propose an approach that complies with the demand to integrate students' responses to the tasks into the validation process. Evidence for validity was gathered based on relations to other variables and on students' response processes. Students' understanding of the nature of models was assessed using three methods: FC tasks, open-ended tasks and interviews ( N = 448). Furthermore, concurrent think-aloud protocols ( N = 30) were performed. The results suggest that the method and the age of the students have an effect on their understanding of the nature of models. A good understanding of the FC tasks as well as a convergence in the findings across the three methods was documented for grades eleven and twelve. This indicates that teachers can use the diagnostic instrument for an efficient and, at the same time, valid diagnosis for this group. Finally, the findings of this article may provide a possible explanation for alternative findings from previous studies as a result of specific methods that were used.

  5. Genetic approaches to understanding human obesity. (United States)

    Ramachandrappa, Shwetha; Farooqi, I Sadaf


    Obesity and its associated comorbidities represent one of the biggest public health challenges facing the world today. The heritability of body weight is high, and genetic variation plays a major role in determining the interindividual differences in susceptibility or resistance to the obesogenic environment. Here we discuss how genetic studies in humans have contributed to our understanding of the central pathways that govern energy homeostasis. We discuss how the arrival of technological advances such as next-generation sequencing will result in a major acceleration in the pace of gene discovery. The study of patients harboring these genetic variants has informed our understanding of the molecular and physiological pathways involved in energy homeostasis. We anticipate that future studies will provide the framework for the development of a more rational targeted approach to the prevention and treatment of genetically susceptible individuals.

  6. Understanding Usability Work as a Human Activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Mie

    Three core themes are explored in eight papers: Usability work as a human activity, usability practice and methods, and persuasiveness of evaluation results and feedback. We explore how usability work is much more than methods and work procedures, and argue that maturing our understanding...... of usability work to include a human perspective, is crucial to downstream utility—how usability work impacts the on-going development process. Our work shows that cross-professional collaboration is subject to challenges that arise from stakeholders having conflicting priorities, procedures and personalities....... Such challenges include evaluation results lacking relevance, poor timing of evaluation results, little respect for other disciplines, and difficulties sharing important information about a design. The studies of practical usability work suggest that user researchers working with computer games and task oriented...

  7. Chol understandings of suicide and human agency. (United States)

    Imberton, Gracia


    According to ethnographic material collected since 2003, the Chol Mayan indigenous people in southern Mexico have different causal explanations for suicide. It can be attributed to witchcraft that forces victims to take their lives against their own will, to excessive drinking, or to fate determined by God. However, it can also be conceived of as a conscious decision made by a person overwhelmed by daily problems. Drawing from the theoretical framework developed by Laura M. Ahearn, inspired by practice theory, the paper contends that these different explanations operate within two different logics or understandings of human agency. The first logic attributes responsibility to supernatural causes such as witchcraft or divine destiny, and reflects Chol notions of personhood. The second logic accepts personal responsibility for suicide, and is related to processes of social change such as the introduction of wage labor, education and a market economy. The contemporary Chol resort to both logics to make sense of the human drama of suicide.

  8. Towards a better understanding of human smuggling


    Heckmann, Friedrich


    Contents: What is human smuggling?; How can we know about human smuggling?; Human smuggling as a migration phenomenon; Human smuggling as a business; The social organizing of human smuggling; Fighting against human smuggling.

  9. A Hybrid Framework for Understanding and Predicting Human Reaching Motions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozgur S. Oguz


    Full Text Available Robots collaborating naturally with a human partner in a confined workspace need to understand and predict human motions. For understanding, a model-based approach is required as the human motor control system relies on the biomechanical properties to control and execute actions. The model-based control models explain human motions descriptively, which in turn enables predicting and analyzing human movement behaviors. In motor control, reaching motions are framed as an optimization problem. However, different optimality criteria predict disparate motion behavior. Therefore, the inverse problem—finding the optimality criterion from a given arm motion trajectory—is not unique. This paper implements an inverse optimal control (IOC approach to determine the combination of cost functions that governs a motion execution. The results indicate that reaching motions depend on a trade-off between kinematics and dynamics related cost functions. However, the computational efficiency is not sufficient for online prediction to be utilized for HRI. In order to predict human reaching motions with high efficiency and accuracy, we combine the IOC approach with a probabilistic movement primitives formulation. This hybrid model allows an online-capable prediction while taking into account motor variability and the interpersonal differences. The proposed framework affords a descriptive and a generative model of human reaching motions which can be effectively utilized online for human-in-the-loop robot control and task execution.

  10. Human Response to Natural Disasters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara Nix-Stevenson


    Full Text Available This study elaborates on the connection between socioeconomic status, education, and the ability to respond to natural disasters. Using the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters as teachable moments, I foreground how uneven access to resources and capital leave some people more vulnerable than others to natural disasters and how marginal communities inevitably bear the accompanying repercussions of who gets what, when, and how much in the postdisaster emergency relief and reconstruction phase. This occurs not necessarily and merely through a “natural” disaster, as the Boxer Day Tsunami or Hurricane Katrina, but through processes of social, political, and economic disempowerment associated with prior racialized histories and inequitable access to cultural capital.

  11. Natural events and human intrusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindstroem Jensen, K.E.


    Scenario analyses have shown that the salt dome Mors has an inherent safety. The Mors dome profits from two natural barriers. The salt as the primary and absolute barrier and the limestone as the secondary and retaining barrier. The drilling hole scenario has shown that the combination of two failed natural barriers acts as a barrier. The scenario analyses have demonstrated fundamental physical mechanisms, which probably are responsible for the existence of the Mors salt dome during millions of years. We expect the same mechanisms will continue in the future. (EG)

  12. Understanding human aggression: New insights from neuroscience. (United States)

    Siegel, Allan; Victoroff, Jeff


    The present paper reviews and summarizes the basic findings concerning the nature of the neurobiological and behavioral characteristics of aggression and rage. For heuristic purposes, the types of aggression will be reduced to two categories - defensive rage (affective defense) and predatory attack. This approach helps explain both the behavioral properties of aggression as well as the underlying neural substrates and mechanisms of aggression both in animals and humans. Defensive rage behavior is activated by a threatening stimulus that is real or perceived and is associated with marked sympathetic output. This yields impulsivity with minimal cortical involvement. Predatory attack behavior in both animals and humans is generally planned, taking minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or even years (with respect to humans) for it to occur and is directed upon a specific individual target; it reflects few outward sympathetic signs and is believed to require cortical involvement for its expression. Predatory attack requires activation of the lateral hypothalamus, while defensive rage requires activation of the medial hypothalamus and midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG). Both forms of aggressive behavior are controlled by components of the limbic system, a region of the forebrain that is influenced by sensory inputs from the cerebral cortex and monoaminergic inputs from the brainstem reticular formation. Control of aggressive tendencies is partly modifiable through conditioning and related learning principles generated through the cerebral cortex.

  13. Sustaining salmonid populations: A caring understanding of naturalness of taxa (United States)

    Nielsen, Jennifer L.; Regier, Henry A.; Knudsen, E. Eric


    Species of the family of Salmonidae occur naturally in Northern Hemisphere waters that remain clear and cool to cold in summer. For purposes of reproduction, salmonids generally behaviorally respond to the currents of streams and lakes in recently glaciated areas. For feeding and maturation, many larger species migrate into existing systems of large lakes, seas, and oceans. The subfamilies include Salmoninae, Coregoninae, and Thymallinae. In many locales and regions of the hemisphere, numerous species of these subfamilies evolved and self-organized into species flocks or taxocenes of bewildering complexity. For example, any individual species may play different or unique ecological roles in different taxocenes. The northern Pacific and Atlantic Ocean ecosystems, with their seas and tributaries, each contained a metacomplex of such taxocenes that, in their natural state some centuries ago, resembled each other but differed in many ways. Humans have valued all species of this family for subsistence, ceremonial, naturalist, gustatory, angling, and commercial reasons for centuries. Modern progressive humans (MPHs), whose industrial and commercial enterprises have gradually spread over this hemisphere in recent time, now affect aquatic ecosystems at all scales from local to global. These human effects mingle in complex ways that together induce uniquely natural salmonid taxocenes to disintegrate with the loss of species, including those groups least tolerant to human manipulations, but extending more recently to those taxa more adapted to anthropogenic change. As we leave the modern era, dominated by MPHs, will we find ways to live sustainably with salmonid taxocenes that still exhibit self-organizational integrity, or will only individual, isolated populations of salmonid species, derived from those most tolerant of MPHs, survive? To achieve future sustainability of salmonids, we suggest implementation of a search for intuitive knowledge based on faith in the wisdom of

  14. Public understandings of nature: a case study of local knowledge about "natural" forest conditions (United States)

    R. Bruce Hull; David P. Robertson; Angelina Kendra


    This study is intended to serve as an explicit and specific example of the social construction of nature. It is motivated by the need to develop a more sophisticated language for a critical public dialogue about society's relationship with nature. We conducted a case study of environmental discourse in one local population in hopes of better understanding how a...

  15. Understanding Marine Biocorrosion: Experiments with Artificial and Natural Seawater (United States)


    9781782421252.3.329 Copyright © 2014 European Federation of Corrosion . Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Understanding marine biocorrosion...many years there has been a debate over the preferred laboratory medium for studying marine corrosion , i.e., natural or artifi cial seawater ( of microbiologically infl uenced marine corrosion (MIMC) and the consideration of nutrients for microorganisms. Recent MIMC investigations have

  16. Understanding human perception by human-made illusions. (United States)

    Carbon, Claus-Christian


    IT MAY BE FUN TO PERCEIVE ILLUSIONS, BUT THE UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THEY WORK IS EVEN MORE STIMULATING AND SUSTAINABLE: They can tell us where the limits and capacity of our perceptual apparatus are found-they can specify how the constraints of perception are set. Furthermore, they let us analyze the cognitive sub-processes underlying our perception. Illusions in a scientific context are not mainly created to reveal the failures of our perception or the dysfunctions of our apparatus, but instead point to the specific power of human perception. The main task of human perception is to amplify and strengthen sensory inputs to be able to perceive, orientate and act very quickly, specifically and efficiently. The present paper strengthens this line of argument, strongly put forth by perceptual pioneer Richard L. Gregory (e.g., Gregory, 2009), by discussing specific visual illusions and how they can help us to understand the magic of perception.

  17. Natural Disasters and Cholera Outbreaks: Current Understanding and Future Outlook. (United States)

    Jutla, Antarpreet; Khan, Rakibul; Colwell, Rita


    Diarrheal diseases remain a serious global public health threat, especially for those populations lacking access to safe water and sanitation infrastructure. Although association of several diarrheal diseases, e.g., cholera, shigellosis, etc., with climatic processes has been documented, the global human population remains at heightened risk of outbreak of diseases after natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or droughts. In this review, cholera was selected as a signature diarrheal disease and the role of natural disasters in triggering and transmitting cholera was analyzed. Key observations include identification of an inherent feedback loop that includes societal structure, prevailing climatic processes, and spatio-temporal seasonal variability of natural disasters. Data obtained from satellite-based remote sensing are concluded to have application, although limited, in predicting risks of a cholera outbreak(s). We argue that with the advent of new high spectral and spatial resolution data, earth observation systems should be seamlessly integrated in a decision support mechanism to be mobilize resources when a region suffers a natural disaster. A framework is proposed that can be used to assess the impact of natural disasters with response to outbreak of cholera, providing assessment of short- and long-term influence of climatic processes on disease outbreaks.

  18. Nurse ethical awareness: Understanding the nature of everyday practice. (United States)

    Milliken, Aimee; Grace, Pamela


    Much attention has been paid to the role of the nurse in recognizing and addressing ethical dilemmas. There has been less emphasis, however, on the issue of whether or not nurses understand the ethical nature of everyday practice. Awareness of the inherently ethical nature of practice is a component of nurse ethical sensitivity, which has been identified as a component of ethical decision-making. Ethical sensitivity is generally accepted as a necessary precursor to moral agency, in that recognition of the ethical content of practice is necessary before consistent action on behalf of patient interests can take place. This awareness is also compulsory in ensuring patient good by recognizing the unique interests and wishes of individuals, in line with an ethic of care. Scholarly and research literature are used to argue that bolstering ethical awareness and ensuring that nurses understand the ethical nature of the role are an obligation of the profession. Based on this line of reasoning, recommendations for education and practice, along with directions for future research, are suggested.

  19. Understanding and managing compliance in the nature conservation context. (United States)

    Arias, Adrian


    Nature conservation relies largely on peoples' rule adherence. However, noncompliance in the conservation context is common: it is one of the largest illegal activities in the world, degrading societies, economies and the environment. Understanding and managing compliance is key for ensuring effective conservation, nevertheless crucial concepts and tools are scattered in a wide array of literature. Here I review and integrate these concepts and tools in an effort to guide compliance management in the conservation context. First, I address the understanding of compliance by breaking it down into five key questions: who?, what?, when?, where? and why?. A special focus is given to 'why?' because the answer to this question explains the reasons for compliance and noncompliance, providing critical information for management interventions. Second, I review compliance management strategies, from voluntary compliance to coerced compliance. Finally, I suggest a system, initially proposed for tax compliance, to balance these multiple compliance management strategies. This paper differs from others by providing a broad yet practical scope on theory and tools for understanding and managing compliance in the nature conservation context. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Medical problem and document model for natural language understanding. (United States)

    Meystre, Stephanie; Haug, Peter J


    We are developing tools to help maintain a complete, accurate and timely problem list within a general purpose Electronic Medical Record system. As a part of this project, we have designed a system to automatically retrieve medical problems from free-text documents. Here we describe an information model based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and compliant with the CDA (Clinical Document Architecture). This model is used to ease the exchange of clinical data between the Natural Language Understanding application that retrieves potential problems from narrative document, and the problem list management application.

  1. Digital technology and human development: A charter for nature conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffey, G.; Homans, H.; Banks, K.; Arts, K.A.J.


    The application of digital technology in conservation holds much potential for advancing the understanding of, and facilitating interaction with, the natural world. In other sectors, digital technology has long been used to engage communities and share information. Human development—which holds

  2. Human Nature and Social Order: A Comparative Critique of Hobbes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Central to most intellectual debates on political organization is the issue of human nature, for one's understanding of it influences one's prescriptions on how best society can be governed. This paper examines the contractarian theories of Hobbes and Locke in their attempts to identify the conditions for social order.

  3. Embodied artificial agents for understanding human social cognition. (United States)

    Wykowska, Agnieszka; Chaminade, Thierry; Cheng, Gordon


    In this paper, we propose that experimental protocols involving artificial agents, in particular the embodied humanoid robots, provide insightful information regarding social cognitive mechanisms in the human brain. Using artificial agents allows for manipulation and control of various parameters of behaviour, appearance and expressiveness in one of the interaction partners (the artificial agent), and for examining effect of these parameters on the other interaction partner (the human). At the same time, using artificial agents means introducing the presence of artificial, yet human-like, systems into the human social sphere. This allows for testing in a controlled, but ecologically valid, manner human fundamental mechanisms of social cognition both at the behavioural and at the neural level. This paper will review existing literature that reports studies in which artificial embodied agents have been used to study social cognition and will address the question of whether various mechanisms of social cognition (ranging from lower- to higher-order cognitive processes) are evoked by artificial agents to the same extent as by natural agents, humans in particular. Increasing the understanding of how behavioural and neural mechanisms of social cognition respond to artificial anthropomorphic agents provides empirical answers to the conundrum 'What is a social agent?' © 2016 The Authors.

  4. The historical nature of the human being

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alvarez Maia


    Full Text Available This work deals with the human condition under a historical perspective. The classical proposal of human being originated from the illuminist – rational substantialism conflicts with the historical thought, both  in the phylogenetic  instance of its anthropologic hominization  which builds up the species, and in the ontogenetics of its  humanization given by the living historicity of each biological individual in his/her human cycle. I think of the human being as an entity made in the symbolic instance of the language in his/her interactive practice between nature and society. Keywords: Historical constitution of the human being; The language and the human being; History and language.

  5. Humanismo, liberdade e necessidade: compreensão dos hiatos cognitivos entre ciências da natureza e ética Humanism, freedom and need: an understanding of the cognitive gaps between the natural sciences and ethics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Maria C. Aleksandrowicz


    Full Text Available Com freqüência opõe-se a constatação crescente, norteada pelas ciências naturais, do determinismo que rege o funcionamento dos organismos vivos a um humanismo de fundamentação kantiana: está em questão a real condição da autonomia humana que repercute naquela de sua responsabilidade individual e social. Com base na filosofia espinosista, Henri Atlan endossa os postulados deterministas das investigações científicas, conciliando com eles, entretanto, a afirmação da plena liberdade e responsabilidade do ser humano. Num primeiro momento, tendo como pano de fundo estratégico distinções nas concepções de "natureza humana", revisaremos as diferentes abordagens da ética e da ciência às teses da autonomia e do determinismo. A seguir, focalizaremos a discussão do dilema por Atlan, em seu ensaio de 2002, La Science est-elle inhumaine? Essai sur la libre nécessité. Concluímos ressignificando "humanismo" nos termos das novas exigências conceituais do século 21.The growing ascertainment, guided by the natural sciences, of the determinism that rules how living organisms work is often contrasted with a humanism of Kantian foundation. At issue here is the actual condition of human autonomy, reverberating on that of human responsibility both at the social and at the individual levels. Based on Spinozist philosophy, Atlan endorses the deterministic postulates of scientific investigations, though he reconciles them to the statement of the human being’s full freedom and responsibility. Initially, with the strategic background of distinctions in conceptions of human nature, we will review the different approaches of autonomy and determinism on the part of ethics and science. We will then concentrate on the discussion of the dilemma by Atlan, in his essay of 2002, La Science est-elle Inhumaine: essai sur la libre nécessité. Our conclusion redefines the meaning of "humanism" pursuant to the new conceptual demands of the 21st century.

  6. Tracking Students' Understanding of the Particle Nature of Matter (United States)

    Merritt, Joi Deshawn

    One reason students find it difficult to learn the particle model of matter is that traditional curriculum materials present concepts to students without helping them to develop these ideas. The How can I smell things from a distance? sixth grade chemistry unit takes the approach of building students' ideas through their construction and revision of models. Progress variables have been proposed as a means to address the need for curriculum and assessments that can help teachers' improve their practice as well as to inform both students and teachers about students' performance. Progress variables depict students' increasingly sophisticated conceptions of a specific construct during instruction. This study provides evidence that curriculum and assessment based on modern learning theories, can lead to the development of progress variables that are able to track middle school students' understanding of the particle nature of matter over time. This study used a progress variable to track student understanding of the particle nature of matter during the sixth grade chemistry unit. I describe the assessment system used to develop the progress variable for tracking students' development of particle model of matter during the sixth grade chemistry unit. A calibration study determined that the chemistry unit's assessments were reliable and valid measures of the particle model of matter progress variable. Further analysis revealed that the progress variable had to be modified such that the levels were more distinct. The modified progress variable was empirically validated so that it could be used to track students' understanding during instruction. Results indicate that a validated progress variable, linked to coherent curriculum and assessments can provide valid interpretations of students' knowledge of particular domain during instruction and that this progress variable is valid for students from varying populations and backgrounds. In addition, well-aligned curriculum and

  7. Understanding the nature of nuclear power plant risk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denning, R. S.


    This paper describes the evolution of understanding of severe accident consequences from the non-mechanistic assumptions of WASH-740 to WASH-1400, NUREG-1150, SOARCA and today in the interpretation of the consequences of the accident at Fukushima. As opposed to the general perception, the radiological human health consequences to members of the Japanese public from the Fukushima accident will be small despite meltdowns at three reactors and loss of containment integrity. In contrast, the radiation-related societal impacts present a substantial additional economic burden on top of the monumental task of economic recovery from the nonnuclear aspects of the earthquake and tsunami damage. The Fukushima accident provides additional evidence that we have mis-characterized the risk of nuclear power plant accidents to ourselves and to the public. The human health risks are extremely small even to people living next door to a nuclear power plant. The principal risk associated with a nuclear power plant accident involves societal impacts: relocation of people, loss of land use, loss of contaminated products, decontamination costs and the need for replacement power. Although two of the three probabilistic safety goals of the NRC address societal risk, the associated quantitative health objectives in reality only address individual human health risk. This paper describes the types of analysis that would address compliance with the societal goals. (authors)

  8. Space, time and the limits of human understanding

    CERN Document Server

    Ghirardi, Giancarlo


    In this compendium of essays, some of the world’s leading thinkers discuss their conceptions of space and time, as viewed through the lens of their own discipline. With an epilogue on the limits of human understanding, this volume hosts contributions from six or more diverse fields. It presumes only rudimentary background knowledge on the part of the reader. Time and again, through the prism of intellect, humans have tried to diffract reality into various distinct, yet seamless, atomic, yet holistic, independent, yet interrelated disciplines and have attempted to study it contextually. Philosophers debate the paradoxes, or engage in meditations, dialogues and reflections on the content and nature of space and time. Physicists, too, have been trying to mold space and time to fit their notions concerning micro- and macro-worlds. Mathematicians focus on the abstract aspects of space, time and measurement. While cognitive scientists ponder over the perceptual and experiential facets of our consciousness of spac...

  9. Natural resources, redistribution and Human capital formation


    Aguero, Jorge; Balcazar, Carlos Felipe; Maldonado, Stanislao; Ñopo, Hugo


    How do resource booms affect human capital accumulation? We exploit time and spatial variation generated by the commodity boom across local governments in Peru to measure the effect of natural resources on human capital formation. We explore the effect of both mining production and tax revenues on test scores, finding a substantial and statistically significant effect for the latter. Transfers to local governments from mining tax revenues are linked to an increase in math test scores of aroun...

  10. Global Environmental change: Understanding the Human Dimensions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrisette, P.M.


    This book is from the National Research Council's Committee on the Human dimensions of Global Change. The object is to examine what is known about human dimensions of global environmental change, identify the major immediate needs for knowledge, and recommend a strategy over the next 5-10 years. Case studies are used in human causes of global change. issues related to theory, methods, and data are covered, as well as institutional needs for interdicipinary approaches

  11. Systems biology approaches to understand natural products biosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cuauhtemoc eLicona-Cassani


    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.

  12. Climate and Human History of Nature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frølund, Sune


    consequences of man’s actions on nature from developing into genuine knowledge of the undesirable and long-term effects of human activity on natural habitats. It was not until the 19th century that the existence of long-term anthropogenic effects on the environment were recognised by geographer George P. Marsh......The paper investigates the ideas that have prevented environmental knowledge from developing into action and change. According to Clarence J. Glacken throughout European history design ideas about the relation between man and nature have prevented the many local observations of the negative...... expose some ecological ideas – that nature itself is a perpetual equilibrium and that man lived in harmony with nature until the emergence of modernity (industrialisation, capitalism, and technology) – as illusions. Such ‘new’ ecological ideas can be seen as disguised versions of the old design idea...

  13. Cognitive neuroscience robotics B analytic approaches to human understanding

    CERN Document Server

    Ishiguro, Hiroshi; Asada, Minoru; Osaka, Mariko; Fujikado, Takashi


    Cognitive Neuroscience Robotics is the first introductory book on this new interdisciplinary area. This book consists of two volumes, the first of which, Synthetic Approaches to Human Understanding, advances human understanding from a robotics or engineering point of view. The second, Analytic Approaches to Human Understanding, addresses related subjects in cognitive science and neuroscience. These two volumes are intended to complement each other in order to more comprehensively investigate human cognitive functions, to develop human-friendly information and robot technology (IRT) systems, and to understand what kind of beings we humans are. Volume B describes to what extent cognitive science and neuroscience have revealed the underlying mechanism of human cognition, and investigates how development of neural engineering and advances in other disciplines could lead to deep understanding of human cognition.

  14. Nature and Nurture of Human Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inna Belfer


    Full Text Available Humans are very different when it comes to pain. Some get painful piercings and tattoos; others can not stand even a flu shot. Interindividual variability is one of the main characteristics of human pain on every level including the processing of nociceptive impulses at the periphery, modification of pain signal in the central nervous system, perception of pain, and response to analgesic strategies. As for many other complex behaviors, the sources of this variability come from both nurture (environment and nature (genes. Here, I will discuss how these factors contribute to human pain separately and via interplay and how epigenetic mechanisms add to the complexity of their effects.

  15. Understanding human action: integrating meanings, mechanisms, causes, and contexts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keestra, M.; Repko, A.F.; Newell, W.H.; Szostak, R.


    Humans are capable of understanding an incredible variety of actions performed by other humans. Even though these range from primary biological actions like eating and fleeing, to acts in parliament or in poetry, humans generally can make sense of each other’s actions. Understanding other people’s

  16. On the nature and meaning of human finitude. (United States)

    Frie, Roger


    This article considers the interaction between psychoanalysis and philosophy by examining the meaning of human finitude in the work of Freud and Heidegger. Although Freud and Heidegger develop radically different systems of thought, they are surprisingly close in their examination of the human attitude toward death. Freud's philosophical reflections on the nature of death are ultimately subsumed in his speculative theory of the death instinct, which is far removed from the lived experience of finitude. Heidegger's ontological account of death draws from lived experience but neglects the relational nature of finitude. Drawing on the connection between the work of Binswanger and Stolorow, I maintain that finitude is a fundamentally relational phenomenon. While philosophy can help us to understand and formulate an account of human finitude, the relational nature of psychoanalysis can help us bear the trauma associated with death.

  17. Human Nature in the Adaptation of Trust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nooteboom, B.


    This chapter pleads for more inspiration from human nature, in agent-based modeling.As an illustration of an effort in that direction, it summarizes and discusses an agentbased model of the build-up and adaptation of trust between multiple producers and suppliers.The central question is whether, and

  18. Understanding predictability and exploration in human mobility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cuttone, Andrea; Jørgensen, Sune Lehmann; González, Marta C.


    Predictive models for human mobility have important applications in many fields including traffic control, ubiquitous computing, and contextual advertisement. The predictive performance of models in literature varies quite broadly, from over 90% to under 40%. In this work we study which underlying...... strong influence on the accuracy of prediction. Finally we reveal that the exploration of new locations is an important factor in human mobility, and we measure that on average 20-25% of transitions are to new places, and approx. 70% of locations are visited only once. We discuss how these mechanisms...... are important factors limiting our ability to predict human mobility....

  19. Understanding Human Error Based on Automated Analyses (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This is a report on a continuing study of automated analyses of experiential textual reports to gain insight into the causal factors of human errors in aviation...

  20. Enhancing human understanding through intelligent explanations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mioch, T.; Harbers, M.; Doesburg, W.A. van; Bosch, K. van den


    Ambient systems that explain their actions promote the user's understanding as they give the user more insight in the e®ects of their behavior on the environment. In order to provide individualized intelligent explanations, we need not only to evaluate a user's observable behavior, but we also need

  1. Integrating the social sciences to understand human-water dynamics (United States)

    Carr, G.; Kuil, L., Jr.


    Many interesting and exciting socio-hydrological models have been developed in recent years. Such models often aim to capture the dynamic interplay between people and water for a variety of hydrological settings. As such, peoples' behaviours and decisions are brought into the models as drivers of and/or respondents to the hydrological system. To develop and run such models over a sufficiently long time duration to observe how the water-human system evolves the human component is often simplified according to one or two key behaviours, characteristics or decisions (e.g. a decision to move away from a drought or flood area; a decision to pump groundwater, or a decision to plant a less water demanding crop). To simplify the social component, socio-hydrological modellers often pull knowledge and understanding from existing social science theories. This requires them to negotiate complex territory, where social theories may be underdeveloped, contested, dynamically evolving, or case specific and difficult to generalise or upscale. A key question is therefore, how can this process be supported so that the resulting socio-hydrological models adequately describe the system and lead to meaningful understanding of how and why it behaves as it does? Collaborative interdisciplinary research teams that bring together social and natural scientists are likely to be critical. Joint development of the model framework requires specific attention to clarification to expose all underlying assumptions, constructive discussion and negotiation to reach agreement on the modelled system and its boundaries. Mutual benefits to social scientists can be highlighted, i.e. socio-hydrological work can provide insights for further exploring and testing social theories. Collaborative work will also help ensure underlying social theory is made explicit, and may identify ways to include and compare multiple theories. As socio-hydrology progresses towards supporting policy development, approaches that

  2. Nature Contact and Human Health: A Research Agenda. (United States)

    Frumkin, Howard; Bratman, Gregory N; Breslow, Sara Jo; Cochran, Bobby; Kahn, Peter H; Lawler, Joshua J; Levin, Phillip S; Tandon, Pooja S; Varanasi, Usha; Wolf, Kathleen L; Wood, Spencer A


    At a time of increasing disconnectedness from nature, scientific interest in the potential health benefits of nature contact has grown. Research in recent decades has yielded substantial evidence, but large gaps remain in our understanding. We propose a research agenda on nature contact and health, identifying principal domains of research and key questions that, if answered, would provide the basis for evidence-based public health interventions. We identify research questions in seven domains: a ) mechanistic biomedical studies; b ) exposure science; c ) epidemiology of health benefits; d ) diversity and equity considerations; e ) technological nature; f ) economic and policy studies; and g ) implementation science. Nature contact may offer a range of human health benefits. Although much evidence is already available, much remains unknown. A robust research effort, guided by a focus on key unanswered questions, has the potential to yield high-impact, consequential public health insights.

  3. Global Environmental Change : Understanding the Human Dimensions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stern, Paul C; Druckman, Daniel; Young, Oran R; National Research Council; National Academy of Sciences; Stern, Paul C; Druckman, Daniel

    ... on the Human Dimensions of Global Change Commission on the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1992 Copyrightthe cannot be not from book, paper however, version for formatting, original authoritative the typesetting-specific the as from created publication files ...

  4. Global environmental change: understanding the human dimensions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stern, Paul C; Young, Oran R; Druckman, Daniel

    ... on the Human Dimensions of Global Change Commission on the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1992 Copyrightthe cannot be not from book, paper however, version for formatting, original authoritative the typesetting-specific the as from created publication files ...

  5. Cognitive neuroscience robotics A synthetic approaches to human understanding

    CERN Document Server

    Ishiguro, Hiroshi; Asada, Minoru; Osaka, Mariko; Fujikado, Takashi


    Cognitive Neuroscience Robotics is the first introductory book on this new interdisciplinary area. This book consists of two volumes, the first of which, Synthetic Approaches to Human Understanding, advances human understanding from a robotics or engineering point of view. The second, Analytic Approaches to Human Understanding, addresses related subjects in cognitive science and neuroscience. These two volumes are intended to complement each other in order to more comprehensively investigate human cognitive functions, to develop human-friendly information and robot technology (IRT) systems, and to understand what kind of beings we humans are. Volume A describes how human cognitive functions can be replicated in artificial systems such as robots, and investigates how artificial systems could acquire intelligent behaviors through interaction with others and their environment.

  6. Assessing sustainable biophysical human-nature connectedness at regional scales (United States)

    Dorninger, Christian; Abson, David J.; Fischer, Joern; von Wehrden, Henrik


    Humans are biophysically connected to the biosphere through the flows of materials and energy appropriated from ecosystems. While this connection is fundamental for human well-being, many modern societies have—for better or worse—disconnected themselves from the natural productivity of their immediate regional environment. In this paper, we conceptualize the biophysical human-nature connectedness of land use systems at regional scales. We distinguish two mechanisms by which primordial connectedness of people to regional ecosystems has been circumvented via the use of external inputs. First, ‘biospheric disconnection’ refers to people drawing on non-renewable minerals from outside the biosphere (e.g. fossils, metals and other minerals). Second, ‘spatial disconnection’ arises from the imports and exports of biomass products and imported mineral resources used to extract and process ecological goods. Both mechanisms allow for greater regional resource use than would be possible otherwise, but both pose challenges for sustainability, for example, through waste generation, depletion of non-renewable resources and environmental burden shifting to distant regions. In contrast, biophysically reconnected land use systems may provide renewed opportunities for inhabitants to develop an awareness of their impacts and fundamental reliance on ecosystems. To better understand the causes, consequences, and possible remedies related to biophysical disconnectedness, new quantitative methods to assess the extent of regional biophysical human-nature connectedness are needed. To this end, we propose a new methodological framework that can be applied to assess biophysical human-nature connectedness in any region of the world.

  7. Understanding the complexity of human gait dynamics (United States)

    Scafetta, Nicola; Marchi, Damiano; West, Bruce J.


    Time series of human gait stride intervals exhibit fractal and multifractal properties under several conditions. Records from subjects walking at normal, slow, and fast pace speed are analyzed to determine changes in the fractal scalings as a function of the stress condition of the system. Records from subjects with different age from children to elderly and patients suffering from neurodegenerative disease are analyzed to determine changes in the fractal scalings as a function of the physical maturation or degeneration of the system. A supercentral pattern generator model is presented to simulate the above two properties that are typically found in dynamical network performance: that is, how a dynamical network responds to stress and to evolution.

  8. Scientific literacy: Role of natural history studies in constructing understanding of the nature of science (United States)

    Lutz, Martha Victoria Rosett


    Scientific literacy is a central goal of science education. One purpose of this investigation was to reevaluate the definition of 'scientific literacy.' Another purpose was to develop and implement new curriculum involving natural history experiments with insects, with the goal of allowing students opportunities to construct an understanding of the nature of science, a crucial aspect of scientific literacy. This investigation was a qualitative case study. Methods of data collection included direct observations, analysis of sketches and written products created by students and class-room teachers, and analysis of audio tapes. Major findings include: (1) Scientific literacy is generally defined by lists of factual information which students are expected to master. When asked to evaluate their knowledge of selected items on a list published in a science education reform curriculum guide, 15 practicing scientists reported lack of familiarity or comprehension with many items, with the exception of items within their areas of specialization. (2) Genuine natural history experiments using insects can be incorporated into the existing school schedule and need not require any increase in the budget for science materials. (3) Students as young as first through third grade can learn the manual techniques and conceptual skills necessary for designing and conducting original natural history experiments, including manipulating the insects, making accurate sketches, developing test able hypotheses, recording data, and drawing conclusions from their data. Students were generally enthusiastic both about working with live insects and also conducting genuine science experiments. (4) Girls appear both positive and engaged with natural history activities and may be more likely than boys to follow through on designing, conducting, and reporting on independent experiments. The results imply that a valid definition of scientific literacy should be based on the ability to acquire scientific

  9. Understanding European education landscape on natural disasters - a textbook research (United States)

    Komac, B.; Zorn, M.; Ciglič, R.; Steinführer, A.


    The importance of natural-disaster education for social preparedness is presented. Increasing damage caused by natural disasters around the globe draws attention to the fact that even developed societies must adapt to natural processes. Natural-disaster education is a component part of any education strategy for a sustainably oriented society. The purpose of this article is to present the role of formal education in natural disasters in Europe. To ensure a uniform overview, the study used secondary-school geography textbooks from the collection at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, Germany. Altogether, nearly 190 textbooks from 35 European countries were examined. The greatest focus on natural disasters can be found in textbooks published in western Europe (3.8% of pages describing natural disasters), and the smallest in those published in eastern Europe (0.7%). A share of textbook pages exceeding three percent describing natural disasters can also be found in northern Europe (3.6%) and southeast Europe, including Turkey (3.4%). The shares in central and southern Europe exceed two percent (i.e., 2.8% and 2.3%, respectively). The types and specific examples of natural disasters most commonly covered in textbooks as well as the type of natural disasters presented in textbooks according to the number of casualties and the damage caused were analyzed. The results show that the majority of European (secondary-school) education systems are poorly developed in terms of natural-disaster education. If education is perceived as part of natural-disaster management and governance, greater attention should clearly be dedicated to this activity. In addition to formal education, informal education also raises a series of questions connected with the importance of this type of education. Special attention was drawn to the importance of knowledge that locals have about their region because this aspect of education is important in both

  10. The human genome and the human control of natural evolution. (United States)

    Sakamoto, H


    Recent advances in research on the Human Genome are provoking many critical problems in the global policy regarding the future status of human beings as well as in that of the whole life system on the earth, and consequently, these advances provoke the serious bioethical and philosophical questions. Firstly, how can we comprehend that we are going to have the complete technology to manipulate the system of the human genome and other non-human genomes? Though no science and technology can be complete, we will, I believe, take possession of an almost complete gene technology in the early stage of the next Century. Gene technology will soon fall into the hands of human beings instead of rendering in the province of God. Secondly, which gene technologies will we actually realize and utilize in the early stages of the 21st Century? Most probably, we will adopt these technologies to health care to treat some apparent bodily diseases, for instance, cancer, hemophilia, ADA deficiency, and so forth, and sooner or later we will adopt gene therapy to germ lines, which, in the long run, suggests the possibility of a future "artificial evolution" instead of the "natural evolution" of the past. Thirdly, how is the new concept of "artificial evolution" justified ethically? I believe this kind of manmade evolution is the only way for human beings to survive into the future global environment. There cannot be any serious ethical objection against the idea of artificial evolution. Fourthly, what is the background philosophy for the concept of "artificial evolution"? I will discuss the nature of modern European humanism with individual dignity and fundamental human rights which has led the philosophy of modern culture and modern society, and I will conclude by suggesting that we should abolish an essential part of modern humanism and newly devise some alternative philosophy to fit the new Millennium.

  11. Human Computing and Machine Understanding of Human Behavior: A Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pantic, Maja; Pentland, Alex; Nijholt, Antinus; Huang, Thomas; Quek, F.; Yang, Yie


    A widely accepted prediction is that computing will move to the background, weaving itself into the fabric of our everyday living spaces and projecting the human user into the foreground. If this prediction is to come true, then next generation computing, which we will call human computing, should

  12. Understanding the innermost nature of genocidal rape: A community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... of societal norms, values, rules and taboos making sense of normality in sexual intercourse, the refusal of any link with the victim recalling togetherness, and the dismissal of humanity characterized by a total lack of guilt. Key words: genocidal rape, normality, togetherness, humanity, community-based approach, Rwanda ...

  13. An APOS analysis of natural science students' understanding of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    schema) theoretical framework to investigate university students' understanding of derivatives and their applica-tions. Research was done at the Westville Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The relevant rules for finding ...

  14. Understanding the Nature of X-ray Weak Quasars (United States)

    Brandt, William

    We propose a program of archival X-ray and related studies designed to advance understanding of the remarkable active galactic nucleus (AGN) population of X-ray weak quasars. These exceptional objects reveal phenomena that are more generally applicable but are difficult to investigate when more subtly expressed in the overall quasar population. X-ray weak quasars furthermore challenge a central tenet of X-ray astronomy that luminous X-ray emission is a universal property of efficiently accreting supermassive black holes; this idea underlies the utility of X-ray surveys for identifying AGNs throughout the Universe. Our previous findings indicate that understanding of Xray weak quasars is now primed for rapid further advances. Our studies of X-ray weak quasars will employ data from the vast archives of forefront X-ray missions, particularly XMM-Newton and Chandra, and they will also benefit greatly from the use of NuSTAR, ROSAT, Suzaku, Swift, GALEX, and WISE data. They are largely enabled by the enormous quasar samples delivered by modern widefield sky surveys. In particular, we will identify X-ray weak quasars using the serendipitous X-ray coverage of the 380,000 relatively bright quasars spectroscopically identified by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) from z 0.1-5.5; these are wellmatched to the depths of typical archival X-ray observations. The number of SDSS spectroscopic quasars has more than tripled in recent years, and the sample-size improvements at redshifts of z = 2-4, important for our investigations, are even more dramatic. We will construct an unprecedented new sample of X-ray weak quasars, about 20 times larger than those used currently, to enable systematic studies of the X-ray weakness phenomenon. This work should reveal the cause of X-ray weakness for quasars with weak emission lines, allowing testing of a model that relies upon small-scale shielding of ionizing photons by a thick inner accretion disk around a black hole accreting at a high

  15. Simulating human behavior for understanding and managing environmental resource use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager, Wander; Mosler, Hans Joachim


    Computer simulation allows for the experimental study of dynamic interactions between human behavior and complex environmental systems. Behavioral determinants and processes as identified in social-scientific theory may be formalized in simulated agents to obtain a better understanding of

  16. Human milk: mother nature's prototypical probiotic food? (United States)

    McGuire, Michelle K; McGuire, Mark A


    The concept of "probiotic" is generally attributed to Dr. Ilya Mechnikov, who hypothesized that longevity could be enhanced by manipulating gastrointestinal microbes using naturally fermented foods. In 2001, a report of the FAO and WHO (2001 Oct, proposed a more restrictive definition of probiotic, as follows: "a live micro-organism which, when administered in adequate amounts, confers a health benefit on the host." As such, answering the fundamental question posed here-"Is human milk a probiotic?"-requires first grappling with the concept and meaning of the term probiotic. Nonetheless, one must also be convinced that human milk contains bacteria. Indeed, there are scores of publications providing evidence of a paradigm shift in this regard. Variation in the human-milk microbiome may be associated with maternal weight, mode of delivery, lactation state, gestation age, antibiotic use, and maternal health. Milk constituents (e.g., fatty acids and complex carbohydrates) might also be related to the abundance of specific bacterial taxa in milk. Whether these bacteria affect infant health is likely, but more studies are needed to test this hypothesis. In summary, a growing literature suggests that human milk, like all other fluids produced by the body, indeed contains viable bacteria. As such, and recognizing the extensive literature relating breastfeeding to optimal infant health, we propose that human milk should be considered a probiotic food. Determining factors that influence which bacteria are present in milk and if and how they influence the mother's and/or the recipient infant's health remain basic science and public health realms in which almost nothing is known. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition.

  17. Dilemmas in Examining Understanding of Nature of Science in Vietnam (United States)

    Thao-Do, Thi Phuong; Yuenyong, Chokchai


    Scholars proved nature of science (NOS) has made certain contributions to science teaching and learning. Nonetheless, what, how and how much NOS should be integrated in the science curriculum of each country cannot be a benchmark, due to the influence of culture and society. Before employing NOS in a new context, it should be carefully studied. In…

  18. The Influence of Argumentation on Understanding Nature of Science (United States)

    Boran, Gül Hanim; Bag, Hüseyin


    The aim in conducting this study is to explore the effects of argumentation on pre-service science teachers' views of the nature of science. This study used a qualitative case study and conducted with 20 pre-service science teachers. Data sources include an open-ended questionnaire and audio-taped interviews. According to pretest and posttest…

  19. Understanding relations between pastoralism and its changing natural environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tamou, Charles


    The competition for land has become an issue of major concern and cause of conflict, especially between pastoralists and crop farmers, but also between pastoralists and nature conservation institutions. The Biosphere Reserve of W in Benin Republic (WBR) and its surrounding lands are located in

  20. Dilemmas in Examining Understanding of Nature of Science in Vietnam (United States)

    Hatherley-Greene, Peter


    The two authors, Thi Phuong Thao-Do and Chokchai Yuenyong, explored the Nature of Science as it is understood in Vietnam, a fast-developing "ancient" and modern country which continues to be shaped by uniquely Asian social norms and values. Upon reviewing their paper, I observed strong parallels to the country, the United Arab Emirates,…

  1. The «Natural Hazard WIKISAURUS»: explanation and understanding of natural hazards to build disaster resilience (United States)

    Rapisardi, Elena; Di Franco, Sabina; Giardino, Marco


    not a unique meaning: e.g. Mercury could stand for the Roman god, the metallic element, the planet, or Freddy the singer. Similarly the word «alert»: in the common language has a certain meaning, whilst in the civil protection framework includes regulations, responsibilities and procedures. The NHW is intended as a collaborative virtual source with validated information on geosciences to support a common understanding of natural hazards, risks and civil protection. The NHW aims to become a point of reference both for acknowledged practitioners, who will share their expertise and data, and for citizens, civil servants, media representatives, and students allowed to comment and contribute to the scientifically validated content. The NHW is a simple tool to support information and communication on natural hazards and civil protection at all levels and would set up a shared and common knowledge. Moreover, NHW could represent the first step of a further challenging programme: through the power of «linked data» NHW could develop and contribute first to a natural hazard semantic, then to a «semantic disaster resilience».

  2. Understanding conflict’s dynamics in participatory natural resources management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Idrissou, L.; Aarts, M.N.C.; Leeuwis, C.; Paassen, van A.


    This paper investigated conflicts in participatory protected areas management in Benin to better understand their dynamics. This review paper is based on four articles written from three case-studies of conflicts that emerged and evolved in participatory protected areas management in Benin and a

  3. An APOS analysis of natural science students' understanding of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    2005), (b) students‟ difficulties with the derivative increase and get worse when the function considered is a composite function ... ing students build appropriate mental structures, and [b] guiding them to apply these structures to construct their understanding of ...... In D Hewitt & A Noyes (eds). Proceedings of the sixth Brit-.

  4. Towards AN Understanding of the Nature of Racial Prejudice (United States)

    Hoyle, Fred; Wickramasinghe, Chandra

    We discuss a possible biological explanation of the phenomenon of colour prejudice that hinges on the relative advantages and disadvantages in the expression of the strongly dominant gene(s) for melanin under ice-age conditions at different locations on the Earth. An understanding of the genesis of this prejudice could hopefully eradicate or ameliorate its worst manifestations in modern society.

  5. Human computing and machine understanding of human behavior: A survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pentland, Alex; Huang, Thomas S.; Huang, Th.S.; Nijholt, Antinus; Pantic, Maja; Pentland, A.


    A widely accepted prediction is that computing will move to the background, weaving itself into the fabric of our everyday living spaces and projecting the human user into the foreground. If this prediction is to come true, then next generation computing should be about anticipatory user interfaces

  6. History and Philosophy of Science as a Guide to Understanding Nature of Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansoor Niaz


    Full Text Available Nature of science (NOS is considered to be a controversial topic by historians, philosophers of science and science educators. It is paradoxical that we all teach science and still have difficulties in understanding what science is and how it develops and progresses. A major obstacle in understanding NOS is that science is primarily ‘unnatural’, that is it cannot be learned by a simple observation of phenomena. In most parts of the world history and philosophy of science are ‘inside’ science content and as such can guide our understanding of NOS. However, some science educators consider the ‘historical turn’ as dated and hence neglect the historical approach and instead emphasize the model based naturalist view of science. The objective of this presentation is to show that the historical approach is very much a part of teaching science and actually complements naturalism. Understanding NOS generally requires two aspects of science: Domain general and domain specific. In the classroom this can be illustrated by discussing the atomic models developed in the early 20th century which constitute the domain specific aspect of NOS. This can then lead to an understanding of the tentative nature of science that is a domain general aspect of NOS. A review of the literature in science education reveals three views (among others of understanding NOS: a Consensus view: It attempts to include only those domain-general NOS aspects that are the least controversial (Lederman, Abd-El-Khalick; b Family resemblance view: Based on the ideas of Wittgenstein, this view promotes science as a cognitive system (Irzik, Nola; c Integrated view: this view postulates that both domain general and domain specific aspects of NOS are not dichotomous but rather need to be integrated and are essential if we want students to understand ‘science in the making’ (Niaz. The following framework helps to facilitate integration: i Elaboration of a theoretical framework

  7. Understanding relations between pastoralism and its changing natural environment


    Tamou, Charles


    The competition for land has become an issue of major concern and cause of conflict, especially between pastoralists and crop farmers, but also between pastoralists and nature conservation institutions. The Biosphere Reserve of W in Benin Republic (WBR) and its surrounding lands are located in the agro-pastoral contact zone in West Africa, enabling competition for land, and affecting the relations between pastoralism and its environment. The general aim of this thesis, therefore, was to under...

  8. Human Nature and its Implications for the Legal System | Obioha ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper examines the implications the various conceptions of human nature hold for the legal system. No doubt, there are various and conflicting theories of human nature such that the concept of human nature seems to have remained elusive and pervasive. Some conceive man as nothing but matter pure and simple; ...

  9. Research in Knowledge Representation for Natural Language Understanding (United States)


    of RUS 157 157 160 161 SECTION 9. THE PRAGMATICS OF NON-ANAPHORIC NOUN PHRASES 9.1 Introduction 163 9.2 Setting the Stage: Previous views on... ANAPHORA , ELLIPSIS, DISCOURSE,... MRL DATA BASE TRANSLATOR DBMS COMMAND GENERATOR DBMS COMMANDS FIG. 1 ORGANIZATION OF THE IRUS SYSTEM 146...understanding system (such as semantics, pragmatics , and a dialogue expert) can be used to improve the performance of the parser. The production of the

  10. "Human Nature": Chemical Engineering Students' Ideas about Human Relationships with the Natural World (United States)

    Goldman, Daphne; Assaraf, Orit Ben-Zvi; Shemesh, Julia


    While importance of environmental ethics, as a component of sustainable development, in preparing engineers is widely acknowledged, little research has addressed chemical engineers' environmental concerns. This study aimed to address this void by exploring chemical engineering students' values regarding human-nature relationships. The study was…

  11. From the Cover: Understanding nature's design for a nanosyringe (United States)

    Lopez, Carlos F.; Nielsen, Steve O.; Moore, Preston B.; Klein, Michael L.


    Synthetic and natural peptide assemblies can possess transport or conductance activity across biomembranes through the formation of nanopores. The fundamental mechanisms of membrane insertion necessary for antimicrobial or synthetic pore formation are poorly understood. We observe a lipid-assisted mechanism for passive insertion into a model membrane from molecular dynamics simulations. The assembly used in the study, a generic nanotube functionalized with hydrophilic termini, is assisted in crossing the membrane core by transleaflet lipid flips. Lipid tails occlude a purely hydrophobic nanotube. The observed insertion mechanism requirements for hydrophobic-hydrophilic matching have implications for the design of synthetic channels and antibiotics.

  12. Dilemmas in examining understanding of nature of science in Vietnam (United States)

    Hatherley-Greene, Peter


    The two authors, Thi Phuong Thao-Do and Chokchai Yuenyong, explored the Nature of Science as it is understood in Vietnam, a fast-developing `ancient' and modern country which continues to be shaped by uniquely Asian social norms and values. Upon reviewing their paper, I observed strong parallels to the country, the United Arab Emirates, where I have lived and worked for 20 years. In this forum piece, I described several areas of similarity and one striking area of difference between the two societies.

  13. Understanding human impacts to tropical coastal ecosystems through integrated hillslope erosion measurements, optical coastal waters characterization, watershed modeling, marine ecosystem assessments, and natural resource valuations in two constrasting watersheds in Puerto Rico. (United States)

    Ortiz-Zayas, J.; Melendez, J.; Barreto, M.; Santiago, L.; Torres-Perez, J. L.; Ramos-Scharron, C. E.; Figueroa, Y.; Setegn, S. G.; Guild, L. S.; Armstrong, R.


    Coastal ecosystems are an asset to many tropical island economies. In Puerto Rico, however, many invaluable coastal ecosystems are at risk due to multiple social and natural environmental stressors. To quantify the role of anthropogenic versus natural stressors, an integrated multidisciplinary approach was applied in two contrasting watersheds in Puerto Rico. The Rio Loco (RL) watershed in Southeastern Puerto Rico is hydrologically modified with interbasin water transfers, hydroelectric generation, and with water extraction for irrigation and water supply. Intensive agricultural production dominates both the lower and upper portions of the basin. In contrast, the Rio Grande de Manatí (RGM) shows a natural flow regime with minor flow regulation and limited agriculture. The Surface Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to each watershed to assess the effects of land use changes on water and sediment fluxes to coastal areas. From 1977 to 2016, forest areas increased in both watersheds due to the abandonment of farms in the mountains. However, in upper and lower RL, agricultural lands have remained active. Coffee plantations in the upper watershed contribute with high sediment loads, particularly in unpaved service roads. We hypothesize that water fluxes will be higher in the larger RGM than in RL. However, suspended sediment fluxes will be higher in the agriculturally active RL basin. A willingness-to-pay approach was applied to assess how residents from each watershed value water and coastal ecosystems revealing a general higher natural resources valuation in the RGM than in RL. Coastal ecosystems at each site revealed structural differences in benthic coral communities due to local currents influenced largely by coastal morphology. The optical properties of coastal waters are also being determined and linked to fluvial sediment fluxes. Stakeholder meetings are being held in each watershed to promote transfer of scientific insights into a sustainable coastal and

  14. A Thai pre-service teacher's understanding of nature of science in biology teaching (United States)

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


    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.

  15. Are Human and Natural Systems Decoupling? (United States)

    Ehrlich, P. R.; Ehrlich, A. H.


    Typically, studies of coupled human and natural systems focus on reciprocating interactions and feedbacks between social systems and their biophysical environments. A major challenge today for CHANS scholars is to determine whether significant coupling remains or whether society is simply plunging ahead without reacting effectively to the deterioration of the environment. Thresholds for serious climate disruption are passing, toxification of Earth is proceeding apace and producing worrying symptoms, losses of vital biodiversity are at a 65 million-year high with serious consequences for ecosystem services, the epidemiological environment is deteriorating and a race is building to control water flows and extract the last high-quality resources, increasing the chances of ending civilization in an environment-wrecking nuclear war. The social system has attempted to respond to this perfect storm of problems. In the 1960s, building on much earlier work, scientists began assessing the consequences of an ever-growing human population and expanding consumption, overuse of pesticides, radioactive fallout, air and water pollution, and other environmental issues - and to recommend ameliorative steps. In the mid-1980s, biologists formed the discipline of conservation biology with the explicit purpose of stemming the hemorrhage of biodiversity. In the late 1980s, perhaps the single most important reaction to the worsening environmental situation was the development of the Montreal Protocol to preserve the vital stratospheric ozone layer. Around the same time, it dawned on the scientific community that climate disruption was going to be more immediate and dangerous than previously thought, but attempts by the world community to take mitigating steps have been pathetic. Action to deal with other dimensions of the environmental dilemma has been utterly inadequate. To see the growing disconnect, one only has to consider the attention paid in public discourse to the relatively

  16. Understanding natural moisturizing mechanisms: implications for moisturizer technology. (United States)

    Chandar, Prem; Nole, Greg; Johnson, Anthony W


    Dry skin and moisturization are important topics because they impact the lives of many individuals. For most individuals, dry skin is not a notable concern and can be adequately managed with current moisturizing products. However, dry skin can affect the quality of life of some individuals because of the challenges of either harsh environmental conditions or impaired stratum corneum (SC) dry skin protection processes resulting from various common skin diseases. Dry skin protection processes of the SC, such as the development of natural moisturizing factor (NMF), are complex, carefully balanced, and easily perturbed. We discuss the importance of the filaggrin-NMF system and the composition of NMF in both healthy and dry skin, and also reveal new insights that suggest the properties required for a new generation of moisturizing technologies.

  17. Contribution of natural tracers for understanding transfers through argillaceous formations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bensenouci, F.


    This study is part of a research programme conducted by IRSN on the safety of deep geological disposal of high level and intermediate long-lived radioactive wastes. It more especially concerns the geological medium considered as a full component of the multi-barrier concept proposed by Andra for a deep repository. Indeed, the Callovo-Oxfordian argillite of the Paris Basin, in the east of France, is being investigated by Andra as a potential host rock for this repository. Performance assessment of this natural barrier is based on the knowledge of its confinement properties and therefore on phenomena possibly involved in the mass transport of radionuclides. In this context, this work aimed at studying the distribution of tracers naturally present in pore waters obtained from boreholes having crossed Mesozoic sedimentary series involving impervious and compacted clay rocks in the East (Andra borehole, EST433) and south of France (IRSN boreholes). Radial diffusion and vapour exchange methods were used to calculate the concentrations and diffusion parameters of the studied tracers. In Tournemire formations, the different profiles describe a curved shapes attributed to a diffusive exchange between the argillite pore water and the surrounding aquifers. Concerning the Mesozoic formations crossed by EST433, the study of the different profiles confirms the diffusion as the dominant transport mechanism in the Callovo-Oxfordian formation, and permits identifying the transport processes in the whole studied column from the Oxfordian formations down to the Liassic one. This study also helps to identify the Liassic formations as a major source of salinity of the Dogger aquifer

  18. Effects of Human-Nature Interactions on Wildlife Habitat Dynamics: The Case of Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas (United States)

    Vina, A.; Tuanmu, M.; Yang, W.; Liu, J.


    Human activities continue to induce the degradation of natural ecosystems, thus threatening not only the long-term survival of many wildlife species around the world, but also the resilience of natural ecosystems to global environmental changes. In response, many conservation efforts are emerging as adaptive strategies for coping with the degradation of natural ecosystems. Among them, the establishment of nature reserves is considered to be the most effective. However the effectiveness of nature reserves depends on the type and intensity of human activities occurring within their boundaries. But many of these activities constitute important livelihood systems for local human populations. Therefore, to enhance the effectiveness of conservation actions without significantly affecting local livelihood systems, it is essential to understand the complexity of human-nature interactions and their effects on the spatio-temporal dynamics of natural ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated the relation between giant panda habitat dynamics, conservation efforts and human activities in Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas, Sichuan Province, China. This reserve supports ca. 10% of the entire wild giant panda population but is also home to ca. 4,900 local residents. The spatio-temporal dynamics of giant panda habitat over the last four decades were analyzed using a time series of remotely sensed imagery acquired by different satellite sensor systems, including the Landsat Multi-Spectral Scanner, the Landsat Thematic Mapper and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Our assessment suggests that when local residents were actively involved in conservation efforts (through a payment for ecosystem services scheme established since around 2000) panda habitat started to recover, thus enhancing the resilience capacity of natural ecosystems in the Reserve. This reversed a long-term (> 30 years) trend of panda habitat degradation. The study not only has direct

  19. An APOS analysis of natural science students' understanding of derivatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneshkumar Maharaj


    Full Text Available This article reports on a study which used the APOS (action-process-object-schema theoretical framework to investigate university students' understanding of derivatives and their applications. Research was done at the Westville Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The relevant rules for finding derivatives and their applications were taught to undergraduate science students. This paper reports on the analysis of students' responses to six types of questions on derivatives and their applications. The findings of this study suggest that those students had difficulty in applying the rules for derivatives and this was possibly the result of many students not having appropriate mental structures at the process, object and schema levels.

  20. Mucosal vaccines: recent progress in understanding the natural barriers. (United States)

    Borges, Olga; Lebre, Filipa; Bento, Dulce; Borchard, Gerrit; Junginger, Hans E


    It has long been known that protection against pathogens invading the organism via mucosal surfaces correlates better with the presence of specific antibodies in local secretions than with serum antibodies. The most effective way to induce mucosal immunity is to administer antigens directly to the mucosal surface. The development of vaccines for mucosal application requires antigen delivery systems and immunopotentiators that efficiently facilitate the presentation of the antigen to the mucosal immune system. This review provides an overview of the events within mucosal tissues that lead to protective mucosal immune responses. The understanding of those biological mechanisms, together with knowledge of the technology of vaccines and adjuvants, provides guidance on important technical aspects of mucosal vaccine design. Not being exhaustive, this review also provides information related to modern adjuvants, including polymeric delivery systems and immunopotentiators.

  1. Identification of a natural human serotype 3 parainfluenza virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Xiao-Jing


    Full Text Available Abstract Parainfluenza virus is an important pathogen threatening the health of animals and human, which brings human many kinds of disease, especially lower respiratory tract infection involving infants and young children. In order to control the virus, it is necessary to fully understand the molecular basis resulting in the genetic diversity of the virus. Homologous recombination is one of mechanisms for the rapid change of genetic diversity. However, as a negative-strand virus, it is unknown whether the recombination can naturally take place in human PIV. In this study, we isolated and identified a mosaic serotype 3 human PIV (HPIV3 from in China, and also provided several putative PIV mosaics from previous reports to reveal that the recombination can naturally occur in the virus. In addition, two swine PIV3 isolates transferred from cattle to pigs were found to have mosaic genomes. These results suggest that homologous recombination can promote the genetic diversity and potentially bring some novel biologic characteristics of HPIV.

  2. Natural and sexual selection in a monogamous historical human population. (United States)

    Courtiol, Alexandre; Pettay, Jenni E; Jokela, Markus; Rotkirch, Anna; Lummaa, Virpi


    Whether and how human populations exposed to the agricultural revolution are still affected by Darwinian selection remains controversial among social scientists, biologists, and the general public. Although methods of studying selection in natural populations are well established, our understanding of selection in humans has been limited by the availability of suitable datasets. Here, we present a study comparing the maximum strengths of natural and sexual selection in humans that includes the effects of sex and wealth on different episodes of selection. Our dataset was compiled from church records of preindustrial Finnish populations characterized by socially imposed monogamy, and it contains a complete distribution of survival, mating, and reproductive success for 5,923 individuals born 1760-1849. Individual differences in early survival and fertility (natural selection) were responsible for most variation in fitness, even among wealthier individuals. Variance in mating success explained most of the higher variance in reproductive success in males compared with females, but mating success also influenced reproductive success in females, allowing for sexual selection to operate in both sexes. The detected opportunity for selection is in line with measurements for other species but higher than most previous reports for human samples. This disparity results from biological, demographic, economic, and social differences across populations as well as from failures by most previous studies to account for variation in fitness introduced by nonreproductive individuals. Our results emphasize that the demographic, cultural, and technological changes of the last 10,000 y did not preclude the potential for natural and sexual selection in our species.

  3. Human-Nature for Climate Action: Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen Santiago Fink


    Full Text Available The global climate change agenda proceeds at an incremental pace while the Earth is approaching critical tipping points in its development trajectory. Climate action at this pinnacle juncture needs to be greatly accelerated and rooted in the fundamentals of the problem—human beings’ disconnection from nature. This paper underscores the valuable role nature and nature-based solutions can play in addressing climate change at the city scale and its implications for broader sustainability. Urban ecosystems (nature in cities are seen as an integral part of a proposed local climate action rubric wherein policy measures and integrated planning guide lowcarbon/impact development to create more resilient and sustainable urban environments. The use of green infrastructure is highlighted as a cost-effective means to contribute to mitigation and adaptation needs as well as to promote human wellbeing. The paper takes an exploratory view of the influence of ecosystem services, particularly cultural services, and its economics in relation to the individual and society to understand how biophilia can be nurtured to promote environmental stewardship and climate action.

  4. Dilemmas in examining understanding of nature of science in Vietnam (United States)

    Thao-Do, Thi Phuong; Yuenyong, Chokchai


    Scholars proved nature of science (NOS) has made certain contributions to science teaching and learning. Nonetheless, what, how and how much NOS should be integrated in the science curriculum of each country cannot be a benchmark, due to the influence of culture and society. Before employing NOS in a new context, it should be carefully studied. In assessing views of NOS in Vietnam, a developing country with Eastern culture where the NOS is not consider a compulsory learning outcome, there are several issues that researchers and educators should notice to develop an appropriate instrument that can clearly exhibit a NOS view of Vietnamese. They may include: time for the survey; length, content, type, and terms of the questionnaire; Vietnamese epistemology and philosophy; and some other Vietnamese social and cultural aspects. The most important reason for these considerations is that a Vietnamese view of NOS and NOS assessment possibly differs from the Western ideas due to the social and cultural impact. As a result, a Western assessment tool may become less effective in an Eastern context. The suggestions and implications in this study were derived from a prolonged investigation on Vietnamese science teacher educators and student teachers of School of Education, at Can Tho University, a State University in Mekong Delta region, Vietnam.

  5. Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion on Human Evolution (United States)

    Gwon, Misook

    The theory of evolution has long generated controversy in American society, but Americans' attitudes about human evolution are often neglected in studies of "culture wars" and the nature of mass belief systems more generally (Berkman and Plutzer 2010; Freeland and Houston 2009). Gallup and other survey organizations have polled about evolution, but offered limited response categories that mask complexity in public opinion (Bishop 2006; Moore 2008). The main problems concerning the leading survey questions about evolution are: first, questions measure only a single dimension, thus they ignore the potential for multidimensionality in people's attitudes. Second, depending on question wording and response options, the results of public opinion surveys vary by polling groups. This is an example of measurement error which misleads the interpretation and impression of American public opinion on the origin of humankind. A number of studies have analyzed Americans' beliefs about evolution and hypothesized about the influential effects of several factors (Deckman 2002; Mazur 2005; Mooney 2005; Miller et al. 2006; Newport 2006; Forrest 2007;Nisbet and Goidel 2007;Scott 2009). However, there remains a lack of complete understanding of what Americans know and believe about human evolution. Given the salience of this issue and the significant influence of public opinion on policy-making in America (Page and Shapiro 1992; Stimson 2004; Newport 2004), the measurement error and explanation of polling results on controversial issues related to this topic are in need of clarification. In this study, I address these deficiencies with analyses of data from a 2008 national survey by Harris Interactive (n= 4,626) that included numerous measures of factual knowledge and beliefs about evolution. The items offer more nuanced response options than the standard three-category question asked for decades by the Gallup poll. The Harris survey also had multiple measures of religiosity and the

  6. The cultural animal human nature, meaning, and social life

    CERN Document Server

    Baumeister, Roy F


    What makes us human? Why do people think, feel, and act as they do? What is the essence of human nature? What is the basic relationship between the individual and society? These questions have fascinated both great thinkers and ordinary humans for centuries. Now, at last, there is a solid basis for answering them, in the form of the accumulated efforts and studies by thousands of psychology researchers. We no longer have to rely on navel-gazing and speculation to understand why people are the way they are - we can instead turn to solid, objective findings. This book, by an eminent social psychologist at the peak of his career, not only summarizes what we know about people - it also offers a coherent, easy-to-understand, through radical, explanation. Turning conventional wisdom on its head, the author argues that culture shaped human evolution. Contrary to theories that depict the individual's relation to society as one of victimization, endless malleability, or just a square peg in a round hole, he proposes t...

  7. From nature-dominated to human-dominated environmental changes (United States)

    Messerli, Bruno; Grosjean, Martin; Hofer, Thomas; Núñez, Lautaro; Pfister, Christian


    environment with increasing vulnerability of societies and economies to extreme events and natural variability. The third example, dealing with the history and impact of floods in Bangladesh, shows the increasing vulnerability of an over-exploited and human-dominated ecosystem. Measurements exist for a short time only (decades), historical data allow a prolongation of the record into the last century, and paleo-research provides the long-term record of processes operating over millennia. The long-term paleo-perspective is essential for a better understanding of future potential impacts on an increasingly human-dominated environment. Understanding today's global change processes calls for several new perspectives and synergisms: the integration of biophysically oriented climate change research with research about the increasingly dominant processes of human forcing, a focus on overexploited or limited natural resources and on vulnerable and critical regions, fuller use of our understanding of variability on a range of different timescales: "The present without a past has no future".

  8. Learner Characteristics and Understanding Nature of Science. Is There an Association? (United States)

    Çetinkaya-Aydın, Gamze; Çakıroğlu, Jale


    The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible associations between preservice science teachers' understanding of nature of science and their learner characteristics; understanding of nature of scientific inquiry, science teaching self-efficacy beliefs, metacognitive awareness level, and faith/worldview schemas. The sample of the current study was 60 3rd-year preservice science teachers enrolled in the Nature of Science and History of Science course. Using a descriptive and associational case study design, data were collected by means of different qualitative and quantitative questionnaires. Analysis of the data revealed that preservice science teachers' understanding of nature of science and nature of scientific inquiry were highly associated. Similarly, science teaching self-efficacy beliefs, metacognitive awareness levels, and faith/worldviews of the preservice science teachers were found to be significantly associated with their understanding of nature of science. Thus, it can be concluded that there might be other factors interfering with the learning processes of nature of science.

  9. Applications and Limitations of Mouse Models for Understanding Human Atherosclerosis (United States)

    von Scheidt, Moritz; Zhao, Yuqi; Kurt, Zeyneb; Pan, Calvin; Zeng, Lingyao; Yang, Xia; Schunkert, Heribert; Lusis, Aldons J.


    Most of the biological understanding of mechanisms underlying coronary artery disease (CAD) derives from studies of mouse models. The identification of multiple CAD loci and strong candidate genes in large human genome-wide association studies (GWAS) presented an opportunity to examine the relevance of mouse models for the human disease. We comprehensively reviewed the mouse literature, including 827 literature-derived genes, and compared it to human data. First, we observed striking concordance of risk factors for atherosclerosis in mice and humans. Second, there was highly significant overlap of mouse genes with human genes identified by GWAS. In particular, of the 46 genes with strong association signals in CAD-GWAS that were studied in mouse models all but one exhibited consistent effects on atherosclerosis-related phenotypes. Third, we compared 178 CAD-associated pathways derived from human GWAS with 263 from mouse studies and observed that over 50% were consistent between both species. PMID:27916529

  10. The human right to sustainable development in solidarity with Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anya Teresa Parrilla Díaz


    Full Text Available This article addresses the issue of human development as a universal right subjected to the welfare of Nature. Nature is presented as supporter of life and supplier of the essential resources needed to achieve a complete human development. In light of the global ecological crisis, the author proposes sustainable development as the central framework for a new human development that can be fairer to Nature and to mankind. The challenge of sustainable human development consists in viewing Nature from an ethical perspective of human rights and solidarity.

  11. Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion on Human Evolution (United States)

    Gwon, Misook


    The theory of evolution has long generated controversy in American society, but Americans' attitudes about human evolution are often neglected in studies of "culture wars" and the nature of mass belief systems more generally (Berkman and Plutzer 2010; Freeland and Houston 2009). Gallup and other survey organizations have polled…

  12. Learner Characteristics and Understanding Nature of Science: Is There an Association? (United States)

    Çetinkaya-Aydin, Gamze; Çakiroglu, Jale


    The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible associations between preservice science teachers' understanding of nature of science and their learner characteristics; understanding of nature of scientific inquiry, science teaching self-efficacy beliefs, metacognitive awareness level, and faith/worldview schemas. The sample of the…

  13. Are Humans Still Evolving? A Natural Selection Discussion Lesson (United States)

    Shields, Martin


    A study is conducted to develop sound comprehension of natural selection theory by prompting students to use its concept to explain the evolutionary status of humans. In relation to the current existence of human it is stated that human populations currently undergo microevolutionary changes in allele frequencies due to natural selection and other…

  14. Science, human nature, and a new paradigm for ethics education. (United States)

    Lampe, Marc


    For centuries, religion and philosophy have been the primary basis for efforts to guide humans to be more ethical. However, training in ethics and religion and imparting positive values and morality tests such as those emanating from the categorical imperative and the Golden Rule have not been enough to protect humankind from its bad behaviors. To improve ethics education educators must better understand aspects of human nature such as those that lead to "self-deception" and "personal bias." Through rationalizations, faulty reasoning and hidden bias, individuals trick themselves into believing there is little wrong with their own unethical behavior. The application of science to human nature offers the possibility of improving ethics education through better self-knowledge. The author recommends a new paradigm for ethics education in contemporary modern society. This includes the creation of a new field called "applied evolutionary neuro-ethics" which integrates science and social sciences to improve ethics education. The paradigm can merge traditional thinking about ethics from religious and philosophical perspectives with new ideas from applied evolutionary neuro-ethics.

  15. Mathematical understanding of nature essays on amazing physical phenomena and their understanding by mathematicians

    CERN Document Server

    Arnold, V I


    This collection of 39 short stories gives the reader a unique opportunity to take a look at the scientific philosophy of Vladimir Arnold, one of the most original contemporary researchers. Topics of the stories included range from astronomy, to mirages, to motion of glaciers, to geometry of mirrors and beyond. In each case Arnold's explanation is both deep and simple, which makes the book interesting and accessible to an extremely broad readership. Original illustrations hand drawn by the author help the reader to further understand and appreciate Arnold's view on the relationship between math

  16. Naturally occurring flavonoids against human norovirus surrogates. (United States)

    Su, Xiaowei; D'Souza, Doris H


    Naturally occurring plant-derived flavonoids are reported to have antibacterial, antiviral, and pharmacological activities. The objectives of this study were to determine the antiviral effects of four flavonoids (myricetin, L-epicatechin, tangeretin, and naringenin) on the infectivity of food borne norovirus surrogates after 2 h at 37 °C. The lab-culturable surrogates, feline calicivirus (FCV-F9) at titers of ~7 log₁₀ PFU/ml (high titer) or ~5 log₁₀ PFU/ml (low titer) and murine norovirus (MNV-1) at ~5 log₁₀ PFU/ml, were mixed with equal volumes of myricetin, L-epicatechin, tangeretin, or naringenin at concentrations of 0.5 or 1 mM, and incubated for 2 h at 37 °C. Treatments of viruses were neutralized in cell culture medium containing 10 % heat-inactivated fetal bovine serum, serially diluted, and plaque assayed. Each treatment was replicated thrice and assayed in duplicate. FCV-F9 (low titer) was not found to be reduced by tangeretin or naringenin, but was reduced to undetectable levels by myricetin at both concentrations. Low titer FCV-F9 was also decreased by 1.40 log₁₀ PFU/ml with L-epicatechin at 0.5 mM. FCV-F9 at high titers was decreased by 3.17 and 0.72 log₁₀ PFU/ml with myricetin and L-epicatechin at 0.5 mM, and 1.73 log10 PFU/ml with myricetin at 0.25 mM, respectively. However, MNV-1 showed no significant inactivation by the four tested treatments. The antiviral effects of the tested flavonoids are dependent on the virus type, titer, and dose. Further research will focus on understanding the antiviral mechanism of myricetin and L-epicatechin.

  17. Understanding people's ideas on natural resource management : research on social representations of nature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buijs, A.E.; Hovardas, T.; Figari, H.; Castro, P.; Devine-Wright, P.; Fischer, A.; Mouro, C.; Selge, S.


    Ongoing fragmentation between social groups on the appropriate targets and relevant actors for nature conservation signals the need for further advancements in theorizing about the human–nature interaction. Through a focus on the complexity of social thought and confrontations between social groups,

  18. A New World Information Order for Better Human Understanding. (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,…

  19. Understanding "Human" Waves: Exploiting the Physics in a Viral Video (United States)

    Ferrer-Roca, Chantal


    Waves are a relevant part of physics that students find difficult to grasp, even in those cases in which wave propagation kinematics can be visualized. This may hinder a proper understanding of sound, light or quantum physics phenomena that are explained using a wave model. So-called "human" waves, choreographed by people, have proved to…

  20. Understanding Social Freedom and Humanism in Odera Oruka's ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Understanding Social Freedom and Humanism in Odera Oruka's Philosophy. O Nyarwath. Abstract. H. Odera Oruka's philosophy, as can be discerned from his various works, revolves around the issue of social justice. In this paper I seek to show how Oruka's idea of social justice is inextricably bound up with his ...

  1. Dolphin natures, human virtues: MacIntyre and ethical naturalism. (United States)

    Glackin, Shane Nicholas


    Can biological facts explain human morality? Aristotelian 'virtue' ethics has traditionally assumed so. In recent years Alasdair MacIntyre has reintroduced a form of Aristotle's 'metaphysical biology' into his ethics. He argues that the ethological study of dependence and rationality in other species--dolphins in particular--sheds light on how those same traits in the typical lives of humans give rise to the moral virtues. However, some goal-oriented dolphin behaviour appears both dependent and rational in the precise manner which impresses MacIntyre, yet anything but ethically 'virtuous'. More damningly, dolphin ethologists consistently refuse to evaluate such behaviour in the manner MacIntyre claims is appropriate to moral judgement. In light of this, I argue that virtues--insofar as they name a biological or ethological category--do not name a morally significant one.

  2. Understanding the behavior of floodplains as human-water systems (United States)

    Di Baldassarre, G.; Brandimarte, L.


    Floodplains are among the most valuable ecosystems for supporting biodiversity and providing services to the environment. Moreover, they are home of approximately one-sixth of the world population as they offer favorable conditions for economic development. As a result, flood disasters currently affect more than 100 million people a year. Sadly, flood losses and fatalities are expected to increase further in many countries because of population growth as well as changes in land use and climate. Given the relevance of floodplain systems, a number of social scientists have examined how the frequency and severity of flooding often determine whether human development in floodplains is desirable or not. Meanwhile, many earth scientists have investigated the impact of human activities (e.g. land-use changes, urbanization, river training) on the frequency and magnitude of floods. In fact, as human activities change the frequency of flooding, the frequency of flooding affects human developments in floodplain areas. Yet, these dynamic interactions between floods and societies and the associated feedback mechanisms remain largely unexplored and poorly understood. As a result, we typically consider humans as external forcing (or boundary condition) without representing the feedback loops and our prediction of future trajectories are therefore extremely limited. This presentation shows a first attempt to understand the behavior of floodplains as coupled human-water systems. In particular, we analyzed a number of long time series of hydrological and population data in the Po River Basin (Italy) to explore the feedback mechanisms, reciprocal effects, surprises, and threshold mechanisms, taking place in floodplain systems. The outcomes of the study enable a better understanding of how the occurrences of floods shape human developments while, at the same time, human activities shape the magnitude and frequency of floods. The presentation also discusses the opportunities offered by

  3. Hybridizing Cultural Understandings of the Natural World to Foster Critical Science Literacy (United States)

    Tang, Kok Sing

    Adolescents are constantly exposed to multiple cultural views of the natural world in juxtaposition with the dominant view of science taught in school. This dissertation explores the interaction of these multiple views, and how they shape students' understanding of and attitudes toward science. Situated in a high school physics classroom, a curricular approach was designed and enacted to open a space in the classroom for the convergence of multiple discourses (or systems of cultural knowledge), and subsequently study how students navigate around them. Ethnographic and critical inquiry revealed that when two or more discourses about similar natural events or objects (e.g., toss of a colorguard flag, human body) were directly juxtaposed in the classroom space, conceptual, affective, and ideological conflicts were generated for certain students. This was particularly so for students whose embedded experiences and social affiliations within certain discourse communities (e.g., sport clubs, church) led to their preferred ways of looking at the natural world from one particular discourse, and consequently a negative stance toward alternative ways in other discourses. However, through appropriate pedagogical design and support, such juxtaposition also created opportunities for some students to hybridize different cultural understandings of the natural world as they navigated around multiple discourses. Informed by Bakhtin's notions of heteroglossia and voice appropriation, the characteristics of such hybridization were found to include: (a) being aware of heteroglossic differences in the use of language, (b) a dynamic shift in identification toward the dialogic other, (c) a juxtaposition of the other's voices in one's utterances, and (d) a momentary suppression of one's preferences, for strategic motives. Not only did hybridization provide a means for some students to construct conceptual knowledge across discourses, but it also helped them develop critical literacy in

  4. Non-reductive continental naturalism in the contemporary humanities (United States)

    Van der Tuin, Iris


    This article engages with the philosophical reflections of the French historian of science Hélène Metzger (1886–1944) in order to develop a vocabulary for understanding the rise of non-reductive Continental naturalism in the contemporary humanities. The bibliography of current naturalist approaches in the arts and the human sciences is still in the making, but it is altogether clear that the trend is not scientist or historicist or relativist. This epistemological diagnosis refers us to Metzger, who found herself surrounded with the logical positivism of the Wiener Kreis, on the one hand, and the historicism of her French colleagues, on the other, as well as with the infiltration of the history of science by a chronological empiricism. In this article I will take the most recent book of Vicki Kirby – Quantum Anthropologies: Life at Large from 2011 – as an exemplary case of non-reductive Continental naturalist scholarship in the humanities today and by reading it through the concepts of Metzger, I will demonstrate how this type of research leads to refreshing insights in what constitutes positive humanities knowledge and what is the role of the a priori in the field. PMID:23908566

  5. [Human nature and the enhancement of human beings in the light of the transhumanist program]. (United States)

    Goffi, Jean-Yves


    There are three main approaches about the question of Human Nature. essentialists consider that there exists a permanent Human Nature, shared by every human being. Existentialists consider that there is no such thing as human nature, but inescapable modes of being in the world. A moderate approach would consider that Human Nature can be modified within the limits of anthropological invariants. Transhumanists are conservative in that they think that there is a Human Nature; but they are radical in that they believe that it can (and must) be transcended by bio-technnologies and computer technologies. This project is evaluated as a caricature of suitable human enhancement.

  6. How do different humanness measures relate? Confronting the attribution of secondary emotions, human uniqueness, and human nature traits. (United States)

    Martínez, Rocío; Rodriguez-Bailon, Rosa; Moya, Miguel; Vaes, Jeroen


    The present research examines the relationship between the infrahumanization approach and the two-dimensional model of humanness: an issue that has received very little empirical attention. In Study 1, we created three unknown groups (Humanized, Animalized, and Mechanized) granting/denying them Human Nature (HN) and Human Uniqueness (HU) traits. The attribution of primary/secondary emotions was measured. As expected, participants attributed more secondary emotions to the humanized compared to dehumanized groups. Importantly, both animalized and mechanized groups were attributed similar amounts of secondary emotions. In Study 2, the groups were described in terms of their capacity to express secondary emotions. We measured the attribution of HN/HU traits. Results showed that the infrahumanized group was denied both HU/HN traits. The results highlight the importance of considering the common aspects of both approaches in understanding processes of dehumanization.

  7. Learning to Understand Natural Language with Less Human Effort (United States)


    tte rn E xa m pl e th e ab ov e pa tte rn s) in := P P /N P 1 : L O C A T IO N : λ f .f r : λ g .λ f .λ x .∃ y .f (x ) ∧ g (y ) ∧ r (x ,y ) (N P 1 \\N P 1 )/ N P ow le dg e ba se su ch th at c( e) an d r( e 1 ,e 2 ). D ep en de nc y pa rs e pa tte rn s ar e sp ec ifi ed us in g di re ct ed pa rs e tr ee

  8. Human Heuristics: Understanding the Impacts for Pharmaceutical Quality Risk Management


    Calnan, Nuala


    This paper addresses the influence of human heuristics (Biases) on the assessment of risk. A core principle underpinning effective Risk Management is the principle that Risk Management explicitly addresses uncertainty i.e., that it explicitly takes account of uncertainty, the nature of that uncertainty, and how it can be addressed. Heuristics are cognitive behaviours which come into play when we make judgements in the presence of uncertainty. How these behaviours are manifested is still the s...

  9. Toward Understanding the Cold, Hot, and Neutral Nature of Chinese Medicines Using in Silico Mode-of-Action Analysis. (United States)

    Fu, Xianjun; Mervin, Lewis H; Li, Xuebo; Yu, Huayun; Li, Jiaoyang; Mohamad Zobir, Siti Zuraidah; Zoufir, Azedine; Zhou, Yang; Song, Yongmei; Wang, Zhenguo; Bender, Andreas


    One important, however, poorly understood, concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that of hot, cold, and neutral nature of its bioactive principles. To advance the field, in this study, we analyzed compound-nature pairs from TCM on a large scale (>23 000 structures) via chemical space visualizations to understand its physicochemical domain and in silico target prediction to understand differences related to their modes-of-action (MoA) against proteins. We found that overall TCM natures spread into different subclusters with specific molecular patterns, as opposed to forming coherent global groups. Compounds associated with cold nature had a lower clogP and contain more aliphatic rings than the other groups and were found to control detoxification, heat-clearing, heart development processes, and have sedative function, associated with "Mental and behavioural disorders" diseases. While compounds associated with hot nature were on average of lower molecular weight, have more aromatic ring systems than other groups, frequently seemed to control body temperature, have cardio-protection function, improve fertility and sexual function, and represent excitatory or activating effects, associated with "endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases" and "diseases of the circulatory system". Compounds associated with neutral nature had a higher polar surface area and contain more cyclohexene moieties than other groups and seem to be related to memory function, suggesting that their nature may be a useful guide for their utility in neural degenerative diseases. We were hence able to elucidate the difference between different nature classes in TCM on the molecular level, and on a large data set, for the first time, thereby helping a better understanding of TCM nature theory and bridging the gap between traditional medicine and our current understanding of the human body.

  10. Young children's understanding of stages of human development


    濱田, 祥子; 杉村, 伸一郎


    The self-concept is composed through the interaction with others (Mead,1934). As selfconceptual study in early childhood, most targets the same age others. However, it is thought that the existence of the others at other stages of development brings the influence to the self-concept if the self-concept is composed by the interaction with others. The present study aimed to search for children's understanding of stages of human development and children's self-concept by the comparisons between ...

  11. The Human-Nature Relationship and Its Impact on Health: A Critical Review. (United States)

    Seymour, Valentine


    Within the past four decades, research has been increasingly drawn toward understanding whether there is a link between the changing human-nature relationship and its impact on people's health. However, to examine whether there is a link requires research of its breadth and underlying mechanisms from an interdisciplinary approach. This article begins by reviewing the debates concerning the human-nature relationship, which are then critiqued and redefined from an interdisciplinary perspective. The concept and chronological history of "health" is then explored, based on the World Health Organization's definition. Combining these concepts, the human-nature relationship and its impact on human's health are then explored through a developing conceptual model. It is argued that using an interdisciplinary perspective can facilitate a deeper understanding of the complexities involved for attaining optimal health at the human-environmental interface.

  12. The Debates in Marx's Scholarship on Dimensions of Human nature ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Debates in Marx scholarship revolve around whether Karl Marx recognizes the individual and social dimensions of human nature and which of the two he prefers. This paper considers the debates in two ways. The first relates to Marx scholarship in favour of the individual dimension of human nature. The second concerns ...

  13. Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan - Human Nature and Social Order ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan

    argues that contrary to Hobbes' pessimism and Locke's optimism towards human nature, the individual has qualities which point to a delicate balance of both. Consequently, the paper highlights the imperatives of social order in a manner that accommodates the complexity of human nature. It concludes that it is on the basis ...

  14. Water: Challenges at the Intersection of Human and Natural Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Futrell, J.H.; Gephart, R. E.; Kabat-Lensch, E.; McKnight, D. M.; Pyrtle, A.; Schimel, J. P.; Smyth, R. L.; Skole, D. L. Wilson, J. L.; Gephart, J. M.


    There is a growing recognition about the critical role water plays in sustaining people and society. This workshop established dialog between disciplinary scientists and program managers from diverse backgrounds in order to share perspectives and broaden community understanding of ongoing fundamental and applied research on water as a complex environmental problem. Three major scientific themes emerged: (1) coupling of cycles and process, with emphasis on the role of interfaces; (2) coupling of human and natural systems across spatial and temporal scales; and (3) prediction in the face of uncertainty. In addition, the need for observation systems, sensors, and infrastructure; and the need for data management and synthesis were addressed. Current barriers to progress were noted as educational and institutional barriers and the integration of science and policy.

  15. What Does It Mean to Understand Human Rights as Essentially ‘Triggers for Intervention’?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hawre Hasan Hama


    Full Text Available Traditional theories of human rights regard human rights to be equivalent to universal moral rights. They also claim that human rights are justified by an appeal to some valuable aspect of human nature. These approaches, however, have been strongly challenged by the political theory of human rights. The latter derived from John Rawls’s conception of human rights in his famous work, Law of Peoples, argues that human rights are not equivalent to our universal moral rights, but are a subset of those rights: they are those rights that once violated lead to an erosion of state sovereignty, thus acting as ‘triggers for intervention’. This article mainly discusses the political conception of human rights to explain this question; what does it mean to understand human rights in the ways that their violations lead to intervention? Furthermore, the article strongly argues that such understanding of human rights is neither accurate nor helpful for reasons that will be mentioned in chapter two.

  16. Current understanding of mdig/MINA in human cancers. (United States)

    Thakur, Chitra; Chen, Fei


    Mineral dust-induced gene, mdig has recently been identified and is known to be overexpressed in a majority of human cancers and holds predictive power in the poor prognosis of the disease. Mdig is an environmentally expressed gene that is involved in cell proliferation, neoplastic transformation and immune regulation. With the advancement in deciphering the prognostic role of mdig in human cancers, our understanding on how mdig renders a normal cell to undergo malignant transformation is still very limited. This article reviews the current knowledge of the mdig gene in context to human neoplasias and its relation to the clinico-pathologic factors predicting the outcome of the disease in patients. It also emphasizes on the promising role of mdig that can serve as a potential candidate for biomarker discovery and as a therapeutic target in inflammation and cancers. Considering the recent advances in understanding the underlying mechanisms of tumor formation, more preclinical and clinical research is required to validate the potential of using mdig as a novel biological target of therapeutic and diagnostic value. Expression level of mdig influences the prognosis of several human cancers especially cancers of the breast and lung. Evaluation of mdig in cancers can offer novel biomarker with potential therapeutic interventions for the early assessment of cancer development in patients.

  17. Naturalizing language: human appraisal and (quasi) technology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cowley, Stephen


    Using contemporary science, the paper builds on Wittgenstein’s views of human language. Rather than ascribing reality to inscription-like entities, it links embodiment with distributed cognition. The verbal or (quasi) technological aspect of language is traced to not action, but human specific...... interactivity. This species-specific form of sense-making sustains, among other things, using texts, making/construing phonetic gestures and thinking. Human action is thus grounded in appraisals or sense-saturated coordination. To illustrate interactivity at work, the paper focuses on a case study. Over 11 s......, a crime scene investigator infers that she is probably dealing with an inside job: she uses not words, but intelligent gaze. This connects professional expertise to circumstances and the feeling of thinking. It is suggested that, as for other species, human appraisal is based in synergies. However, since...

  18. Entropy: A Unifying Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems (United States)


    us now address complex systems which include a substantial social component. We may start with economics and theory of finance. Given the long memory ...Entropy: A Unifying Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems * Constantino Tsallis Centro Brasileiro de...Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA23861114006 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT

  19. Humanism and nature – some reflections on a complex relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jörn Rüsen


    Full Text Available The paper starts with a systematical analysis of the interrelationship of humanism and nature. It proceeds to a historical reconstruction of this relationship in the development of Western humanism from ancient Rome via Renaissance till the Enlightenment of the 18th century. In both respects the result of the analysis is the same: The Western tradition of humanism is characterised by a gap between an emphasis on the cultural quality of human life on the one hand and nature on the other one. Men are entitled to dominate and govern nature and use it for their purpose. This fits into an idea of a progressing destructive relationship between man and nature in the West. On the other the tradition of humanism has put the gap between man and nature into a harmonising cosmological or theological context. In this context a simple destructive relationship between man and nature is not possible. The humanism of today has to pick up the challenge of the ecological crisis and to refer to its tradition where man and nature are mediated into a meaningful and sense-bearing interrelationship. Instead of simply referring to the traditional cosmology a convincing idea of this mediation or even synthesis can only be made plausible by referring to the already pre-given synthesis between nature and culture, the human body.

  20. Natural Language Understanding Systems Within the A. I. Paradigm: A Survey and Some Comparisons. (United States)

    Wilks, Yorick

    The paper surveys the major projects on the understanding of natural language that fall within what may now be called the artificial intelligence paradigm of natural language systems. Some space is devoted to arguing that the paradigm is now a reality and different in significant respects from the generative paradigm of present-day linguistics.…

  1. Prospective Elementary Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science and Perceptions of the Classroom Learning Environment (United States)

    Martin-Dunlop, Catherine S.


    This study investigated prospective elementary teachers' understandings of the nature of science and explored associations with their guided-inquiry science learning environment. Over 500 female students completed the Nature of Scientific Knowledge Survey (NSKS), although only four scales were analyzed-Creative, Testable, Amoral, and Unified. The…

  2. Liberal eugenics and human nature. Against Habermas. (United States)

    Fenton, Elizabeth


    In the course of developing his arguments against making genetic enhancements to one's children, Habermas assumes that a clear line can be drawn between the natural and the manufactured. But given the current state of medical science, this is precisely what we can no longer take for granted.

  3. Natural radiation exposure modified by human activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujimoto, Kenzo


    We are now living in the radiation environment modified by our technology. It is usually called 'Technologically Enhanced Natural Radiation' and have been discussed in the UNSCEAR Reports as an important source of exposure. The terrestrial radionuclide concentrations as well as the intensity of cosmic rays are considered to have been constant after our ancestors came down from trees and started walking on their two feet. However, we have been changing our environment to be more comfortable for our life and consequently ambient radiation levels are nomore what used to be. In this paper exposures due to natural radiation modified by our following activities are discussed: housing, balneology, cave excursion, mountain climbing, skiing, swimming, smoking and usage of mineral water, well water, coal, natural gas, phosphate rocks and minerals. In the ICRP Publication No. 39, it is clearly mentioned that even natural radiation should be controlled as far as it is controllable. We have to pay more attention to our activities not to enhance the exposure due to unnecessary, avoidable radiation. (author)

  4. Human Nature and the Social Order | Opafola | Annals of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper takes cognizance of the fact that the ideas of human beings or human persons and a social order are mutually re-in forcing or mutually inclusive. It argues that a stable, peaceful, and progressive social order will be promoted to some extent if the differences in the elements of human nature are acknowledged and ...

  5. The historical character of human nature in Freud's theories. (United States)

    Zilbersheid, Uri


    In Freud' theories of human development, human nature is described and analyzed as essentially historical. At the core of human history is the restructuring of the sexual instinct and the death instinct (or its unique form as destructive impulses). The conscious, asked-for shaping of these two instincts, under the rule of the "reality principle", forms the basis of human society at all stages. This conscious restructuring has also unintended, unasked-for results, which are part of the historically developing human nature. The historical choice has been the building of human society as a social complex based on the de-eroticization of both the individual and society. Freud suggested that the historical process of changing human nature and maintaining the achieved new structure has mainly been an enterprise of enlightened political elite, which has imposed (in all societies) the various elements of the new nature upon the ordinary people. Human history is essentially a deed of the political sphere. In viewing human nature as consisting of both asked-for and unasked-for results of human conscious purposeful activity Freud belongs to the same historical school as Marx.

  6. Accepting, understanding, teaching, and learning (human) evolution: Obstacles and opportunities. (United States)

    Pobiner, Briana


    Questions about our origin as a species are universal and compelling. Evolution-and in particular human evolution-is a subject that generates intense interest across the world, evidenced by the fact that fossil and DNA discoveries grace the covers of major science journals and magazines as well as other popular print and online media. However, virtually all national polls indicate that the majority of Americans strongly reject biological evolution as a fact-based, well-tested, and robust understanding of the history of life. In the popular mind, no topic in all of science is more contentious or polarizing than evolution and media sources often only serve to magnify this polarization by covering challenges to the teaching of evolution. In the realm of teaching, debates about evolution have shaped textbooks, curricula, standards, and policy. Challenges to accepting and understanding evolution include mistrust and denial of science, cognitive obstacles and misconceptions, language and terminology, and a religious worldview, among others. Teachers, who are on the front lines of these challenges, must be armed with the tools and techniques to teach evolution in formal education settings across grades K-16 in a straightforward, thorough, and sensitive way. Despite the potentially controversial topic of human evolution, growing research is demonstrating that a pedagogical focus on human examples is an effective and engaging way to teach core concepts of evolutionary biology. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Characterising the Development of the Understanding of Human Body Systems in High-School Biology Students--A Longitudinal Study (United States)

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


    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…

  8. Understanding and managing human threats to the coastal marine environment. (United States)

    Crain, Caitlin M; Halpern, Benjamin S; Beck, Mike W; Kappel, Carrie V


    Coastal marine habitats at the interface of land and sea are subject to threats from human activities in both realms. Researchers have attempted to quantify how these various threats impact different coastal ecosystems, and more recently have focused on understanding the cumulative impact from multiple threats. Here, the top threats to coastal marine ecosystems and recent efforts to understand their relative importance, ecosystem-level impacts, cumulative effects, and how they can best be managed and mitigated, are briefly reviewed. Results of threat analysis and rankings will differ depending on the conservation target (e.g., vulnerable species, pristine ecosystems, mitigatable threats), scale of interest (local, regional, or global), whether externalities are considered, and the types of management tools available (e.g., marine-protected areas versus ecosystem-based management). Considering the cumulative effect of multiple threats has only just begun and depends on spatial analysis to predict overlapping threats and a better understanding of multiple-stressor effects and interactions. Emerging conservation practices that hold substantial promise for protecting coastal marine systems include multisector approaches, such as ecosystem-based management (EBM), that account for ecosystem service valuation; comprehensive spatial management, such as ocean zoning; and regulatory mechanisms that encourage or require cross-sector goal setting and evaluation. In all cases, these efforts require a combination of public and private initiatives for success. The state of our ecological understanding, public awareness, and policy initiatives make the time ripe for advancing coastal marine management and improving our stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems.

  9. From landscapes to soundscapes: understanding and managing natural quiet in the national parks (United States)

    Robert Manning; William Valliere; Jeffery Hallo; Peter Newman; Ericka Pilcher; Michael Savidge; Dan Dugan


    Research at Muir Woods Natural Monument suggests that soundscapes are an important component of parks and outdoor recreation, that human-caused noise is a potentially important indicator of quality for park soundscapes, and that visitors have normative standards for the maximum acceptable level of human-caused noise in parks. Formulating indicators and standards of...

  10. Early human communication helps in understanding language evolution. (United States)

    Lenti Boero, Daniela


    Building a theory on extant species, as Ackermann et al. do, is a useful contribution to the field of language evolution. Here, I add another living model that might be of interest: human language ontogeny in the first year of life. A better knowledge of this phase might help in understanding two more topics among the "several building blocks of a comprehensive theory of the evolution of spoken language" indicated in their conclusion by Ackermann et al., that is, the foundation of the co-evolution of linguistic motor skills with the auditory skills underlying speech perception, and the possible phylogenetic interactions of protospeech production with referential capabilities.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Each word is an attempt to influence other persons, as Alex Mucchielli said. Communication, by using words, is a characteristic of human beings, and it plays an important role in everyday life. Communication can be seen as an attempt to share information through a process of symbolic interaction between human beings. It is an essential life process through which humans create, transmit and utilize information by words. Putting words in act, we can express feelings, we can share opinions and we can obtain whatever we want, finally. It is essential to take into account certain ethical rules whenever we start a communication process. As the main purpose of communication is to convince people, this goal can be achieved only by using persuasion and/or manipulation. The last century is a sort of witness as regards the use of words in order to persuade people to adhere to certain ideological precepts and to determine them to act in a certain desirable way by the initiators of the communication process. Practically, there is a fine line between persuasion and manipulation; and in this situation, it is hard for ordinary people to distinguish between them. Manipulation appears like a persuasive process and it hides its true aims. This is the only way by which it can operate and for that it is considered immoral and invasive in the mind and soul of people. Human beings are now in the position to look for a way to protect themselves against such an invasive act and to find a way to distinguish between correct and false information. What can we do? In this study we analyze persuasion and manipulation from an ethical point of view and we search for paths to protect ourselves from the manipulative techniques.

  12. Human Activity-Understanding: A Multilayer Approach Combining Body Movements and Contextual Descriptors Analysis

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    Consuelo Granata


    Full Text Available A deep understanding of human activity is key to successful human-robot interaction (HRI. The translation of sensed human behavioural signals/cues and context descriptors into an encoded human activity remains a challenge because of the complex nature of human actions. In this paper, we propose a multilayer framework for the understanding of human activity to be implemented in a mobile robot. It consists of a perception layer which exploits a D-RGB-based skeleton tracking output used to simulate a physical model of virtual human dynamics in order to compensate for the inaccuracy and inconsistency of the raw data. A multi-support vector machine (MSVM model trained with features describing the human motor coordination through temporal segments in combination with environment descriptors (object affordance is used to recognize each sub-activity (classification layer. The interpretation of sequences of classified elementary actions is based on discrete hidden Markov models (DHMMs (interpretation layer. The framework assessment was performed on the Cornell Activity Dataset (CAD-120 [1]. The performances of our method are comparable with those presented in [2] and clearly show the relevance of this model-based approach.

  13. Examining Preservice Science Teacher Understanding of Nature of Science: Discriminating Variables on the Aspects of Nature of Science (United States)

    Jones, William I.

    This study examined the understanding of nature of science among participants in their final year of a 4-year undergraduate teacher education program at a Midwest liberal arts university. The Logic Model Process was used as an integrative framework to focus the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of the data for the purpose of (1) describing participant understanding of NOS and (2) to identify participant characteristics and teacher education program features related to those understandings. The Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire form C (VNOS-C) was used to survey participant understanding of 7 target aspects of Nature of Science (NOS). A rubric was developed from a review of the literature to categorize and score participant understanding of the target aspects of NOS. Participants' high school and college transcripts, planning guides for their respective teacher education program majors, and science content and science teaching methods course syllabi were examined to identify and categorize participant characteristics and teacher education program features. The R software (R Project for Statistical Computing, 2010) was used to conduct an exploratory analysis to determine correlations of the antecedent and transaction predictor variables with participants' scores on the 7 target aspects of NOS. Fourteen participant characteristics and teacher education program features were moderately and significantly ( p Middle Childhood with a science concentration program major or in the Adolescent/Young Adult Science Education program major were more likely to have an informed understanding on each of the 7 target aspects of NOS. Analyses of the planning guides and the course syllabi in each teacher education program major revealed differences between the program majors that may account for the results.

  14. The understanding of the students about the nature of light in recursive curriculum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geide Rosa Coelho


    Full Text Available We report an inquiry on the development of students' understanding about the nature of light. The study happened in a learning environment with a recursive and spiral Physics syllabus. We investigated the change in students' understanding about the nature of light during their 3rd year in High School, and the level of understanding about this subject achieved by students at the end of this year. To assess the students' understanding, we developed an open questionnaire form and a set of hierarchical categories, consisting of five different models about the nature of light. The questionnaire was used to access the students´ understanding at the beginning and at the end of the third level of the recursive curriculum. The results showed that students have a high level of prior knowledge, and also that the Physics learning they experienced had enhanced their understanding, despite the effects are not verified in all the Physics classes. By the end of the third year, most of the students explain the nature of light using or a corpuscular electromagnetic model or a dual electromagnetic model, but some students use these models with inconsistencies in their explanations.

  15. Environmental psychology: Human responses and relationships to natural landscapes (United States)

    Daniel R. Williams


    The purpose of this chapter is to present a thorough assessment of environmental psychology as a way to understand relationships between people and natural landscapes, and to describe how this knowledge can be applied to natural resource management. Environmental psychology seeks to clarify how individuals perceive, experience and create meaning in the environment. In...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available One of the most significant directions of the world-wide contemporary philosophy, phenomenology of life of Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka represents a major path of thinking and acting for the promotion of what does mean the universal valuable in human beingness by disclosing and unfolding an essential modality of understanding and shaping some paradigms of world culture. We face an original author and a reputed activist doing exceptional work to foster a culture of dialogue in the world. The impressive Tymienieckan philosophical work has imposed itself as a great contribution to the heralding of a “New Enlightenment” encompassing humanity in the endeavour of creating, maintaining and developing the wellbeing and the common good of mankind, in securing the human common destiny. Putting in act a holistic and dynamic philosophy upon life and human condition, phenomenology of life offers a viable pattern of communication between different cultures, of overcoming any kind of contradictions in dealing with the fundamental issues of living together and sharing-in-life. We can find elements for tackling and comprehending in a better way our cosmopolitan humanness, due to the opening of a creative approach of identity and otherness, by admitting differentiation and also by working for harmony in the play of life. Throughout new concepts and a very own complex vision of the respect for life, the philosophy-in-act of AnnaTeresa Tymieniecka manifests valences of an integrator enterprise in interpreting the cosmopolitan status of the philosopher in nowadays, in affirming the role of a responsible citizen of the world.

  17. Understanding stakeholder preferences for flood adaptation alternatives with natural capital implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathon R. Loos


    Full Text Available Inland flood risks are defined by a range of environmental and social factors, including land use and floodplain management. Shifting patterns of storm intensity and precipitation, attributed to climate change, are exacerbating flood risk in regions across North America. Strategies for adapting to growing flood risks and climate change must account for a community's specific vulnerabilities, and its local economic, environmental, and social conditions. Through a stakeholder-engaged methodology, we designed an interactive decision exercise to enable stakeholders to evaluate alternatives for addressing specific community flood vulnerabilities. We used a multicriteria framework to understand what drives stakeholder preferences for flood mitigation and adaptation alternatives, including ecosystem-based projects. Results indicated strong preferences for some ecosystem-based projects that utilize natural capital, generated a useful discussion on the role of individual values in driving decisions and a critique of local environmental and hazard planning procedure, and uncovered support for a river management alternative that had previously been considered socially infeasible. We conclude that a multicriteria decision framework may help ensure that the multiple benefit qualities of natural capital projects are considered by decision makers. Application of a utility function can demonstrate the role of individual decision-maker values in decision outcomes and help illustrate why one alternative may be a better choice than another. Although designing an efficient and accurate multicriteria exercise is quite challenging and often data intensive, we imagine that this method is applicable elsewhere. It may be especially suitable to group decisions that involve varying levels of expertise and competing values, as is often the case in planning for the ecological and human impacts of climate change.

  18. "Everything Has to Die One Day:" Children's Explorations of the Meanings of Death in Human-Animal-Nature Relationships (United States)

    Russell, Joshua


    Children's experiences of death are a potentially vital component of their developing sense of relatedness to non-human others and nature. Environmental education theory and practice would benefit from a broader understanding of how children view death and loss within ecological systems as well as within human-animal-nature relationships, but such…

  19. Human uniqueness on the brink of a new axial age: From separation to reintegration of humans and nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornel W. du Toit


    Full Text Available Karl Jaspers’ Axial Age concept is used to depict the way humans interact with their environment. The first Axial Age (800-200 BC can be typified among others as the age in which humans started to objectify nature. Nature was dispossessed of spirits, gods and vital forces that humans previously feared and used as explanation for the origin of things. Secularised and objectified nature became a source of wealth for humans to use and abuse as they like. This has peaked in the post-industrial era which also introduced the Second Axial Age in which we presently live. The Second Axial Age can be typified by a new approach to nature mediated among others by insights from the side of the natural sciences, especially developments in cosmology, our understanding of the quantum world and new insights into the nature of consciousness. Another development in the Second Axial Age is the emergence of the nonhuman turn, new materialism, panpsychism, the notion of the post-human and theological concepts like the ‘entangled God’. These developments are discussed with reference to leading thinkers. The nonhuman turn is welcomed as it introduces respect for nature which may contribute to the survival of our planet.

  20. Human/Nature Discourse in Environmental Science Education Resources (United States)

    Chambers, Joan M.


    It is argued that the view of nature and the relationship between human beings and nature that each of us holds impacts our decisions, actions, and notions of environmental responsibility and consciousness. In this study, I investigate the discursive patterns of selected environmental science classroom resources produced by three disparate…

  1. Linking human and natural systems in the planning process (United States)

    Susan I. Stewart; Miranda H. Mockrin; Roger B. Hammer


    Planning links human and natural systems in the urban-rural interface by engaging people in consideration of the future of natural resources. We review evolving ideas about what planning entails, who it involves, and what its outcomes should be. Sense of place, collaboration, emergent planning, and other new developments in planning are discussed. Smaller plans,...

  2. Maslow Revisited: Constructing a Road Map of Human Nature (United States)

    O'Connor, Dennis; Yballe, Leodones


    Given the scope and intent of Maslow's work, the current textbook treatment is wanting. Therefore, an inductive exercise has been created and is offered here to build "the road map of human nature." This age-old, philosophic focus on our true nature has been a way to successfully engage and inspire both our students and our pedagogy. In the spirit…

  3. Understanding the human dimensions of a sustainable energy transition. (United States)

    Steg, Linda; Perlaviciute, Goda; van der Werff, Ellen


    Global climate change threatens the health, economic prospects, and basic food and water sources of people. A wide range of changes in household energy behavior is needed to realize a sustainable energy transition. We propose a general framework to understand and encourage sustainable energy behaviors, comprising four key issues. First, we need to identify which behaviors need to be changed. A sustainable energy transition involves changes in a wide range of energy behaviors, including the adoption of sustainable energy sources and energy-efficient technology, investments in energy efficiency measures in buildings, and changes in direct and indirect energy use behavior. Second, we need to understand which factors underlie these different types of sustainable energy behaviors. We discuss three main factors that influence sustainable energy behaviors: knowledge, motivations, and contextual factors. Third, we need to test the effects of interventions aimed to promote sustainable energy behaviors. Interventions can be aimed at changing the actual costs and benefits of behavior, or at changing people's perceptions and evaluations of different costs and benefits of behavioral options. Fourth, it is important to understand which factors affect the acceptability of energy policies and energy systems changes. We discuss important findings from psychological studies on these four topics, and propose a research agenda to further explore these topics. We emphasize the need of an integrated approach in studying the human dimensions of a sustainable energy transition that increases our understanding of which general factors affect a wide range of energy behaviors as well as the acceptability of different energy policies and energy system changes.

  4. Human fertility, molecular genetics, and natural selection in modern societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix C Tropf

    Full Text Available Research on genetic influences on human fertility outcomes such as number of children ever born (NEB or the age at first childbirth (AFB has been solely based on twin and family-designs that suffer from problematic assumptions and practical limitations. The current study exploits recent advances in the field of molecular genetics by applying the genomic-relationship-matrix based restricted maximum likelihood (GREML methods to quantify for the first time the extent to which common genetic variants influence the NEB and the AFB of women. Using data from the UK and the Netherlands (N = 6,758, results show significant additive genetic effects on both traits explaining 10% (SE = 5 of the variance in the NEB and 15% (SE = 4 in the AFB. We further find a significant negative genetic correlation between AFB and NEB in the pooled sample of -0.62 (SE = 0.27, p-value = 0.02. This finding implies that individuals with genetic predispositions for an earlier AFB had a reproductive advantage and that natural selection operated not only in historical, but also in contemporary populations. The observed postponement in the AFB across the past century in Europe contrasts with these findings, suggesting an evolutionary override by environmental effects and underscoring that evolutionary predictions in modern human societies are not straight forward. It emphasizes the necessity for an integrative research design from the fields of genetics and social sciences in order to understand and predict fertility outcomes. Finally, our results suggest that we may be able to find genetic variants associated with human fertility when conducting GWAS-meta analyses with sufficient sample size.

  5. Prospective Elementary Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science and Perceptions of the Classroom Learning Environment (United States)

    Martin-Dunlop, Catherine S.


    This study investigated prospective elementary teachers' understandings of the nature of science and explored associations with their guided-inquiry science learning environment. Over 500 female students completed the Nature of Scientific Knowledge Survey (NSKS), although only four scales were analyzed-Creative, Testable, Amoral, and Unified. The learning environment was assessed using previously-validated and reliable scales from What Is Happening In this Class? (WIHIC) and the Science Laboratory Environment Inventory (SLEI). Analyses indicated moderate multiple correlations that were statistically significant ( p Creative (R = 0.22), Testable (R = 0.29), and Unified (R = 0.27), and a positive learning environment. Regression coefficients revealed that Open-Endedness was a significant independent predictor of students' understanding of the role of creativity in science (β = 0.16), while Cooperation, Open-Endedness, and Material Environment were linked with understanding the testable nature of science (β = 0.10-0.12). Interview questions probed possible relationships between an improved understanding of the nature of science and elements of a positive classroom environment. Responses suggested that an appropriate level of open-endedness during investigations was very important as this helped students grapple with abstract nature of science concepts and shift their conceptions closer to a more realistic view of scientific practice.

  6. Rediscovering nature as commons in environmental planning: new understandings through dialogue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikaela Vasstrom


    Full Text Available A core challenge in environmental planning is the gap between a strong participatory ethos and top-down defined nature protection policies. Nature protection policies for large areas are concerned with securing ecological biodiversity and wildlife habitats against increasing societal claims. Such planning objectives also affect the socio-economic and cultural relations between the local community and the area they live in, and raise conflicts between local and national protection objectives and steering levels. Despite attempts to facilitate participatory planning approaches as a means of reducing conflict, nature protection continues to be contested in local communities. This paper explores the different understandings of nature at play between citizens and planning authorities throughout a habitat protection planning process in Norway. The paper discusses whether environmental planning of large spatial areas could develop communication arenas designed to deliberate different understandings of an area as a matter of commons between institutional planning perspectives of nature protection and (local understandings of the area as part of everyday life. The paper sheds light on how large spatial areas are understood at different government levels and from everyday life orientations, and how these could be used to develop mutual understandings of the area as a common.

  7. Community Resilience: Increasing Public Understanding of Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Hazards through Informal Education (United States)

    Salna, E.


    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

  8. Plato, Freud and Marx on Human Nature: A Comparative Analysis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper examines the conceptions of human nature by Plato, Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx, with a view to revealing and explaining the convergence and divergence between these conceptions. It shows that agreement or disagreement on the distinguishing characteristics of human individuals can be situated on ...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Malivskyi


    Full Text Available The purpose of the article is to analyze the text "Discourse on the Method" as one of the first experiences of understanding human’s nature in modern age philosophy. The condition of realization the designated purpose is to solve the following problems: 1 To Define the diversity of Descartes position on the issue of essentiality to the true knowledge of human nature; 2 To find out the manner influence of methodology of understanding the mathematical truth to the way of interpretation of human nature; 3 To clarify the question of Descartes awareness of boundaries rationalist methodology in understanding of human nature. Methodology. As the methodological base is proposed to use the heuristic potential of phenomenology and existentialism, as well as those publications of foreign Descartes’ researchers of recent times, which introduce the new way for understanding of Descartes’ philosophical heritage. Scientific novelty. For the first time ever in the scientific literature Descartes text "Discourse on Method" becomes the object of special attention as a form of deployment the substantial request for the development of the anthropological project. The affinity and heredity of philosophical doctrines of Aristotle and Descartes on the problem of human nature are accented that is the recognition of the key importance of the need for truth in human nature. It is argued that beyond Descartes’ vision there was no limitation of rationalistic methodology during the comprehension of human nature. Conclusions. The implemented analysis confirms the validity of the thesis about text of the "Discourse on Method" by Descartes as a request of substantial unfolding of the anthropological project. The determining influence methodology of comprehension the mathematical truths to the way of interpretation of human nature were shown. The fact of Descartes’ awareness the limitation of methodology of mathematics in the understanding of human nature and

  10. Sustaining Economic Exploitation of Complex Ecosystems in Computational Models of Coupled Human-Natural Networks


    Martinez, Neo D.; Tonin, Perrine; Bauer, Barbara; Rael, Rosalyn C.; Singh, Rahul; Yoon, Sangyuk; Yoon, Ilmi; Dunne, Jennifer A.


    Understanding ecological complexity has stymied scientists for decades. Recent elucidation of the famously coined "devious strategies for stability in enduring natural systems" has opened up a new field of computational analyses of complex ecological networks where the nonlinear dynamics of many interacting species can be more realistically mod-eled and understood. Here, we describe the first extension of this field to include coupled human-natural systems. This extension elucidates new strat...

  11. Guides to Sustainable Connections? Exploring Human-Nature Relationships among Wilderness Travel Leaders (United States)

    Grimwood, Bryan S. R.; Haberer, Alexa; Legault, Maria


    This paper explores and critically interprets the role wilderness travel may play in fostering environmental sustainability. The paper draws upon two qualitative studies that sought to understand human-nature relationships as experienced by different groups of wilderness travel leaders in Canada. According to leaders involved in the studies,…

  12. The Nature of Geography and Its Perspectives in AP® Human Geography (United States)

    Murphy, Alexander B.; Hare, Phillip R.


    AP Human Geography students need to develop an understanding of what it means to examine the world around them from a geographic perspective. Focusing attention on geography's concern with spatial relationships, place characteristics, and geographic context helps student appreciate the nature of the discipline and the insights it offers. These…

  13. Human & dog in urban environment: Could basic IMS standards help to improve human & dog mutual understanding?


    Andreeva Elena E.


    Modern life, particularly urban one, is well regulated. Standards are developed for almost every sphere of human activities including proper treatment of nature and different working processes. IMS standards, particularly ISO 14001 and ISO 9001, are widely spread. In this human made environment we indicated some space and rules for pets, dogs in particular, how to behave, eat, walk, then for us the advices how to become their pack leaders… Also we could apply some widely used requirements and...

  14. Towards an understanding of British public attitudes concerning human cloning. (United States)

    Shepherd, Richard; Barnett, Julie; Cooper, Helen; Coyle, Adrian; Moran-Ellis, Jo; Senior, Victoria; Walton, Chris


    The ability of scientists to apply cloning technology to humans has provoked public discussion and media coverage. The present paper reports on a series of studies examining public attitudes to human cloning in the UK, bringing together a range of quantitative and qualitative methods to address this question. These included a nationally representative survey, an experimental vignette study, focus groups and analyses of media coverage. Overall the research presents a complex picture of attitude to and constructions of human cloning. In all of the analyses, therapeutic cloning was viewed more favourably than reproductive cloning. However, while participants in the focus groups were generally negative about both forms of cloning, and this was also reflected in the media analyses, quantitative results showed more positive responses. In the quantitative research, therapeutic cloning was generally accepted when the benefits of such procedures were clear, and although reproductive cloning was less accepted there was still substantial support. Participants in the focus groups only differentiated between therapeutic and reproductive cloning after the issue of therapeutic cloning was explicitly raised; initially they saw cloning as being reproductive cloning and saw no real benefits. Attitudes were shown to be associated with underlying values associated with scientific progress rather than with age, gender or education, and although there were a few differences in the quantitative data based on religious affiliation, these tended to be small effects. Likewise in the focus groups there was little direct appeal to religion, but the main themes were 'interfering with nature' and the 'status of the embryo', with the latter being used more effectively to try to close down further discussion. In general there was a close correspondence between the media analysis and focus group responses, possibly demonstrating the importance of media as a resource, or that the media reflect

  15. Understanding and Predicting Human Behavior for Social Communities (United States)

    Simoes, Jose; Magedanz, Thomas

    Over the last years, with the rapid advance in technology, it is becoming increasingly feasible for people to take advantage of the devices and services in the surrounding environment to remain "connected" and continuously enjoy the activity they are engaged in, be it sports, entertainment, or work. Such a ubiquitous computing environment will allow everyone permanent access to the Internet anytime, anywhere and anyhow [1]. Nevertheless, despite the evolution of services, social aspects remain in the roots of every human behavior and activities. Great examples of such phenomena are online social networks, which engage users in a way never seen before in the online world. At the same time, being aware and communicating context is a key part of human interaction and is a particularly powerful concept when applied to a community of users where services can be made more personalized and useful. Altogether, harvesting context to reason and learn about user behavior will further enhance the future multimedia vision where services can be composed and customized according to user context. Moreover, it will help us to understand users in a better way.

  16. Relational Human Ecology: Reconciling the Boundaries of Humans and Nature (United States)

    McNiel, J.; Lopes, V. L.


    Global change is transforming the planet at unprecedented rates. Global warming, massive species extinction, increasing land degradation, overpopulation, poverty and injustice, are all the result of human choices and non-sustainable ways of life. What do we have to do and how much do we have to change to allow a transition to a more ecologically-conscious and just society? While these questions are of central concern, they cannot be fully addressed under the current paradigm, which hinders both our collection of knowledge and derivation of solutions. This paper attempts to develop a new variant of ecological thinking based on a relational ontological/epistemological approach. This is offered as a foundation for the political initiative to strive for a more fulfilling, sustainable and just society. This new approach, theoretically conceptualized as ‘relational human ecology,’ offers a relational (holistic) framework for overcoming mechanistic thinking and exploring questions regarding the long-term attainment of sustainability. Once established, we illustrate how the relational framework offers a new holistic approach centered on participatory inquiry within the context of a community workshop. We conclude with discussing possible directions for future relational human ecological participatory research, conducted from the intersection of myriad participants (i.e. agencies, academics, and community residents), and the ways in which this will allow for the derivation of accurate and sustainable solutions for global change. Key words: relational thinking, human ecology, complex adaptive systems, participatory inquiry, sustainability Vicente L. Lopes (corresponding author) Department of Biology Texas State University San Marcos, TX, USA e-mail: Jamie N. McNiel Department of Sociology Texas State University San Marcos, TX, USATable 2 - Comparing Orthodox versus Relational Approaches to Ecological Inquiry * Retroduction, logical reasoning that

  17. Understanding learning in natural resource management : experiences with a contextualised responsive evaluation approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kouévi, T.A.


    This dissertation may be located in the wide debate on the effectiveness of policy interventions in developing countries, in the field of natural resource management (NRM). It is especially concerned with contributing to the understanding of the limited effectiveness of fishery management

  18. Understanding the Nature of Science and Scientific Progress: A Theory-Building Approach (United States)

    Chuy, Maria; Scardamalia, Marlene; Bereiter, Carl; Prinsen, Fleur; Resendes, Monica; Messina, Richard; Hunsburger, Winifred; Teplovs, Chris; Chow, Angela


    In 1993 Carey and Smith conjectured that the most promising way to boost students' understanding of the nature of science is a "theory-building approach to teaching about inquiry." The research reported here tested this conjecture by comparing results from two Grade 4 classrooms that differed in their emphasis on and technological…

  19. Lost in Transition: Secondary School Students' Understanding of Landscapes and Natural Resource Management (United States)

    Kruger, Tarnya; Beilin, Ruth


    In 2007, a study titled "Living in the landscapes of the 21st century" was conducted in 11 high schools in metropolitan and rural Victoria. The research team investigated Year 10 students' conceptions of landscapes in order to explore their understandings of natural resource management (NRM), including agriculture, food, land and water…

  20. Enhancing Laos Students' Understanding of Nature of Science in Physics Learning about Atom for Peace (United States)

    Sengdala, Phoxay; Yuenyong, Chokchai


    This paper aimed to study of Grade 12 students' understanding of nature of science in learning about atom for peace through science technology and society (STS) approach. Participants were 51 Grade 12 who study in Thongphong high school Vientiane Capital City Lao PDR, 1st semester of 2012 academic year. This research regarded interpretive…

  1. Understanding Nature-Related Behaviors among Children through a Theory of Reasoned Action Approach (United States)

    Gotch, Chad; Hall, Troy


    The Theory of Reasoned Action has proven to be a valuable tool for predicting and understanding behavior and, as such, provides a potentially important basis for environmental education program design. This study used a Theory of Reasoned Action approach to examine a unique type of behavior (nature-related activities) and a unique population…

  2. Understanding learning in natural resource management : experiences with a contextualised responsive evaluation approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kouévi, T.A.


    This dissertation may be located in the wide debate on the effectiveness of policy interventions in developing countries, in the field of natural resource management (NRM). It is especially concerned with contributing to the understanding of the limited effectiveness of fishery management

  3. Understanding the Nature of Learners' Out-of-Class Language Learning Experience with Technology (United States)

    Lai, Chun; Hu, Xiao; Lyu, Boning


    Out-of-class learning with technology comprises an essential context of second language development. Understanding the nature of out-of-class language learning with technology is the initial step towards safeguarding its quality. This study examined the types of learning experiences that language learners engaged in outside the classroom and the…

  4. Descriptive Understandings of the Nature of Science: Examining the Consensual and Family Resemblance Approaches (United States)

    do Nascimento Rocha, Maristela; Gurgel, Ivã


    This paper performs a critical analysis of the consensual and family resemblance approaches to the nature of science. Despite the debate that surrounds them, between a pragmatic consensus and a more comprehensive understanding, both approaches have in common the goal of helping students to "internalize" knowledge about science in a…

  5. Impacts of Contextual and Explicit Instruction on Preservice Elementary Teachers' Understandings of the Nature of Science (United States)

    Bell, Randy L.; Matkins, Juanita Jo; Gansneder, Bruce M.


    This mixed-methods investigation compared the relative impacts of instructional approach and context of nature of science instruction on preservice elementary teachers' understandings. The sample consisted of 75 preservice teachers enrolled in four sections of an elementary science methods course. Independent variables included instructional…

  6. Understanding How Science Works: The Nature of Science as The Foundation for Science Teaching and Learning (United States)

    McComas, William F.


    The nature of science (NOS) is a phrase used to represent the rules of the game of science. Arguably, NOS is the most important content issue in science instruction because it helps students understand the way in which knowledge is generated and validated within the scientific enterprise. This article offers a proposal for the elements of NOS that…

  7. The Mismatch among Students' Views about Nature of Science, Acceptance of Evolution, and Evolutionary Science Understandings (United States)

    Cavallo, Ann M. L.; White, Kevin J.; McCall, David


    This study explored interrelationships among high school students' views about nature of science (NOS), acceptance of evolution, and conceptual understanding of evolution, and the extent to which these may have shifted from pre- to post-instruction on evolutionary theory. Eighty-one students enrolled in ninth-grade Biology responded to…

  8. Student Teachers' Understanding and Acceptance of Evolution and the Nature of Science (United States)

    Coleman, Joy; Stears, Michèle; Dempster, Edith


    The focus of this study was student teachers at a South African university enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programme and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), respectively. The purpose of this study was to explore students' understanding and acceptance of evolution and beliefs about the nature of science (NOS), and to…

  9. Constraint, natural selection, and the evolution of human body form. (United States)

    Savell, Kristen R R; Auerbach, Benjamin M; Roseman, Charles C


    Variation in body form among human groups is structured by a blend of natural selection driven by local climatic conditions and random genetic drift. However, attempts to test ecogeographic hypotheses have not distinguished between adaptive traits (i.e., those that evolved as a result of selection) and those that evolved as a correlated response to selection on other traits (i.e., nonadaptive traits), complicating our understanding of the relationship between climate and morphological distinctions among populations. Here, we use evolutionary quantitative methods to test if traits previously identified as supporting ecogeographic hypotheses were actually adaptive by estimating the force of selection on individual traits needed to drive among-group differentiation. Our results show that not all associations between trait means and latitude were caused by selection acting directly on each individual trait. Although radial and tibial length and biiliac and femoral head breadth show signs of responses to directional selection matching ecogeographic hypotheses, the femur was subject to little or no directional selection despite having shorter values by latitude. Additionally, in contradiction to ecogeographic hypotheses, the humerus was under directional selection for longer values by latitude. Responses to directional selection in the tibia and radius induced a nonadaptive correlated response in the humerus that overwhelmed its own trait-specific response to selection. This result emphasizes that mean differences between groups are not good indicators of which traits are adaptations in the absence of information about covariation among characteristics.

  10. About social and cultural aspects of human nature in the context of philosophical anthropology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Kostiuchkov


    Full Text Available In the paper the approaches to socio­cultural understanding of human nature in the context of philosophical anthropology, analyzes the essence of human nature contradictions inherent in the contradiction between biological and social components; author focuses attention on the concept of «identity» in the context of philosophical anthropology and characterization of the status of human life; put forward a reasoned statement that outlook, as the level of philosophical understanding of the world, combining both biological and social components of human nature. It is emphasized that universal principle transistorychnym public attitudes towards human life is the recognition of its absolute value in different dimensions ­ religious, philosophical, scientific. The author notes that religious, especially biblical doctrine emphasizes the value of human life that flows from dignity of man, created in God’s image, a rational being who comes to Earth as, in a sense, a representative of God. The article stresses the urgency of a new philosophical paradigm as an important ideological guideline that requires perceive and understand the biological basis of man is not as indispensable, but neutral background of social life, but as a basis upon which and through which a person is transformed into a cultural and civilized being.

  11. Ontological And Anthropological Aspects of the Concept of Human Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Asha Nimali Fernando


    Full Text Available Anthropology is the study of the origin of the man. It is basically concern with the concept of Homo sapiens, and it is scientifically questioning what are human physical traits as well how do men behave and the variation among different groups of  human with his social and cultural dimensions. Ontology is a subfield in traditional philosophy which is mainly focuses on the nature of being, existence or reality as such. There are some similarities and differences among these two areas. However when we deeply study the philosophical basis of the anthropology it is proof that it was derived from ontology.Anthropology discusses the social and cultural world or the physical entity of human nature. Ontology focuses the invisible aspect of human nature along with the ultimate reality. Therefore, it has a metaphysical aspect of human being; this philosophical notion has in fact, contributed to the development of the subject of anthropology. The present modern day has given very little attention to this philosophical combination of  ontolog y to anthropology, rendering further investigation into the philosophical roots of anthropology.This research paper seeks to evaluate the relationship between ontology and anthropology by paying attention to the ontological arguments about the concept of man and human nature within Greek and modern western thoughts, in comparing with modern anthropological arguments.

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

  13. Exceptionalist naturalism: Human agency and the causal order. (United States)

    Turri, John


    This paper addresses a fundamental question in folk metaphysics: How do we ordinarily view human agency? According to the transcendence account, we view human agency as standing outside of the causal order and imbued with exceptional powers. According to a naturalistic account, we view human agency as subject to the same physical laws as other objects and completely open to scientific investigation. According to exceptionalist naturalism, the truth lies somewhere in between: We view human agency as fitting broadly within the causal order while still being exceptional in important respects. In this paper, I report seven experiments designed to decide between these three competing theories. Across a variety of contexts and types of action, participants agreed that human agents can resist outcomes described as inevitable, guaranteed, and causally determined. Participants viewed non-human animal agents similarly, whereas they viewed computers, robots, and simple inanimate objects differently. At the same time, participants judged that human actions are caused by many things, including psychological, neurological, and social events. Overall, in folk metaphysics, human and non-human animals are viewed as exceptional parts of the natural world.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Prasasti


    Full Text Available Witnessing the euphoria of the era of biotechnology in the late twentieth century, Crichton exposes the theme of biotechnology in his works. In Jurassic Park, he voices his concern about the impact of the use of biotechnology to preserve nature and its living creatures. He further describes how the purpose of preserving nature and the creatures has turned out to be destructive. This article discusses Crichton's main character, Hammond, who attempts to control nature by genetically recreating the extinct fossil animals. It seems that the attempt ignores his human limitations. Although he is confident that has been equipped with the technology, he forgets to get along with nature. His way of using technology to accomplish his purpose proves not to be in harmony with nature. As a consequence, nature fights back. And he is conquered.

  15. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of human microtia via a pig model of HOXA1 syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruimin Qiao


    Full Text Available Microtia is a congenital malformation of the outer ears. Although both genetic and environmental components have been implicated in microtia, the genetic causes of this innate disorder are poorly understood. Pigs have naturally occurring diseases comparable to those in humans, providing exceptional opportunity to dissect the molecular mechanism of human inherited diseases. Here we first demonstrated that a truncating mutation in HOXA1 causes a monogenic disorder of microtia in pigs. We further performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq analysis on affected and healthy pig embryos (day 14.25. We identified a list of 337 differentially expressed genes (DEGs between the normal and mutant samples, shedding light on the transcriptional network involving HOXA1. The DEGs are enriched in biological processes related to cardiovascular system and embryonic development, and neurological, renal and urological diseases. Aberrant expressions of many DEGs have been implicated in human innate deformities corresponding to microtia-associated syndromes. After applying three prioritizing algorithms, we highlighted appealing candidate genes for human microtia from the 337 DEGs. We searched for coding variants of functional significance within six candidate genes in 147 microtia-affected individuals. Of note, we identified one EVC2 non-synonymous mutation (p.Asp1174Asn as a potential disease-implicating variant for a human microtia-associated syndrome. The findings advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human microtia, and provide an interesting example of the characterization of human disease-predisposing variants using pig models.

  16. Thai in-service teacher understanding of nature of science in biology teaching: Case of Mali (United States)

    Aiemsum-ang, Napapan; Yuenyong, Chokchai


    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.

  17. The frequency and nature of medical error in primary care: understanding the diversity across studies. (United States)

    Sandars, John; Esmail, Aneez


    The identification and reduction of medical error has become a major priority for all health care providers, including primary care. Understanding the frequency and nature of medical error in primary care is a first step in developing a policy to reduce harm and improve patient safety. There has been scant research into this area. This review had two objectives; first, to identify the frequency and nature of error in primary care, and, secondly, to consider the possible causes for the diversity in the stated rates and nature of error in primary care. Literature searches of English language studies identified in the National Patient Safety Foundation bibliography database, in Medline and in Embase were carried out. Studies that were relevant to the purpose of the study were included. Additional information was obtained from a specialist medico-legal database. Studies identified that medical error occurs between five and 80 times per 100000 consultations, mainly related to the processes involved in diagnosis and treatment. Prescribing and prescription errors have been identified to occur in up to 11% of all prescriptions, mainly related to errors in dose. There are a wide variety of definitions and methods used to identify the frequency and nature of medical error. Incident reporting, systematic identification and medico-legal databases reveal differing aspects, and there are additional perspectives obtained from GPs, primary health care workers and patients. An understanding of the true frequency and nature of medical error is complicated by the different definitions and methods used in the studies. Further research is warranted to understand the complex nature and causes of such errors that occur in primary care so that appropriate policy decisions to improve patient safety can be made.

  18. Optical techniques to understand biofunctional adaptation in human dentine (United States)

    Kishen, Anil; Asundi, Anand K.


    Human tooth structure in the oral environment is subjected to mechanical forces and thermal fluctuations. Dentine, the major component of the tooth structure, is a bio-composite, mainly composed of a highly mineralized phase and a collagenous phase. When subjected to changes in load and/or temperature, dentine will experience stresses and strains distribution within their structure. Though such effects are found to cause deleterious effects on artificial dental restorations, biological structures such as dentine seem to posses an inherent ability to adapt to functional thermo-mechanical loads. Optical techniques enable visualization and quantification of deformation, strain and stress on dental structures and provide a better understanding on their thermo-mechanical response. In this study 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional digital photoelasticity, digital moiré interferometry and Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry (ESPI) are all shown to be quite promising in this application. This paper will highlight these techniques and the corresponding applications. These experiments will aid in designing and development of better dental restorations and implants in clinical practice.

  19. Natural Tendency towards Beauty in Humans: Evidence from Binocular Rivalry. (United States)

    Mo, Ce; Xia, Tiansheng; Qin, Kaixin; Mo, Lei


    Although human preference for beauty is common and compelling in daily life, it remains unknown whether such preference is essentially subserved by social cognitive demands or natural tendency towards beauty encoded in the human mind intrinsically. Here we demonstrate experimentally that humans automatically exhibit preference for visual and moral beauty without explicit cognitive efforts. Using a binocular rivalry paradigm, we identified enhanced gender-independent perceptual dominance for physically attractive persons, and the results suggested universal preference for visual beauty based on perceivable forms. Moreover, we also identified perceptual dominance enhancement for characters associated with virtuous descriptions after controlling for facial attractiveness and vigilance-related attention effects, which suggested a similar implicit preference for moral beauty conveyed in prosocial behaviours. Our findings show that behavioural preference for beauty is driven by an inherent natural tendency towards beauty in humans rather than explicit social cognitive processes.

  20. Natural selection and infectious disease in human populations (United States)

    Karlsson, Elinor K.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Sabeti, Pardis C.


    The ancient biological 'arms race' between microbial pathogens and humans has shaped genetic variation in modern populations, and this has important implications for the growing field of medical genomics. As humans migrated throughout the world, populations encountered distinct pathogens, and natural selection increased the prevalence of alleles that are advantageous in the new ecosystems in both host and pathogens. This ancient history now influences human infectious disease susceptibility and microbiome homeostasis, and contributes to common diseases that show geographical disparities, such as autoimmune and metabolic disorders. Using new high-throughput technologies, analytical methods and expanding public data resources, the investigation of natural selection is leading to new insights into the function and dysfunction of human biology. PMID:24776769

  1. Human and natural controls of the variation in aboveground tree biomass in African dry tropical forests. (United States)

    Pelletier, Johanne; Siampale, Abel; Legendre, Pierre; Jantz, Patrick; Laporte, Nadine T; Goetz, Scott J


    Understanding the anthropogenic and natural controls that affect the patterns, distribution, and dynamics of terrestrial carbon is crucial to meeting climate change mitigation objectives. We assessed the human and natural controls over aboveground tree biomass density in African dry tropical forests, using Zambia's first nationwide forest inventory. We identified predictors that best explain the variation in biomass density, contrasted anthropogenic and natural sites at different spatial scales, and compared sites with different stand structure characteristics and species composition. In addition, we evaluated the effects of different management and conservation practices on biomass density. Variation in biomass density was mostly determined by biotic processes, linked with both species richness and dominance (evenness), and to a lesser extent, by land use, environmental controls, and spatial structure. Biomass density was negatively associated with tree species evenness and positively associated with species richness for both natural and human-modified sites. Human influence variables (including distance to roads, distance to town, fire occurrence, and the population on site) did not explain substantial variation in biomass density in comparison to biodiversity variables. The relationship of human activities to biomass density in managed sites appears to be mediated by effects on species diversity and stand structure characteristics, with lower values in human-modified sites for all metrics tested. Small contrasts in carbon density between human-modified and natural forest sites signal the potential to maintain carbon in the landscape inside but also outside forestlands in this region. Biodiversity is positively related to biomass density in both human and natural sites, demonstrating potential synergies between biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. This is the first evidence of positive outcomes of protected areas and participatory forest

  2. Urgent Biophilia: Human-Nature Interactions and Biological Attractions in Disaster Resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith G. Tidball


    Full Text Available This contribution builds upon contemporary work on principles of biological attraction as well as earlier work on biophilia while synthesizing literatures on restorative environments, community-based ecological restoration, and both community and social-ecological disaster resilience. It suggests that when humans, faced with a disaster, as individuals and as communities and populations, seek engagement with nature to further their efforts to summon and demonstrate resilience in the face of a crisis, they exemplify an urgent biophilia. This urgent biophilia represents an important set of human-nature interactions in SES characterized by hazard, disaster, or vulnerability, often appearing in the 'backloop' of the adaptive cycle. The relationships that human-nature interactions have to other components within interdependent systems at many different scales may be one critical source of resilience in disaster and related contexts. In other words, the affinity we humans have for the rest of nature, the process of remembering that attraction, and the urge to express it through creation of restorative environments, which may also restore or increase ecological function, may confer resilience across multiple scales. In making this argument, the paper also represents a novel contribution to further theorizing alternatives to anthropocentric understandings of human-nature relations, and strongly makes the case for humans as part of, not separate from, ecosystems.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oznur Cengiz


    Full Text Available Lois Lowry (1937- is a prolific author having a number of books – Number the Stars (1989, Gathering Blue (2000, and Messenger (2004 – and awards especially in the field of children’s literature. Her significant science fiction novel, The Giver (1993, presents a social panorama in order to thoroughly analyze the society’s mechanical life style. As an example of dystopia, the author delineates a systematically organized social order where people abide by the rules naturally. Nevertheless, Jonas, the protagonist and Receiver of Memory, is the first person to discern robotic/mechanical order in the society which is transformed into “sameness” eliminating all individual differences and emotions such as pain, happiness, cold, colors, and so on. Therefore, Receiver of Memory storing past memories of the society is the only one who is aware of human characteristics. The crucial point is that human figure, far from the current one, displays inhuman (non-human features without memories and hope. Mechanical association between individuals and social structure ascertains artificial form of life in which there is no chance to choose. After learning truths behind the strict order, Jonas is in pursuit of real world with all kinds of feelings; however, his recognition is not able to change the whole society. Hence, this paper aims at delving into the relationship between human nature and society with regard to posthuman approach and inhuman human form in accordance with transformation of human nature.

  4. Natural Rubber Nanocomposite with Human-Tissue-Like Mechanical Characteristic (United States)

    Murniati, Riri; Novita, Nanda; Sutisna; Wibowo, Edy; Iskandar, Ferry; Abdullah, Mikrajuddin


    The blends of synthetic rubber and natural rubber with nanosilica were prepared using a blending technique in presence of different filler volume fraction. The effect of filler on morphological and mechanical characteristics was studied. Utilization of human cadaver in means of medical study has been commonly used primarily as tools of medical teaching and training such as surgery. Nonetheless, human cadaver brought inevitable problems. So it is necessary to find a substitute material that can be used to replace cadavers. In orthopaedics, the materials that resemble in mechanical properties to biological tissues are elastomers such as natural rubber (latex) and synthetic rubber (polyurethanes, silicones). This substitution material needs to consider the potential of Indonesia to help the development of the nation. Indonesia is the second largest country producer of natural rubber in the world. This paper aims to contribute to adjusting the mechanical properties of tissue-mimicking materials (TMMs) to the recommended range of biological tissue value and thus allow the development of phantoms with greater stability and similarity to human tissues. Repeatability for the phantom fabrication process was also explored. Characteristics were then compared to the control and mechanical characteristics of different human body part tissue. Nanosilica is the best filler to produce the best nanocomposite similarities with human tissue. We produced composites that approaching the properties of human internal tissues.

  5. Nonlinear impacts of small-scale natural events on Nineteenth Century human decision-making (United States)

    McCormack, S. M.; Schlichting, K. M.; Urbanova, T.; Allen, T. L.; Ruffing, C. M.; Hermans, C. M.


    Natural climatological events that occurred throughout the Nineteenth Century, such as floods, droughts and hurricanes had long-lived, far-reaching consequences on the human decision-making processes occurring in the northeast United States. These events impacted the hydrological cycle, both directly -though the building of various structures- and indirectly - through an increased understanding of science; and the changing relationship between humans and their environment. This paper examines these events and associated processes through: 1) identifying specific natural events throughout the time period, occurring globally, with initial conditions conducive to long-lived consequences; 2) examining the relationship between scientific enquiry, natural events and the proliferation of dams in the northeast landscape; and 3) the growth of public health concerns, awareness of bacteriology, and municipal water supply systems. Results of this research indicate that the relationship between knowledge systems, natural events and subsequent engineering or technological fixes is complex and highly dependent on initial conditions. It highlights the time period where humans became increasingly dependent on engineered solutions to environmental problems, many of which still hold fast in our contemporary landscape. It is relevant to natural, social and governance structures in place today. The principles behind the occurrence of the natural phenomena and subsequent research and design have not changed; and understanding key events or stages in the past is tantamount to making predictions for the future.

  6. Understanding the Human Genome Project — A Fact Sheet | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine (United States)

    ... turn Javascript on. Feature: Genetics 101 Understanding the Human Genome Project — A Fact Sheet Past Issues / Summer 2013 ... body. This concerted, public effort was the Human Genome Project. The Human Genome Project's goal was to provide researchers with ...

  7. Changing human relationships with nature: making and remaking wilderness science (United States)

    Jill M. Belsky


    The paper identifies and discusses two major themes in wilderness social science. First, that wilderness studies (and its advocates) have been limited by an ontological tension between those who mainly approach the relationship between humans and nature on the basis of material factors and constraints and those who approach it through an examination of shifting...

  8. Learning from the continuities in humanity and nature (United States)

    William R., Jr. Burch


    Though the emphasis in American life is upon dramatic social change, the firmer reality is our great continuity in social behavior and institutions. For example, though many strategies of child rearing have cycled through human society, the basic problems and responsible social unit remain the same. Of necessity, children have an ordered and holistic view of nature and...

  9. The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 3; Issue 1. The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. Milind G Watve. Book Review Volume 3 Issue 1 January 1998 pp 79- ... Author Affiliations. Milind G Watve1. ME Society, Abasaheb Garware College, Karve Road, Pune 411 004, India.

  10. Personality psychology : Domains of knowledge about human nature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Larsen, Randy J.; Buss, David M.; Wismeijer, Andreas; Song, John; van den Berg, Stéphanie Martine

    Using a unique organizational framework that emphasizes six domains of knowledge about human nature, Personality Psychology presents an accessible, contemporary look at personality as a collection of interrelated topics and themes. The book focuses on the scientific basis of our knowledge about

  11. Where humans meet machines innovative solutions for knotty natural-language problems

    CERN Document Server

    Markowitz, Judith


    Where Humans Meet Machines: Innovative Solutions for Knotty Natural-Language Problems brings humans and machines closer together by showing how linguistic complexities that confound the speech systems of today can be handled effectively by sophisticated natural-language technology. Some of the most vexing natural-language problems that are addressed in this book entail   recognizing and processing idiomatic expressions, understanding metaphors, matching an anaphor correctly with its antecedent, performing word-sense disambiguation, and handling out-of-vocabulary words and phrases. This fourteen-chapter anthology consists of contributions from industry scientists and from academicians working at major universities in North America and Europe. They include researchers who have played a central role in DARPA-funded programs and developers who craft real-world solutions for corporations. These contributing authors analyze the role of natural language technology in the global marketplace; they explore the need f...

  12. A Look into Students' Retention of Acquired Nature of Science Understandings (United States)

    Khishfe, Rola


    Having the learning and retention of science content and skills as a goal of scientific literacy, it is significant to study the issue of retention as it relates to teaching and learning about nature of science (NOS). Then, the purpose of this study was to investigate the development of NOS understandings of students, and the retention of these understandings four months after being acquired through explicit reflective instruction in relation to two contexts. Participants were 24 tenth-grade students at a private high school in a city in the Middle East. Explicit NOS instruction was addressed within a six-week unit about genetic engineering. Three NOS aspects were integrated and dispersed across the unit. A questionnaire, together with semi-structured interviews, was administered as pre-, post-, and delayed post-test to assess the retention of participants' NOS understandings. The questionnaire had two open-ended scenarios addressing controversial socioscientific issues about genetically modified food and water fluoridation. Results showed that most students improved their naïve understandings of NOS in relation to the two contexts following the six-week unit with the explicit NOS instruction. However, these newly acquired NOS understandings were not retained by all students four months after instruction. Many of the students reverted back to their earlier naïve understandings. Conclusions about the factors facilitating the process of retention as the orientation to meaningful learning and the prolonged exposure to the domain were discussed in relation to practical implications in the classroom.

  13. Relative significance of natural irradiation vs all human exposures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jammet, H.


    A review is made of the fundamentals allowing to quantitatively express the importance of the various sources of human exposure by an individual or collective approach. Following a summary of the components of normal exposure to natural sources, the various human actions at the origin of enhanced exposure are studied: 1) those modifying the relationship between natural sources and man (dwelling conditions, coal burning, geothermal energy production, exploitation of phosphate rock); 2) those creating new artificial sources (nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, nuclear power production, medical use of radiation and radionuclides). The effective dose equivalent commitments for these sources are compared with those necessarily involved by continuous normal exposure to the natural sources of exposure [fr

  14. Recent Progress in Understanding Natural-Hazards-Generated TEC Perturbations: Measurements and Modeling Results (United States)

    Komjathy, A.; Yang, Y. M.; Meng, X.; Verkhoglyadova, O. P.; Mannucci, A. J.; Langley, R. B.


    Natural hazards, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis, have been significant threats to humans throughout recorded history. The Global Positioning System satellites have become primary sensors to measure signatures associated with such natural hazards. These signatures typically include GPS-derived seismic deformation measurements, co-seismic vertical displacements, and real-time GPS-derived ocean buoy positioning estimates. Another way to use GPS observables is to compute the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) to measure and monitor post-seismic ionospheric disturbances caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. Research at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) laid the foundations to model the three-dimensional ionosphere at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory by ingesting ground- and space-based GPS measurements into the state-of-the-art Global Assimilative Ionosphere Modeling (GAIM) software. As an outcome of the UNB and NASA research, new and innovative GPS applications have been invented including the use of ionospheric measurements to detect tiny fluctuations in the GPS signals between the spacecraft and GPS receivers caused by natural hazards occurring on or near the Earth's surface.We will show examples for early detection of natural hazards generated ionospheric signatures using ground-based and space-borne GPS receivers. We will also discuss recent results from the U.S. Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster Mitigation Network (READI) exercises utilizing our algorithms. By studying the propagation properties of ionospheric perturbations generated by natural hazards along with applying sophisticated first-principles physics-based modeling, we are on track to develop new technologies that can potentially save human lives and minimize property damage. It is also expected that ionospheric monitoring of TEC perturbations might become an integral part of existing natural hazards warning systems.

  15. Human enhancement and communication: on meaning and shared understanding. (United States)

    Cabrera, Laura; Weckert, John


    Our technologies have enabled us to change both the world and our perceptions of the world, as well as to change ourselves and to find new ways to fulfil the human desire for improvement and for having new capacities. The debate around using technology for human enhancement has already raised many ethical concerns, however little research has been done in how human enhancement can affect human communication. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether some human enhancements could change our shared lifeworld so radically that human communication as we know it would not be possible any longer. After exploring the kinds of communication problems we are concerned with as well as mentioning some possible enhancement interventions that could bring about such problems, we will address some of the ethical implications that follow from these potential communication problems. We argue that because of the role that communication plays in human society, this issue deserves attention.

  16. Natural formation and degradation of chloroacetic acids and volatile organochlorines in forest soil--challenges to understanding. (United States)

    Laturnus, Frank; Fahimi, Isabelle; Gryndler, Milan; Hartmann, Anton; Heal, Mathew R; Matucha, Miroslav; Schöler, Heinz Friedrich; Schroll, Reiner; Svensson, Teresia


    The anthropogenic environmental emissions of chloroacetic acids and volatile organochlorines have been under scrutiny in recent years because the two compound groups are suspected to contribute to forest dieback and stratospheric ozone destruction, respectively. The two organochlorine groups are linked because the atmospheric photochemical oxidation of some volatile organochlorine compounds is one source of phytotoxic chloroacetic acids in the environment. Moreover, both groups are produced in higher amounts by natural chlorination of organic matter, e.g. by soil microorganisms, marine macroalgae and salt lake bacteria, and show similar metabolism pathways. Elucidating the origin and fate of these organohalogens is necessary to implement actions to counteract environmental problems caused by these compounds. While the anthropogenic sources of chloroacetic acids and volatile organochlorines are relatively well-known and within human control, knowledge of relevant natural processes is scarce and fragmented. This article reviews current knowledge on natural formation and degradation processes of chloroacetic acids and volatile organochlorines in forest soils, with particular emphasis on processes in the rhizosphere, and discusses future studies necessary to understand the role of forest soils in the formation and degradation of these compounds. Reviewing the present knowledge of the natural formation and degradation processes of chloroacetic acids and volatile organochlorines in forest soil has revealed gaps in knowledge regarding the actual mechanisms behind these processes. In particular, there remains insufficient quantification of reliable budgets and rates of formation and degradation of chloroacetic acids and volatile organochlorines in forest soil (both biotic and abiotic processes) to evaluate the strength of forest ecosystems regarding the emission and uptake of chloroacetic acids and volatile organochlorines, both on a regional scale and on a global scale

  17. Natural goodness and the political form of human life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Müller Jan


    Full Text Available Ethical Naturalism attempts to explain the objective normativity effective in human practices by reference to the relation between a living individual and the life-form it exhibits. This explanation falls short in the case of human beings (1 - not merely because of their essential rationality, but because the idea of normativity implicit in practice is dependent on the form of normativity’s being made explicit (2. I argue that this explicit form of normativity’s force and claim - the law in general - implies a tension between an explicit norm’s claim to absoluteness and the particularity of the situational case it is applied to. This tension may seem to produce an inherent violence corrupting the very idea of objective normativity inherent in the human form of life (3; in fact, it shows that the human form of life is essentially political. That the human form of life is essentially political does not contradict the idea of objective normativity - provided that this objectivity is not derived from a conception of “natural goodness”, but rather from the actuality of human practice and its principle, justice (4.

  18. Considering Hans-Georg Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics as a referent for student understanding of nature-of-science concepts (United States)

    Rashford, Jared M.

    The purpose of this study is to examine philosophical hermeneutics as a referent for student understanding of Nature-of-Science (NOS) concepts. Rather than focus on a prescriptive set of canons used in addressing NOS pedagogy in K-12 schools, this study seeks to explicate a descriptive set of principles based on Hans-Georg Gadamer's theory of interpretation that has the potential for developing dispositions necessary for understanding. Central among these are the concepts of fore-structure, prejudice, temporal distance, and history of effect, all of which constitute part of the whole of the hermeneutic circle as envisaged by Gadamer. As such, Gadamer's hermeneutics is contrasted with Cartesian epistemology and its primacy of method, the Enlightenment's prejudice against prejudice, the modernist/progressive tendency to consider all situations as problems to be solved by relegating all forms of knowledge to techne, and the subjective nature of interpretation inherent in a hermeneutics of suspicion. The implication of such a conceptual analysis for NOS pedagogy is that student understanding is considered not so much as a cognitive outcome dependent on a series of mental functions but rather as an ontological characteristic of Dasein (being-human) that situates learning in the interchange between interpreter and text. In addition, the philosophical foundations implicit in addressing student understanding of NOS found in many curricular reform efforts and pedagogical practices in science education are questioned. Gadamer's hermeneutics affords science education a viable philosophical framework within which to consider student understanding of the development of scientific knowledge and the scientific enterprise.

  19. Rethinking urban nature to promote human well-being and livelihoods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raymond, Christopher; Gulsrud, Natalie Marie; Rodela, Romina

    On the 25thJanuary, 25 researchers, social entrepreneurs and policy makers attended a MOVIUM and SLU Urban Futures funded workshop on “Rethinking urban nature to promote human well-being and livelihoods”. The objectives of the workshop wereto identify and discuss integrated digital, social...... and nature solutions for the use, management and governance of urban nature in the City of Malmö;and to provide a platform for knowledge sharing and networking between researchers and practitioners.Multiple enlightening presentations on how to plan, design and manage urban nature were provided by the cities...... of urbannature in Malmö. Each group was asked to present their presentation to the wider group, what inspired them the most from the workshop activity and how their understanding of integrated solutions in urban nature changed over the day.This report presents a summary of each group’screations and findings...

  20. Challenges and Changes: Developing Teachers' and Initial Teacher Education Students' Understandings of the Nature of Science (United States)

    Ward, Gillian; Haigh, Mavis


    Teachers need an understanding of the nature of science (NOS) to enable them to incorporate NOS into their teaching of science. The current study examines the usefulness of a strategy for challenging or changing teachers' understandings of NOS. The teachers who participated in this study were 10 initial teacher education chemistry students and six experienced teachers from secondary and primary schools who were introduced to an explicit and reflective activity, a dramatic reading about a historical scientific development. Concept maps were used before and after the activity to assess teachers' knowledge of NOS. The participants also took part in a focus group interview to establish whether they perceived the activity as useful in developing their own understanding of NOS. Initial analysis led us to ask another group, comprising seven initial teacher education chemistry students, to take part in a modified study. These participants not only completed the same tasks as the previous participants but also completed a written reflection commenting on whether the activity and focus group discussion enhanced their understanding of NOS. Both Lederman et al.'s (Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(6), 497-521, 2002) concepts of NOS and notions of "naive" and "informed" understandings of NOS and Hay's (Studies in Higher Education, 32(1), 39-57, 2007) notions of "surface" and "deep" learning were used as frameworks to examine the participants' specific understandings of NOS and the depth of their learning. The ways in which participants' understandings of NOS were broadened or changed by taking part in the dramatic reading are presented. The impact of the data-gathering tools on the participants' professional learning is also discussed.

  1. Tension in the Natural History of Human Thinking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moll Henrike


    Full Text Available Michael Tomasello has greatly expanded our knowledge of human cognition and how it differs from that of other animals. In this commentary to his recent book A Natural History of Human Thinking, I first critique some of the presuppositions and arguments of his evolutionary story about how homo sapiens’ cognition emerged. For example, I question the strategy of relying on the modern chimpanzee as a model for our last shared ancestor, and I doubt the idea that what changed first over evolutionary time was hominin behavior, which then in turn brought about changes in cognition. In the second half of the commentary I aim to show that the author oscillates between an additive and a transformative account of human shared intentionality. I argue that shared intentionality shapes cognition in its entirety and therefore precludes the possibility that humans have the same, individual intentionality (as shown in, e.g. their instrumental reasoning as other apes.

  2. Telomeres and the natural lifespan limit in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steenstrup, Troels; Kark, Jeremy D; Verhulst, Simon


    An ongoing debate in demography has focused on whether the human lifespan has a maximal natural limit. Taking a mechanistic perspective, and knowing that short telomeres are associated with diminished longevity, we examined whether telomere length dynamics during adult life could set a maximal...... natural lifespan limit. We define leukocyte telomere length of 5 kb as the 'telomeric brink', which denotes a high risk of imminent death. We show that a subset of adults may reach the telomeric brink within the current life expectancy and more so for a 100-year life expectancy. Thus, secular trends...

  3. Human & dog in urban environment: Could basic IMS standards help to improve human & dog mutual understanding?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreeva Elena E.


    Full Text Available Modern life, particularly urban one, is well regulated. Standards are developed for almost every sphere of human activities including proper treatment of nature and different working processes. IMS standards, particularly ISO 14001 and ISO 9001, are widely spread. In this human made environment we indicated some space and rules for pets, dogs in particular, how to behave, eat, walk, then for us the advices how to become their pack leaders… Also we could apply some widely used requirements and rules from IMS (Integrated Management Systems standards for dogs' owners, trainers and breeders. But we'd better always keep in mind that dogs are animals, a part of nature. Why not to see our attitude to dogs through these standards we invented to preserve nature and improve working processes? It will help to put aside the anthropocentric position and to look at dogs as a specific world that exists side by side with ours and that we only learn how to respect and communicate with.

  4. Understanding Women\\'s Economic And Social Human Rights ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article considers the evolution of women\\'s rights in international human rights law. It then moves on to consider the gender dimension of economic, social and cultural rights before examining constraints to their enjoyment and enforcement. East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights Vol. 12 (2) 2006: pp. 232-253 ...

  5. High School Students' Understanding of the Human Body System (United States)

    Assaraf, Orit Ben-Zvi; Dodick, Jeff; Tripto, Jaklin


    In this study, 120 tenth-grade students from 8 schools were examined to determine the extent of their ability to perceive the human body as a system after completing the first stage in their biology curriculum--"The human body, emphasizing homeostasis". The students' systems thinking was analyzed according to the STH thinking model, which roughly…

  6. Enhancement and human nature: the case of Sandel. (United States)

    Lewens, T


    If we assume that "enhancement" names all efforts to boost human mental and physical capacities beyond the normal upper range found in our species, then enhancement covers such a broad range of interventions that it becomes implausible to think that there is any generic ethical case to be made either for or against it. Michael Sandel has recently made such a generic case, which focuses on the importance of respecting the "giftedness" of human nature. Sandel succeeds in diagnosing an important worry we may have about the use of some enhancements by some parents, but his arguments are better understood as opposing "procrustean parenting" rather than enhancement in general.

  7. Ontological And Anthropological Aspects of the Concept of Human Nature


    R. Asha Nimali Fernando


    Anthropology is the study of the origin of the man. It is basically concern with the concept of Homo sapiens, and it is scientifically questioning what are human physical traits as well how do men behave and the variation among different groups of  human with his social and cultural dimensions. Ontology is a subfield in traditional philosophy which is mainly focuses on the nature of being, existence or reality as such. There are some similarities and differences among these two areas. However w...

  8. Understanding molecular interactions between scavenger receptor A and its natural product inhibitors through molecular modeling studies. (United States)

    Pagare, Piyusha P; Zaidi, Saheem A; Zhang, Xiaomei; Li, Xia; Yu, Xiaofei; Wang, Xiang-Yang; Zhang, Yan


    Scavenger receptor A (SRA), as an immune regulator, has been shown to play important roles in lipid metabolism, cardiovascular diseases, and pathogen recognition. Several natural product inhibitors of SRA have been studied for their potential application in modulating SRA functions. To understand the binding mode of these inhibitors on SRA, we conducted systematic molecular modeling studies in order to identify putative binding domain(s) that may be responsible for their recognition to the receptor as well as their inhibitory activity. Treatment of SRA with one of the natural product inhibitors, rhein, led to significant dissociation of SRA oligomers to its trimer and dimer forms, which further supported our hypothesis on their putative mechanism of action. Such information is believed to shed light on design of more potent inhibitors for the receptor in order to develop potential therapeutics through immune system modulation. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Thinking about television science: How students understand the nature of science from different program genres (United States)

    Dhingra, Koshi


    Student views on the nature of science are shaped by a variety of out-of-school forces and television-mediated science is a significant force. To attempt to achieve a science for all, we need to recognize and understand the diverse messages about science that students access and think about on a regular basis. In this work I examine how high school students think about science that is mediated by four different program genres on television: documentary, magazine-format programming, network news, and dramatic or fictional programming. The following categories of findings are discussed: the ethics and validity of science, final form science, science as portrayed by its practitioners, and school science and television science. Student perceptions of the nature of science depicted on the program sample used in this study ranged from seeing science as comprising tentative knowledge claims to seeing science as a fixed body of facts.

  10. Interaction between natural compounds and human topoisomerase I. (United States)

    Castelli, Silvia; Coletta, Andrea; D'Annessa, Ilda; Fiorani, Paola; Tesauro, Cinzia; Desideri, Alessandro


    Eukaryotic topoisomerase I (Top1) is a monomeric enzyme that catalyzes the relaxation of supercoiled DNA during important processes including DNA replication, transcription, recombination and chromosome condensation. Human Top1 I is of significant medical interest since it is the unique cellular target of camptothecin (CPT), a plant alkaloid that rapidly blocks both DNA and RNA synthesis. In this review, together with CPT, we point out the interaction between human Top1 and some natural compounds, such us terpenoids, flavonoids, stilbenes and fatty acids. The drugs can interact with the enzyme at different levels perturbing the binding, cleavage, rotation or religation processes. Here we focus on different assays that can be used to identify the catalytic step of the enzyme inhibited by different natural compounds.

  11. Stealth and Natural Disasters: Science, Policy and Human Behavior (United States)

    Kieffer, S. W.


    Geophysicists, earth scientists, and other natural scientists play a key role in studying disasters, and are challenged to convey the science to the public and policy makers (including government and business). I have found it useful to introduce the concept of two general types of disasters to these audiences: natural and stealth. Natural disasters are geological phenomena over which we humans have some, but relatively little, control. Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and volcanic eruptions are the most familiar examples, but exogenous events such as meteorite impacts, solar flares, and supernovae are also possibly disruptive. Natural disasters typically have an abrupt onset, cause immediate major change, are familiar from the historic record, and get much media and public attention. They cannot be prevented, but preplanning can ameliorate their effects. Natural disasters are increasingly amplified by us (humans), and we are increasingly affected by them due to our expanding presence on the planet. Less familiar disasters are unfolding in the near-term, but they are not happening in the minds of most people. They are approaching us stealthily, and for this reason I propose that we call them stealth disasters. They differ from natural disasters in several important ways: stealth disasters are primarily caused by, or driven by, the interaction of humans with complex cycles of processes on the planet. Examples are: fresh water shortages and contamination, soil degradation and loss, climate changes, ocean degradation. The onset of stealth disasters is incremental rather than abrupt. They may not unfold significantly during the course of one term of political office, but they are unfolding in our lifetime. We as individuals may or may not escape their consequences, but they will affect our children and grandchildren. If humans are familiar with stealth disasters at all, it is from a relatively local experience, e.g., flooding of the Mississippi or the Dust Bowl in the U

  12. Testing primary-school children's understanding of the nature of science. (United States)

    Koerber, Susanne; Osterhaus, Christopher; Sodian, Beate


    Understanding the nature of science (NOS) is a critical aspect of scientific reasoning, yet few studies have investigated its developmental beginnings and initial structure. One contributing reason is the lack of an adequate instrument. Two studies assessed NOS understanding among third graders using a multiple-select (MS) paper-and-pencil test. Study 1 investigated the validity of the MS test by presenting the items to 68 third graders (9-year-olds) and subsequently interviewing them on their underlying NOS conception of the items. All items were significantly related between formats, indicating that the test was valid. Study 2 applied the same instrument to a larger sample of 243 third graders, and their performance was compared to a multiple-choice (MC) version of the test. Although the MC format inflated the guessing probability, there was a significant relation between the two formats. In summary, the MS format was a valid method revealing third graders' NOS understanding, thereby representing an economical test instrument. A latent class analysis identified three groups of children with expertise in qualitatively different aspects of NOS, suggesting that there is not a single common starting point for the development of NOS understanding; instead, multiple developmental pathways may exist. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu. Zimaryova


    Full Text Available The purpose of the article is to determine and reconsider Voltaire’s ideas concerning religion and human nature. In order to achieve this purpose it is necessary to complete the following tasks: to analyse academic literature on Voltaire’s interpretation of the phenomenon of religion; to expose Voltaire’s basic ideas about human nature; to substantiate the importance of anthropological approach to the phenomenon of religion with the ideas of Voltaire’s philosophical works. Methodology. The achievements of anthropocentric philosophical thought of the XIX century possess great potential in the process of constructive comprehension and theoretical reconstruction of the anthropological intention that accompanies the process of philosophising. The research extensively applies hermeneutical method for interpreting Voltaire’s philosophy. Scientific novelty. In academic literature on Voltaire’s works we have ascertained the basic anthropological component of his philosophy and reconsider Voltaire’s ideas about religion as something that is rooted in human nature. Conclusions. In academic literature the interpretation of the phenomenon of religion in Voltaire’s heritage is a rather controversial one. At the one hand, Voltaire criticizes religion for its superstitions and fanaticism. On the other hand, he recognises the existence of God. In our opinion, the phenomenon of religion should be examined in the context of human nature and basic problems related to it such as the problem of soul and the problem of free will. The anthropological approach to the phenomenon of religion allows to avoid the extremity of atheistic and metaphysical approaches and to enable its anthropological interpretation.

  14. The active role played by human learners is key to understanding the efficacy of teaching in humans. (United States)

    Ronfard, Samuel; Harris, Paul L


    The early developing capacity of human learners to seek out reliable informants, initiate pedagogical episodes, and monitor and redirect ongoing instruction is critical to understanding humans' remarkable capacity for cumulative culture.

  15. An empirically informed critique of Habermas' argument from human nature. (United States)

    Morar, Nicolae


    In a near-future world of bionics and biotechnology, the main ethical and political issue will be the definition of who we are. Could biomedical enhancements transform us to such an extent that we would be other than human? Habermas argues that any genetic enhancement intervention that could potentially alter 'human nature' should be morally prohibited since it alters the child's nature or the very essence that makes the child who he is. This practice also commits the child to a specific life project or, in any case, it puts specific restrictions on his freedom to choose a life of his own. Ultimately, genetic enhancement jeopardizes the very foundations of moral equality. I contend that Habermas' argument is based either on a series of presuppositions that imply a gross misunderstanding of evolution or the relevant factual information concerning the action we are about to morally assess is not empirically supported. Hence, the argument from human nature is based on a series of false or problematic assumptions, and, as such, it fails to play the normative role intended by Habermas.

  16. Auditory Brainstem Responses to Continuous Natural Speech in Human Listeners. (United States)

    Maddox, Ross K; Lee, Adrian K C


    Speech is an ecologically essential signal, whose processing crucially involves the subcortical nuclei of the auditory brainstem, but there are few experimental options for studying these early responses in human listeners under natural conditions. While encoding of continuous natural speech has been successfully probed in the cortex with neurophysiological tools such as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography, the rapidity of subcortical response components combined with unfavorable signal-to-noise ratios signal-to-noise ratio has prevented application of those methods to the brainstem. Instead, experiments have used thousands of repetitions of simple stimuli such as clicks, tone-bursts, or brief spoken syllables, with deviations from those paradigms leading to ambiguity in the neural origins of measured responses. In this study we developed and tested a new way to measure the auditory brainstem response (ABR) to ongoing, naturally uttered speech, using EEG to record from human listeners. We found a high degree of morphological similarity between the speech-derived ABRs and the standard click-evoked ABR, in particular, a preserved Wave V, the most prominent voltage peak in the standard click-evoked ABR. Because this method yields distinct peaks that recapitulate the canonical ABR, at latencies too short to originate from the cortex, the responses measured can be unambiguously determined to be subcortical in origin. The use of naturally uttered speech to measure the ABR allows the design of engaging behavioral tasks, facilitating new investigations of the potential effects of cognitive processes like language and attention on brainstem processing.

  17. Towards an understanding of British public attitudes concerning human cloning.


    Shepherd, Richard; Barnett, Julie; Cooper, Helen; Coyle, Adrian; Moran-Ellis, Jo; Senior, Victoria; Walton, Chris


    This is a post-print version. The official published version can be accessed from the link below - Copyright @ 2007 Elsevier Ltd. The ability of scientists to apply cloning technology to humans has provoked public discussion and media coverage. The present paper reports on a series of studies examining public attitudes to human cloning in the UK, bringing together a range of quantitative and qualitative methods to address this question. These included a nationally representative survey, an...

  18. The 'Disadapted' Animal: Niko Tinbergen on Human Nature and the Human Predicament. (United States)

    Vicedo, Marga


    This paper explores ethologist Niko Tinbergen's path from animal to human studies in the 1960s and 1970s and his views about human nature. It argues, first, that the confluence of several factors explains why Tinbergen decided to cross the animal/human divide in the mid 1960s: his concern about what he called "the human predicament," his relations with British child psychiatrist John Bowlby, the success of ethological explanations of human behavior, and his professional and personal situation. It also argues that Tinbergen transferred his general adaptationist view of animal behavior to the realm of human biology; here, his concern about disadaptation led him to a view of human behavior that was strongly determined by the species' evolutionary past, a position that I call evolutionary determinism. These ideas can be seen in the work he carried out with his wife, Elisabeth Tinbergen, on autism. The paper concludes that Tinbergen's vision of human nature constitutes another version of what anthropologist Clifford Geertz called in 1966 the "stratigraphic" conception of the human: a view of human nature as a composite of levels in which a universal ancestral biological core is superimposed by psychological and cultural layers that represent accidental variation at best and pathological deviation at worst.

  19. Robotic Billiards: Understanding Humans in Order to Counter Them. (United States)

    Nierhoff, Thomas; Leibrandt, Konrad; Lorenz, Tamara; Hirche, Sandra


    Ongoing technological advances in the areas of computation, sensing, and mechatronics enable robotic-based systems to interact with humans in the real world. To succeed against a human in a competitive scenario, a robot must anticipate the human behavior and include it in its own planning framework. Then it can predict the next human move and counter it accordingly, thus not only achieving overall better performance but also systematically exploiting the opponent's weak spots. Pool is used as a representative scenario to derive a model-based planning and control framework where not only the physics of the environment but also a model of the opponent is considered. By representing the game of pool as a Markov decision process and incorporating a model of the human decision-making based on studies, an optimized policy is derived. This enables the robot to include the opponent's typical game style into its tactical considerations when planning a stroke. The results are validated in simulations and real-life experiments with an anthropomorphic robot playing pool against a human.

  20. Spatial Reasoning and Understanding the Particulate Nature of Matter: A Middle School Perspective (United States)

    Cole, Merryn L.

    This dissertation employed a mixed-methods approach to examine the relationship between spatial reasoning ability and understanding of chemistry content for both middle school students and their science teachers. Spatial reasoning has been linked to success in learning STEM subjects (Wai, Lubinski, & Benbow, 2009). Previous studies have shown a correlation between understanding of chemistry content and spatial reasoning ability (e.g., Pribyl & Bodner, 1987; Wu & Shah, 2003: Stieff, 2013), raising the importance of developing the spatial reasoning ability of both teachers and students. Few studies examine middle school students' or in-service middle school teachers' understanding of chemistry concepts or its relation to spatial reasoning ability. The first paper in this dissertation addresses the quantitative relationship between mental rotation, a type of spatial reasoning ability, and understanding a fundamental concept in chemistry, the particulate nature of matter. The data showed a significant, positive correlation between scores on the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test of Rotations (PSVT; Bodner & Guay, 1997) and the Particulate Nature of Matter Assessment (ParNoMA; Yezierski, 2003) for middle school students prior to and after chemistry instruction. A significant difference in spatial ability among students choosing different answer choices on ParNoMA questions was also found. The second paper examined the ways in which students of different spatial abilities talked about matter and chemicals differently. Students with higher spatial ability tended to provide more of an explanation, though not necessarily in an articulate matter. In contrast, lower spatial ability students tended to use any keywords that seemed relevant, but provided little or no explanation. The third paper examined the relationship between mental reasoning and understanding chemistry for middle school science teachers. Similar to their students, a significant, positive correlation between

  1. Human natural killer cell development in secondary lymphoid tissues (United States)

    Freud, Aharon G.; Yu, Jianhua; Caligiuri, Michael A.


    For nearly a decade it has been appreciated that critical steps in human natural killer (NK) cell development likely occur outside of the bone marrow and potentially necessitate distinct microenvironments within extramedullary tissues. The latter include the liver and gravid uterus as well as secondary lymphoid tissues such as tonsils and lymph nodes. For as yet unknown reasons these tissues are naturally enriched with NK cell developmental intermediates (NKDI) that span a maturation continuum starting from an oligopotent CD34+CD45RA+ hematopoietic precursor cell to a cytolytic mature NK cell. Indeed despite the detection of NKDI within the aforementioned tissues, relatively little is known about how, why, and when these tissues may be most suited to support NK cell maturation and how this process fits in with other components of the human immune system. With the discovery of other innate lymphoid subsets whose immunophenotypes overlap with those of NKDI, there is also need to revisit and potentially re-characterize the basic immunophenotypes of the stages of the human NK cell developmental pathway in vivo. In this review, we provide an overview of human NK cell development in secondary lymphoid tissues and discuss the many questions that remain to be answered in this exciting field. PMID:24661538

  2. Symmetry States of the physical space: an expanded reference frame for understanding human consciousness. (United States)

    Manek, Nisha J


    A remarkable phenomenon is taking place around the globe, one that I have been fortunate enough to witness and in which to participate. The relics of the historical Buddha, also known as Siddhartha or Shakyamuni Buddha, still survive today over 2500 years since his enlightenment, and, for the first time in history, are traveling throughout the world. In common Buddhist practice, relics are highly venerated and treasured remains of realized Masters. It is very rare for relics to travel from city to city and be available for viewing by the general public. The Buddha relic tour is demonstrating that a direct experience of the spiritual state is not mysterious, nor is it for a select few. The spiritual state, here defined as a universal theme of unconditional love, is a component of human evolutionary unfoldment, a process through which thousands of human beings have passed, and through which thousands more will pass. We are "waking up" as a species. Consequently, more information is required about this transformation of human consciousness. The Buddha relics offer us a priceless means by which we can obtain a richer perspective about the nature of human consciousness, spiritual realities such as love, and ultimately understanding ourselves.

  3. Overview of naturally occurring Earth materials and human health concerns (United States)

    Ernst, W. G.


    The biosphere and the Earth's critical zone have maintained a dynamic equilibrium for more than 3.5 billion years. Except for solar energy, almost all terrestrial substances necessary for life have been derived from near-surface portions of the land, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. If aggregate biological activities are less than the rate of nutrient supply and/or resource renewal, sustained population growth is possible. Where the replenishment rate of a life-sustaining Earth material is finite, usage may reach a condition of dynamic equilibrium in which biological consumption equals but on average cannot exceed the overall supply. Although large, most natural resources are present in finite abundances; for such commodities, excessive present-day human utilization reduces future availability, and thus the ultimate planetary carrying capacity for civilization. Intensive use of Earth materials has enhanced the quality of life, especially in the developed nations. Still, natural background levels, and Earth processes such as volcanic eruptions, as well as human activities involving agriculture, construction, and the extraction, refining, and transformation of mineral resources have led to harmful side effects involving environmental degradation and public health hazards. Among naturally and anthropogenically induced risks are bioaccessible airborne dusts and gases, soluble pollutants in agricultural, industrial, and residential waters, and toxic chemical species in foods and manufactured products. At appropriate levels of ingestion, many Earth materials are necessary for existence, but underdoses and overdoses have mild to serious consequences for human health and longevity. This overview briefly sketches several natural resource health hazards. Included are volcanic ash + aerosols + gases, mineral dusts, non-volcanic aerosols + nanoparticles, asbestos + fibrous zeolites, arsenic, fluorine, iodine, uranium + thorium + radium + radon + polonium, selenium, mercury, copper

  4. The relationship between nature of science understandings and science self-efficacy beliefs of sixth grade students (United States)

    Parker, Elisabeth Allyn

    Bandura (1986) posited that self-efficacy beliefs help determine what individuals do with the knowledge and skills they have and are critical determinants of how well skill and knowledge are acquired. Research has correlated self-efficacy beliefs with academic success and subject interest (Pajares, Britner, & Valiante, 2000). Similar studies report a decreasing interest by students in school science beginning in middle school claiming that they don't enjoy science because the classes are boring and irrelevant to their lives (Basu & Barton, 2007). The hypothesis put forth by researchers is that students need to observe models of how science is done, the nature of science (NOS), so that they connect with the human enterprise of science and thereby raise their self-efficacy (Britner, 2008). This study examined NOS understandings and science self-efficacy of students enrolled in a sixth grade earth science class taught with explicit NOS instruction. The research questions that guided this study were (a) how do students' self-efficacy beliefs change as compared with changes in their nature of science understandings?; and (b) how do changes in students' science self-efficacy beliefs vary with gender and ethnicity segregation? A mixed method design was employed following an embedded experimental model (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007). As the treatment, five NOS aspects were first taught by the teachers using nonintegrated activities followed by integrated instructional approach (Khishfe, 2008). Students' views of NOS using the Views on Nature of Science (VNOS) (Lederman, Abd-El-Khalick, & Schwartz, 2002) along with their self-efficacy beliefs using three Likert-type science self-efficacy scales (Britner, 2002) were gathered. Changes in NOS understandings were determined by categorizing student responses and then comparing pre- and post-instructional understandings. To determine changes in participants' self-efficacy beliefs as measured by the three subscales, a multivariate

  5. From Human Activity to Conceptual Understanding of the Chain Rule (United States)

    Jojo, Zingiswa Mybert Monica; Maharaj, Aneshkumar; Brijlall, Deonarain


    This article reports on a study which investigated first year university engineering students' construction of the definition of the concept of the chain rule in differential calculus at a University of Technology in South Africa. An APOS (Action-Process-Objects-Schema) approach was used to explore conceptual understanding displayed by students in…

  6. Understanding the human dimensions of a sustainable energy transition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steg, Linda; Perlaviciute, Goda; van der Werff, Ellen


    Global climate change threatens the health, economic prospects, and basic food and water sources of people. A wide range of changes in household energy behavior is needed to realize a sustainable energy transition. We propose a general framework to understand and encourage sustainable energy

  7. Combining natural and man-made DNA tracers to advance understanding of hydrologic flow pathway evolution (United States)

    Dahlke, H. E.; Walter, M. T.; Lyon, S. W.; Rosqvist, G. N.


    Identifying and characterizing the sources, pathways and residence times of water and associated constituents is critical to developing improved understanding of watershed-stream connections and hydrological/ecological/biogeochemical models. To date the most robust information is obtained from integrated studies that combine natural tracers (e.g. isotopes, geochemical tracers) with controlled chemical tracer (e.g., bromide, dyes) or colloidal tracer (e.g., carboxilated microspheres, tagged clay particles, microorganisms) applications. In the presented study we explore how understanding of sources and flow pathways of water derived from natural tracer studies can be improved and expanded in space and time by simultaneously introducing man-made, synthetic DNA-based microtracers. The microtracer used were composed of polylactic acid (PLA) microspheres into which short strands of synthetic DNA and paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are incorporated. Tracer experiments using both natural tracers and the DNA-based microtracers were conducted in the sub-arctic, glacierized Tarfala (21.7 km2) catchment in northern Sweden. Isotopic hydrograph separations revealed that even though storm runoff was dominated by pre-event water the event water (i.e. rainfall) contributions to streamflow increased throughout the summer season as glacial snow cover decreased. This suggests that glaciers are a major source of the rainwater fraction in streamflow. Simultaneous injections of ten unique DNA-based microtracers confirmed this hypothesis and revealed that the transit time of water traveling from the glacier surface to the stream decreased fourfold over the summer season leading to instantaneous rainwater contributions during storm events. These results highlight that integrating simultaneous tracer injections (injecting tracers at multiple places at one time) with traditional tracer methods (sampling multiple times at one place) rather than using either approach in isolation can

  8. Evolutionary theories of aging. 1. The need to understand the process of natural selection. (United States)

    Keller, L; Genoud, M


    In a Forum article Le Bourg (1998) criticized recent tests of evolutionary theories of aging and suggested alternative explanations for the long lifespan of ant queens and the positive relationship between body size and lifespan in mammals. Moreover, he attempts to criticize evolutionary theories of aging by showing that explanations other than evolutionary theories of aging probably account for the variation in human lifespan across countries. Here we show that the arguments of Le Bourg suffer several problems. First, many of the arguments reveal a misunderstanding of the process of natural selection. Second, some of the arguments reflect a lack of knowledge of evolutionary theories of aging (e.g. pre-reproductive mortality is not predicted to influence lifespan of organisms contrary to what is claimed). Finally, his final example on lifespan in humans simply is a straw-man because serious evolutionary biologists are well aware of the importance of confounding variables and would certainly not make the type of conclusion suggested by Le Bourg. Although a critical discussion of evolutionary theories of aging is welcome, we believe that the alternative explanations proposed by Le Bourg are implausible and reflect a misunderstanding of the process of natural selection. Copyright 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

  9. Understanding the influence of power and empathic perspective-taking on collaborative natural resource management. (United States)

    Wald, Dara M; Segal, Elizabeth A; Johnston, Erik W; Vinze, Ajay


    Public engagement in collaborative natural resource management necessitates shared understanding and collaboration. Empathic perspective-taking is a critical facilitator of shared understanding and positive social interactions, such as collaboration. Yet there is currently little understanding about how to reliably generate empathic perspective-taking and collaboration, particularly in situations involving the unequal distribution of environmental resources or power. Here we examine how experiencing the loss or gain of social power influenced empathic perspective-taking and behavior within a computer-mediated scenario. Participants (n = 180) were randomly assigned to each condition: high resources, low resources, lose resources, gain resources. Contrary to our expectations, participants in the perspective-taking condition, specifically those who lost resources, also lost perspective taking and exhibited egoistic behavior. This finding suggests that resource control within the collaborative process is a key contextual variable that influences perspective-taking and collaborative behavior. Moreover, the observed relationship between perspective-taking and egoistic behavior within a collaborative resource sharing exercise suggests that when resource control or access is unequal, interventions to promote perspective-taking deserve careful consideration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Understanding Human Impact: Second Graders Explore Watershed Dynamics (United States)

    Magruder, Robin; Rosenauer, Julia


    This article describes a second grade science enrichment unit with a focus on human impact, both positive and negative, on the living and nonliving components of the local watershed. Investigating the local watershed gave the unit a personal and pragmatic connection to students' lives because they depend on the local watershed for what they need…

  11. Understanding the Human Volcano: What Teens Can Do about Violence. (United States)

    Hipp, Earl

    Anger and violence among children has moved from the streets to the schools, with tragic, and well-documented, results. This book addresses anger and violence among children and is, in essence, an anger-management course for teens, written at about an eighth-grade level. Part 1, "The Problems of Violence in Our World," explores human violence. It…

  12. Understanding the heavy-tailed dynamics in human behavior. (United States)

    Ross, Gordon J; Jones, Tim


    The recent availability of electronic data sets containing large volumes of communication data has made it possible to study human behavior on a larger scale than ever before. From this, it has been discovered that across a diverse range of data sets, the interevent times between consecutive communication events obey heavy-tailed power law dynamics. Explaining this has proved controversial, and two distinct hypotheses have emerged. The first holds that these power laws are fundamental, and arise from the mechanisms such as priority queuing that humans use to schedule tasks. The second holds that they are statistical artifacts which only occur in aggregated data when features such as circadian rhythms and burstiness are ignored. We use a large social media data set to test these hypotheses, and find that although models that incorporate circadian rhythms and burstiness do explain part of the observed heavy tails, there is residual unexplained heavy-tail behavior which suggests a more fundamental cause. Based on this, we develop a quantitative model of human behavior which improves on existing approaches and gives insight into the mechanisms underlying human interactions.

  13. A Visual Analytic for Improving Human Terrain Understanding (United States)


    Global Graph was used that consisted of a PostgreSQL database and associated web services for searching and updating the database. A REST...and allow human interpretation. HDPT Component Overview PostgreSQL DBS Apache Tomcat Web Server [’...... _./ Globa l Graph Web ~ Application

  14. Understanding in the humanities: Gadamer's thought at the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Because Gadamer is very sensitive to the role of history, tradition and authority within human life, the overall intention of this article will be to unveil major elements of modern philosophy which exerted an influence upon his thought. In this sense it can be seen as applying his notion of 'Wirkungsgeschichte' to an assessment ...

  15. Understanding Arts and Humanities Students' Experiences of Assessment and Feedback (United States)

    Adams, Joelle; McNab, Nicole


    This article examines how undergraduate students on arts and humanities courses experience assessment and feedback. The research uses a detailed audit, a specially devised questionnaire (the Assessment Experience Questionnaire), and student focus group data, and the article examines results from 19 programmes, comparing those from "arts and…

  16. Socially intelligent robots that understand and respond to human touch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jung, Merel Madeleine

    Touch is an important nonverbal form of interpersonal interaction which is used to communicate emotions and other social messages. As interactions with social robots are likely to become more common in the near future these robots should also be able to engage in tactile interaction with humans.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uliana R. Vynnyk


    Full Text Available The aim of the research is to identify M. Heidegger's human dimension approach to the issue of technology .It is achieved by means of applying methods of analysis and synthesis in relation to philosopher’s philosophical and technical ideas. Scientific novelty. Philosopher’s important human dimension trends concerning technology are outlined in the research and are manifested in the concern for individuals to keep their humanity and dignity and make for the freedom eliminating everything that may adversely affect their essence.(немного поменяла слова и их порядок The term "individual measurability" involves a process of spiritual and intellectual development of a man and, in this context, through his development and humanity one should evaluate everything created by him; technical, social progress should be seen primarily from the point of view of a free man, humane, rationally and existentially independent from the artificially created world, who is able to play an advanced role in the process of his own development, social progress and technology. Techniques and technologies, in their turn, should progress, based primarily on human needs. Individuals, coexisting with technical means should take everything that is good for them and simultaneously use them for their spiritual and personal development. Conclusion. Having occupied a special position in relation to the tradition of European criticism, the philosopher considered technology, its essence and specificity, as well as features of technical activities in different historical periods to be a subject of a positive philosophical analysis. Heidegger broke with the tradition of European philosophy of technology, which focused its attention on the direct, "obvious" achievements of progress, having showed that the effects of intrusion of technology are diverse and difficult to be predicted in the long run. Technological dependence is hardly fatal to humans in the

  18. Patterns and Limitations of Urban Human Mobility Resilience under the Influence of Multiple Types of Natural Disaster. (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Taylor, John E


    Natural disasters pose serious threats to large urban areas, therefore understanding and predicting human movements is critical for evaluating a population's vulnerability and resilience and developing plans for disaster evacuation, response and relief. However, only limited research has been conducted into the effect of natural disasters on human mobility. This study examines how natural disasters influence human mobility patterns in urban populations using individuals' movement data collected from Twitter. We selected fifteen destructive cases across five types of natural disaster and analyzed the human movement data before, during, and after each event, comparing the perturbed and steady state movement data. The results suggest that the power-law can describe human mobility in most cases and that human mobility patterns observed in steady states are often correlated with those in perturbed states, highlighting their inherent resilience. However, the quantitative analysis shows that this resilience has its limits and can fail in more powerful natural disasters. The findings from this study will deepen our understanding of the interaction between urban dwellers and civil infrastructure, improve our ability to predict human movement patterns during natural disasters, and facilitate contingency planning by policymakers.

  19. Perception and Understanding of Invasive Alien Species Issues by Nature Conservation and Horticulture Professionals in Belgium (United States)

    Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Piqueray, Julien; Halford, Mathieu; Nulens, Greet; Vincke, Jan; Mahy, Grégory


    We conducted a survey to determine how two professional sectors in Belgium, horticulture professionals and nature reserve managers (those directly involved in conservation), view the issues associated with invasive plant species. We developed and utilized a questionnaire that addressed the themes of awareness, concept and use of language, availability of information, impacts and, finally, control and available solutions. Using co-inertia analyses, we tested to what extent the perception of invasive alien species (IAS) was dependent upon the perception of Nature in general. Only forty-two percent of respondent horticulture professionals and eighty-two percent of nature reserve managers had a general knowledge of IAS. Many individuals in both target groups nonetheless had an accurate understanding of the scientific issues. Our results therefore suggest that the manner in which individuals within the two groups view, or perceive, the IAS issue was more the result of lack of information than simply biased perceptions of target groups. Though IAS perceptions by the two groups diverged, they were on par with how they viewed Nature in general. The descriptions of IAS by participants converged with the ideas and concepts frequently found in the scientific literature. Both managers and horticulture professionals expressed a strong willingness to participate in programs designed to prevent the spread of, and damage caused by, IAS. Despite this, the continued commercial availability of many invasive species highlighted the necessity to use both mandatory and voluntary approaches to reduce their re-introduction and spread. The results of this study provide stakeholders and conservation managers with practical information on which communication and management strategies can be based.

  20. Perception and understanding of invasive alien species issues by nature conservation and horticulture professionals in Belgium. (United States)

    Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Piqueray, Julien; Halford, Mathieu; Nulens, Greet; Vincke, Jan; Mahy, Grégory


    We conducted a survey to determine how two professional sectors in Belgium, horticulture professionals and nature reserve managers (those directly involved in conservation), view the issues associated with invasive plant species. We developed and utilized a questionnaire that addressed the themes of awareness, concept and use of language, availability of information, impacts and, finally, control and available solutions. Using co-inertia analyses, we tested to what extent the perception of invasive alien species (IAS) was dependent upon the perception of Nature in general. Only forty-two percent of respondent horticulture professionals and eighty-two percent of nature reserve managers had a general knowledge of IAS. Many individuals in both target groups nonetheless had an accurate understanding of the scientific issues. Our results therefore suggest that the manner in which individuals within the two groups view, or perceive, the IAS issue was more the result of lack of information than simply biased perceptions of target groups. Though IAS perceptions by the two groups diverged, they were on par with how they viewed Nature in general. The descriptions of IAS by participants converged with the ideas and concepts frequently found in the scientific literature. Both managers and horticulture professionals expressed a strong willingness to participate in programs designed to prevent the spread of, and damage caused by, IAS. Despite this, the continued commercial availability of many invasive species highlighted the necessity to use both mandatory and voluntary approaches to reduce their re-introduction and spread. The results of this study provide stakeholders and conservation managers with practical information on which communication and management strategies can be based.

  1. Understanding human thiol dioxygenase enzymes: structure to function, and biology to pathology. (United States)

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


    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.

  2. Natural mummification of the human gut preserves bacteriophage DNA. (United States)

    Santiago-Rodriguez, Tasha M; Fornaciari, Gino; Luciani, Stefania; Dowd, Scot E; Toranzos, Gary A; Marota, Isolina; Cano, Raul J


    The natural mummification process of the human gut represents a unique opportunity to study the resulting microbial community structure and composition. While results are providing insights into the preservation of bacteria, fungi, pathogenic eukaryotes and eukaryotic viruses, no studies have demonstrated that the process of natural mummification also results in the preservation of bacteriophage DNA. We characterized the gut microbiome of three pre-Columbian Andean mummies, namely FI3, FI9 and FI12, and found sequences homologous to viruses. From the sequences attributable to viruses, 50.4% (mummy FI3), 1.0% (mummy FI9) and 84.4% (mummy FI12) were homologous to bacteriophages. Sequences corresponding to the Siphoviridae, Myoviridae, Podoviridae and Microviridae families were identified. Predicted putative bacterial hosts corresponded mainly to the Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, and included Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Clostridium, Escherichia, Vibrio, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas and Yersinia. Predicted functional categories associated with bacteriophages showed a representation of structural, replication, integration and entry and lysis genes. The present study suggests that the natural mummification of the human gut results in the preservation of bacteriophage DNA, representing an opportunity to elucidate the ancient phageome and to hypothesize possible mechanisms of preservation. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

  3. Applying artificial vision models to human scene understanding. (United States)

    Aminoff, Elissa M; Toneva, Mariya; Shrivastava, Abhinav; Chen, Xinlei; Misra, Ishan; Gupta, Abhinav; Tarr, Michael J


    How do we understand the complex patterns of neural responses that underlie scene understanding? Studies of the network of brain regions held to be scene-selective-the parahippocampal/lingual region (PPA), the retrosplenial complex (RSC), and the occipital place area (TOS)-have typically focused on single visual dimensions (e.g., size), rather than the high-dimensional feature space in which scenes are likely to be neurally represented. Here we leverage well-specified artificial vision systems to explicate a more complex understanding of how scenes are encoded in this functional network. We correlated similarity matrices within three different scene-spaces arising from: (1) BOLD activity in scene-selective brain regions; (2) behavioral measured judgments of visually-perceived scene similarity; and (3) several different computer vision models. These correlations revealed: (1) models that relied on mid- and high-level scene attributes showed the highest correlations with the patterns of neural activity within the scene-selective network; (2) NEIL and SUN-the models that best accounted for the patterns obtained from PPA and TOS-were different from the GIST model that best accounted for the pattern obtained from RSC; (3) The best performing models outperformed behaviorally-measured judgments of scene similarity in accounting for neural data. One computer vision method-NEIL ("Never-Ending-Image-Learner"), which incorporates visual features learned as statistical regularities across web-scale numbers of scenes-showed significant correlations with neural activity in all three scene-selective regions and was one of the two models best able to account for variance in the PPA and TOS. We suggest that these results are a promising first step in explicating more fine-grained models of neural scene understanding, including developing a clearer picture of the division of labor among the components of the functional scene-selective brain network.

  4. Understanding Complex Human Ecosystems: The Case of Ecotourism on Bonaire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Abel


    Full Text Available It is suggested that ecotourism development on the island of Bonaire can be productively understood as a perturbation of a complex human ecosystem. Inputs associated with ecotourism have fueled transformations of the island ecology and sociocultural system. The results of this study indicate that Bonaire's social and economic hierarchy is approaching a new, stable systems state following a 50-yr transition begun by government and industry that stabilized with the appearance of ecotourism development and population growth. Ecotourism can be understood to have "filled in" the middle of the production hierarchy of Bonaire. Interpreted from this perspective, population growth has completed the transformation by expanding into production niches at smaller scales in the production hierarchy. Both a consequence and a cause, ecotourism has transformed the island's social structure and demography. The theory and methods applied in this case study of interdisciplinary research in the field of human ecosystems are also presented.

  5. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Understanding Human Security


    Inglehart, Ronald F.; Norris, Pippa


    Since the end of the Cold War, security studies have broadened to take into account a wide range of non-military threats ranging from poverty to environmental concerns rather than just national defense. Security scholars, backed by international organizations and a growing number of national governments, have developed the concept of Human Security, focusing on the welfare of ordinary people against a broad range of threats. This has aroused vigorous debate. Part I of this paper proposes an a...

  6. 3D Data Acquisition Platform for Human Activity Understanding (United States)


    Enter List of papers submitted or published that acknowledge ARO support from the start of the project to the date of this printing . List the papers...SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: In this project, we incorporated motion capture devices, 3D vision sensors, and EMG sensors to cross validate...multimodality data acquisition, and address fundamental research problems of representation and invariant description of 3D data, human motion modeling and

  7. Human reliability: an evaluation of its understanding and prediction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joksimovich, V.


    This paper presents a viewpoint on the state-of-the-art in human reliability. The bases for this viewpoint are, by and large, research projects conducted by the NUS for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) primarily with the objective of further enhancing the credibility of PRA methodology. The presentation is divided into the following key sections: Background and Overview, Methodology and Data Base with emphasis on the simulator data base

  8. A Simple Model for Human and Nature Interaction (United States)

    Motesharrei, S.; Rivas, J.; Kalnay, E.


    There are widespread concerns that current trends in population and resource-use are unsustainable, but the possibilities of an overshoot and collapse remain unclear and controversial. Collapses of civilizations have occurred many times in the past 5000 years, often followed by centuries of economic, intellectual, and population decline. Many different natural and social phenomena have been invoked to explain specific collapses, but a general explanation remains elusive. Two important features seem to appear across societies that have collapsed: Ecological Strain and Economic Stratification. Our new model (Human And Nature DYnamics, HANDY) has just four equations that describe the evolution of Elites, Commoners, Nature, and Wealth. Mechanisms leading to collapse are discussed and the measure "Carrying Capacity" is developed and defined. The model shows that societal collapse can happen due to either one of two independent factors: (1) over-consumption of natural resources, and/or (2) deep inequity between Elites and Commoners. The model also portrays two distinct types of collapse: (i) collapse followed by recovery of nature, and (ii) full collapse. The model suggests that the estimation of Carrying Capacity is a practical means for early detection of a collapse. Collapse can be avoided, and population can reach a sustainable equilibrium, if the rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.; A type-ii (full) collapse is shown in this figure. With high inequality and high depletion, societies are doomed to collapse. Wealth starts to decrease when population rises above the carrying capacity. The large gap between carrying capacity and its maximum is a result of depletion factor being much larger than the sustainable limit. ; It is possible to overshoot, oscillate, and eventually converge to an equilibrium, even in an inequitable society. However, it requires policies that control

  9. Human-aided and natural dispersal drive gene flow across the range of an invasive mosquito. (United States)

    Medley, Kim A; Jenkins, David G; Hoffman, Eric A


    Human-aided transport is responsible for many contemporary species introductions, yet the contribution of human-aided transport to dispersal within non-native regions is less clear. Understanding dispersal dynamics for invasive species can streamline mitigation efforts by targeting routes that contribute disproportionally to spread. Because of its limited natural dispersal ability, rapid spread of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) has been attributed to human-aided transport, but until now, the relative roles of human-aided and natural movement have not been rigorously evaluated. Here, we use landscape genetics and information-theoretic model selection to evaluate 52 models representing 9240 pairwise dispersal paths among sites across the US range for Ae. albopictus and show that recent gene flow reflects a combination of natural and human-aided dispersal. Highways and water availability facilitate dispersal at a broad spatial scale, but gene flow is hindered by forests at the current distributional limit (range edge) and by agriculture among sites within the mosquito's native climatic niche (range core). Our results show that highways are important to genetic structure between range-edge and range-core pairs, suggesting a role for human-aided mosquito transport to the range edge. In contrast, natural dispersal is dominant at smaller spatial scales, reflecting a shifting dominance to natural movement two decades after introduction. These conclusions highlight the importance of (i) early intervention for species introductions, particularly those with readily dispersed dormant stages and short generation times, and (ii) strict monitoring of commercial shipments for transported immature stages of Ae. albopictus, particularly towards the northern edge of the US range. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Goddess Science, Primates and Feminism. Primatology and Human Nature Seeking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra Derra


    Full Text Available The Author introduces basic aims, notions, methodological tools and theories of primatology. Underlining crucial role this discipline has played in defining human nature, she points out how it has changed due to its social duties, close relations to popular culture and growing impact of female researchers with feminist sensitivity. She posits the question about female or feminist character of primatology, indicating that the answer depends on taking for granted certain disputable assumptions about femininity and female scientific methods. Subsequently she presents androcentric bias of primatology studies (concerning sexuality, reproduction, male domination, female roles, aggression, and its later critique. Finally she problematizes culture/nature division which is used both in scientific and everyday discourse.

  11. 'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism' (United States)

    Schrödinger, Erwin


    Foreword; Part I. Nature and the Greeks: 1. The motives for returning to ancient thought; 2. The competition, reason v. senses; 3. The Pythagoreans; 4. The Ionian enlightenment; 5. The religion of Xenophanes, Heraclitus of Ephesus; 6. The atomists; 7. What are the special features?; Part II. Science and Humanism: 1. The spiritual bearing of science on life; 2. The practical achievements of science tending to obliterate its true import; 3. A radical change in our ideas of matter; 4. Form, not substance, the fundamental concept; 5. The nature of our 'models'; 6. Continuous descriptions and causality; 7. The intricacy of the continuum; 8. The makeshift of wave mechanics; 9. The alleged breakdown of the barrier between subject and object; 10. Atoms or quanta - the counter-spell of old standing, to escape the intricacy of the continuum; 11. Would physical indeterminacy give free will a chance?; 12. The bar to prediction, according to Niels Bohr; Literature.

  12. Book review: Serendipity: An ecologist’s quest to understand nature (United States)

    Ball, E. E.; Adams, D. M.; Dupuie, J. N.; Jones, M. M.; McGovern, P. G.; Ruden, R. M.; Schmidt, S.R.; Vaziri, G. J.; Eeling, J. S.; Kirk, B. D.; McCombs, A. L.; Rabinowitz, A. B.; Thompson, K. M.; Hudson, Z. J.; Klaver, Robert W.


    A common thought among graduate students is: “how do established scientists get where they are today?” In Serendipity: An Ecologist’s Quest to Understand Nature, James Estes offers a personal reflection on research experiences spanning his 50-year career, beginning as a Ph.D. student in 1970 and concluding with recognition as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014. Estes chronologically outlines the foundational trophic cascade ecology research that he and colleagues conducted in the Aleutian Islands, examining key relationships among kelp forests, sea otters, sea urchins, and killer whales through anecdotal stories of achievement and challenge. Estes’ 3 main goals in writing this book are to: (1) recount what he had learned from 50 years of research;...

  13. A cultural neuroscience approach to the biosocial nature of the human brain. (United States)

    Han, Shihui; Northoff, Georg; Vogeley, Kai; Wexler, Bruce E; Kitayama, Shinobu; Varnum, Michael E W


    Cultural neuroscience (CN) is an interdisciplinary field that investigates the relationship between culture (e.g., value and belief systems and practices shared by groups) and human brain functions. In this review we describe the origin, aims, and methods of CN as well as its conceptual framework and major findings. We also clarify several misunderstandings of CN research. Finally, we discuss the implications of CN findings for understanding human brain function in sociocultural contexts and novel questions that future CN research should address. By doing so, we hope to provide a clear picture of the CN approach to the human brain and culture and to elucidate the intrinsically biosocial nature of the functional organization of the human brain.

  14. Surgery via natural orifices in human beings: yesterday, today, tomorrow. (United States)

    Moris, Demetrios N; Bramis, Konstantinos J; Mantonakis, Eleftherios I; Papalampros, Efstathios L; Petrou, Athanasios S; Papalampros, Alexandros E


    We performed an evaluation of models, techniques, and applicability to the clinical setting of natural orifice surgery (mainly natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery [NOTES]) primarily in general surgery procedures. NOTES has attracted much attention recently for its potential to establish a completely alternative approach to the traditional surgical procedures performed entirely through a natural orifice. Beyond the potentially scar-free surgery and abolishment of dermal incision-related complications, the safety and efficacy of this new surgical technology must be evaluated. Studies were identified by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Entrez PubMed from 2007 to February 2011. Most of the references were identified from 2009 to 2010. There were limitations as far as the population that was evaluated (only human beings, no cadavers or animals) was concerned, but there were no limitations concerning the level of evidence of the studies that were evaluated. The studies that were deemed applicable for our review were published mainly from 2007 to 2010 (see Methods section). All the evaluated studies were conducted only in human beings. We studied the most common referred in the literature orifices such as vaginal, oral, gastric, esophageal, anal, or urethral. The optimal access route and method could not be established because of the different nature of each procedure. We mainly studied procedures in the field of general surgery such as cholecystectomy, intestinal cancers, renal cancers, appendectomy, mediastinoscopy, and peritoneoscopy. All procedures were feasible and most of them had an uneventful postoperative course. A number of technical problems were encountered, especially as far as pure NOTES procedures are concerned, which makes the need of developing new endoscopic instruments, to facilitate each approach, undeniable. NOTES is still in the early stages of development and more robust technologies will be needed to achieve reliable

  15. Understanding the systemic nature of cities to improve health and climate change mitigation. (United States)

    Chapman, Ralph; Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Capon, Anthony


    Understanding cities comprehensively as systems is a costly challenge and is typically not feasible for policy makers. Nevertheless, focusing on some key systemic characteristics of cities can give useful insights for policy to advance health and well-being outcomes. Moreover, if we take a coevolutionary systems view of cities, some conventional assumptions about the nature of urban development (e.g. the growth in private vehicle use with income) may not stand up. We illustrate this by examining the coevolution of urban transport and land use systems, and institutional change, giving examples of policy implications. At a high level, our concern derives from the need to better understand the dynamics of urban change, and its implications for health and well-being. At a practical level, we see opportunities to use stylised findings about urban systems to underpin policy experiments. While it is now not uncommon to view cities as systems, policy makers appear to have made little use so far of a systems approach to inform choice of policies with consequences for health and well-being. System insights can be applied to intelligently anticipate change - for example, as cities are subjected to increasing natural system reactions to climate change, they must find ways to mitigate and adapt to it. Secondly, systems insights around policy cobenefits are vital for better informing horizontal policy integration. Lastly, an implication of system complexity is that rather than seeking detailed, 'full' knowledge about urban issues and policies, cities would be well advised to engage in policy experimentation to address increasingly urgent health and climate change issues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Natural images from the birthplace of the human eye. (United States)

    Tkačik, Gašper; Garrigan, Patrick; Ratliff, Charles; Milčinski, Grega; Klein, Jennifer M; Seyfarth, Lucia H; Sterling, Peter; Brainard, David H; Balasubramanian, Vijay


    Here we introduce a database of calibrated natural images publicly available through an easy-to-use web interface. Using a Nikon D70 digital SLR camera, we acquired about six-megapixel images of Okavango Delta of Botswana, a tropical savanna habitat similar to where the human eye is thought to have evolved. Some sequences of images were captured unsystematically while following a baboon troop, while others were designed to vary a single parameter such as aperture, object distance, time of day or position on the horizon. Images are available in the raw RGB format and in grayscale. Images are also available in units relevant to the physiology of human cone photoreceptors, where pixel values represent the expected number of photoisomerizations per second for cones sensitive to long (L), medium (M) and short (S) wavelengths. This database is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Unported license to facilitate research in computer vision, psychophysics of perception, and visual neuroscience.

  17. Top 40 questions in coupled human and natural systems (CHANS research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Boyd. Kramer


    Full Text Available Understanding and managing coupled human and natural systems (CHANS is a central challenge of the 21st century, but more focus is needed to pursue the most important questions within this vast field given limited research capacity and funding. We present 40 important questions for CHANS research, identified through a two-part crowdsourcing exercise within the CHANS community. We solicited members of the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS-Net to submit up to three questions that they considered transformative, receiving 540 questions from 207 respondents. After editing for clarity and consistency, we asked the network's members to each evaluate a random subset of 20 questions in importance on a scale from 1 (least important to 7 (extremely important. Questions on land use and agriculture topped the list, with a median importance ranking of 5.7, followed by questions of scale, climate change and energy, sustainability and development, adaptation and resilience, in addition to seven other categories. We identified 40 questions with a median importance of 6.0 or above, which we highlight as the current view of researchers active in the field as research questions to pursue in order to maximize impact on understanding and managing coupled human and natural systems for achieving sustainable development goals and addressing emerging global challenges.

  18. Understanding the Information Requirements of Arts and Humanities Scholarship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agiatis Benardou


    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.

  19. Can human movement analysis contribute to usability understanding? (United States)

    Belda-Lois, Juan-Manuel; de-Rosario, Helios; Pons, Romà; Poveda, Rakel; Morón, Ana; Porcar, Rosa; García, Ana-Cruz; Gómez, Amelia


    Nowadays human-machine interfaces are evaluated using different methodologies. These methodologies rarely consider the human movements involved in the interaction, and if so, the movements are considered in a simplistic manner. Another often neglected aspect is the relationship between the learning process and the use of the interface. Traditional approaches of cognitive modeling consider learning as just one continuous process. However there is some current evidence of concurrent processes on different time scales. This paper aims to answer, with experimental measurements, if learning actually implies a set of concurrent processes, if those processes are related to the coordinative aspects of hand movement, and how this can vary between young adult and elderly users. Two different interfaces, a washing machine and a domotic system, were analyzed with 23 and 20 people, respectively, classified as men or women and elderly (over 55) or adult (between 40 and 50). The results of the study provide support for the existence of different concurrent processes in learning, previously demonstrated for motor tasks. Moreover, the learning process is actually associated with changes in movement patterns. Finally, the results show that the progression of the learning process depends on age, although elderly people are equally capable of learning to use technological systems as young adults. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Natural killer cell distribution and trafficking in human tissues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido eFerlazzo


    Full Text Available Few data are available regarding the recirculation of natural killer (NK cells among human organs. Earlier studies have been often impaired by the use of markers then proved to be either not sufficiently specific for NK cells (e.g. CD57, CD56 or expressed only by subsets of NK cells (e.g. CD16. At the present, available data confirmed that human NK cells populate blood, lymphoid organs, lung, liver, uterus (during pregnancy and gut. Several studies showed that NK cell homing appears to be subset-specific, as secondary lymphoid organs and probably several solid tissues are preferentially inhabited by CD56brightCD16neg/dull non-cytotoxic NK cells. Similar studies performed in the mouse model showed that lymph node and bone marrow are preferentially populated by CD11bdull NK cells while blood, spleen and lung by CD27dull NK cells. Therefore, an important topic to be addressed in the human system is the contribution of factors that regulate NK cell tissue homing and egress, such as chemotactic receptors or homeostatic mechanisms. Here, we review the current knowledge on NK cell distribution in peripheral tissues and, based on recent acquisitions, we propose our view regarding the recirculation of NK cells in the human body.

  1. Knowledge to Action - Understanding Natural Hazards-Induced Power Outage Scenarios for Actionable Disaster Responses (United States)

    Kar, B.; Robinson, C.; Koch, D. B.; Omitaomu, O.


    The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 identified the following four priorities to prevent and reduce disaster risks: i) understanding disaster risk; ii) strengthening governance to manage disaster risk; iii) investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience and; iv) enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to "Build Back Better" in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. While forecasting and decision making tools are in place to predict and understand future impacts of natural hazards, the knowledge to action approach that currently exists fails to provide updated information needed by decision makers to undertake response and recovery efforts following a hazard event. For instance, during a tropical storm event advisories are released every two to three hours, but manual analysis of geospatial data to determine potential impacts of the event tends to be time-consuming and a post-event process. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a Spatial Decision Support System that enables real-time analysis of storm impact based on updated advisory. A prototype of the tool that focuses on determining projected power outage areas and projected duration of outages demonstrates the feasibility of integrating science with decision making for emergency management personnel to act in real time to protect communities and reduce risk.

  2. Understanding the nature of apraxia of speech: Theory, analysis, and treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirrie J. Ballard


    Full Text Available Researchers have interpreted the behaviours of individuals with acquired apraxia of speech (AOS as impairment of linguistic phonological processing, motor control, or both. Acoustic, kinematic, and perceptual studies of speech in more recent years have led to significant advances in our understanding of the disorder and wide acceptance that it affects phonetic - motoric planning of speech. However, newly developed methods for studying nonspeech motor control are providing new insights, indicating that the motor control impairment of AOS extends beyond speech and is manifest in nonspeech movements of the oral structures. We present the most recent developments in theory and methods to examine and define the nature of AOS. Theories of the disorder are then related to existing treatment approaches and the efficacy of these approaches is examined. Directions for development of new treatments are posited. It is proposed that treatment programmes driven by a principled account of how the motor system learns to produce skilled actions will provide the most efficient and effective framework for treating motorbased speech disorders. In turn, well controlled and theoretically motivated studies of treatment efficacy promise to stimulate further development of theoretical accounts and contribute to our understanding of AOS.

  3. Early life history and habitat ecology of estuarine fishes: responses to natural and human induced change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth Able


    Full Text Available Our understanding of the early life history of fishes and their habitats has proceeded from basic natural history to ecology, but we often need to return to natural history to address deficiencies in conceptual and quantitative models of ecosystems. This understanding is further limited by the complex life history of fishes and the lack of appreciation of shifting baselines in estuaries. These inadequacies are especially evident when we try to address the effects of human influences, e.g. fishing, urbanization, and climate change. Often our baselines are inadequate or inaccurate. Our work has detected these along the coasts of the U.S. in extensive time series of larval fish ingress into estuaries, studies of the effects of urbanization, and responses to catastrophes such as the BP oil spill. Long-term monitoring, especially, continues to provide critical insights

  4. The evolutionary approach to understand human low fertility phenomenon (United States)

    Cernak, Jozef


    Is it possible to reverse the low total fertility rate (TFR) in the developed world? Using a hypothetical model of population we have analysed the decline of the TFR which have took place in the background of ongoing global economic changes, and a liberalization process after the end of the Cold War. These phenomena have affected more that 110 millions of inhabitants of Central Europe and the Baltics and approximately 80 millions of inhabitants in Germany. The model has features of complex and evolving system of interacting individuals, and it enables to investigate a broad spectrum of input factors on individual decisions to limit the offspring. In the case of the TFR global economy that will stimulate series of self-regulations of demographic processes and evolution toward the safe TFR > 2.1. The changes should stimulate more uniform spatial distribution of wealth, capital and usage. They will increase a number of self-sufficient and cooperative territories, to decrease the income inequality, to decrease labour and social mobilities. Societies should investigate the impacts of economic regulations and actions on the TFR trends in advance and take into account a biological nature of women more responsible.

  5. Bootstrapping Q Methodology to Improve the Understanding of Human Perspectives (United States)

    Zabala, Aiora; Pascual, Unai


    Q is a semi-qualitative methodology to identify typologies of perspectives. It is appropriate to address questions concerning diverse viewpoints, plurality of discourses, or participation processes across disciplines. Perspectives are interpreted based on rankings of a set of statements. These rankings are analysed using multivariate data reduction techniques in order to find similarities between respondents. Discussing the analytical process and looking for progress in Q methodology is becoming increasingly relevant. While its use is growing in social, health and environmental studies, the analytical process has received little attention in the last decades and it has not benefited from recent statistical and computational advances. Specifically, the standard procedure provides overall and arguably simplistic variability measures for perspectives and none of these measures are associated to individual statements, on which the interpretation is based. This paper presents an innovative approach of bootstrapping Q to obtain additional and more detailed measures of variability, which helps researchers understand better their data and the perspectives therein. This approach provides measures of variability that are specific to each statement and perspective, and additional measures that indicate the degree of certainty with which each respondent relates to each perspective. This supplementary information may add or subtract strength to particular arguments used to describe the perspectives. We illustrate and show the usefulness of this approach with an empirical example. The paper provides full details for other researchers to implement the bootstrap in Q studies with any data collection design. PMID:26845694

  6. Bootstrapping Q Methodology to Improve the Understanding of Human Perspectives. (United States)

    Zabala, Aiora; Pascual, Unai


    Q is a semi-qualitative methodology to identify typologies of perspectives. It is appropriate to address questions concerning diverse viewpoints, plurality of discourses, or participation processes across disciplines. Perspectives are interpreted based on rankings of a set of statements. These rankings are analysed using multivariate data reduction techniques in order to find similarities between respondents. Discussing the analytical process and looking for progress in Q methodology is becoming increasingly relevant. While its use is growing in social, health and environmental studies, the analytical process has received little attention in the last decades and it has not benefited from recent statistical and computational advances. Specifically, the standard procedure provides overall and arguably simplistic variability measures for perspectives and none of these measures are associated to individual statements, on which the interpretation is based. This paper presents an innovative approach of bootstrapping Q to obtain additional and more detailed measures of variability, which helps researchers understand better their data and the perspectives therein. This approach provides measures of variability that are specific to each statement and perspective, and additional measures that indicate the degree of certainty with which each respondent relates to each perspective. This supplementary information may add or subtract strength to particular arguments used to describe the perspectives. We illustrate and show the usefulness of this approach with an empirical example. The paper provides full details for other researchers to implement the bootstrap in Q studies with any data collection design.

  7. Conflicting Epistemologies and Inference in Coupled Human and Natural Systems (United States)

    Garcia, M. E.


    Last year, I presented a model that projects per capita water consumption based on changes in price, population, building codes, and water stress salience. This model applied methods from hydrological science and engineering to relationships both within and beyond their traditional scope. Epistemologically, the development of mathematical models of natural or engineered systems is objectivist while research examining relationships between observations, perceptions and action is commonly constructivist or subjectivist. Drawing on multiple epistemologies is common in, and perhaps central to, the growing fields of coupled human and natural systems, and socio-hydrology. Critically, these philosophical perspectives vary in their view of the nature of the system as mechanistic, adaptive or constructed, and the split between aleatory and epistemic uncertainty. Interdisciplinary research is commonly cited as a way to address the critical and domain crossing challenge of sustainability as synthesis across perspectives can offer a more comprehensive view of system dynamics. However, combining methods and concepts from multiple ontologies and epistemologies can introduce contradictions into the logic of inference. These contractions challenge the evaluation of research products and the implications for practical application of research findings are not fully understood. Reflections on the evaluation, application, and generalization of the water consumption model described above are used to ground these broader questions and offer thoughts on the way forward.

  8. Collaborative human-machine analysis using a controlled natural language (United States)

    Mott, David H.; Shemanski, Donald R.; Giammanco, Cheryl; Braines, Dave


    A key aspect of an analyst's task in providing relevant information from data is the reasoning about the implications of that data, in order to build a picture of the real world situation. This requires human cognition, based upon domain knowledge about individuals, events and environmental conditions. For a computer system to collaborate with an analyst, it must be capable of following a similar reasoning process to that of the analyst. We describe ITA Controlled English (CE), a subset of English to represent analyst's domain knowledge and reasoning, in a form that it is understandable by both analyst and machine. CE can be used to express domain rules, background data, assumptions and inferred conclusions, thus supporting human-machine interaction. A CE reasoning and modeling system can perform inferences from the data and provide the user with conclusions together with their rationale. We present a logical problem called the "Analysis Game", used for training analysts, which presents "analytic pitfalls" inherent in many problems. We explore an iterative approach to its representation in CE, where a person can develop an understanding of the problem solution by incremental construction of relevant concepts and rules. We discuss how such interactions might occur, and propose that such techniques could lead to better collaborative tools to assist the analyst and avoid the "pitfalls".

  9. From Human-Nature to Cultureplace in Education via an Exploration of Unity and Relation in the Work of Peirce and Dewey (United States)

    Quay, John


    In outdoor education discourse the notion of relation is often employed to convey basic connections between humanity and nature as human-nature relationships, yet the sense of relation itself is rarely questioned. Drawing on the work of Peirce and Dewey, I explore the ramifications of a more nuanced understanding of relation, specifically how…

  10. The Relationship between Biology Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science and the Understanding and Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (United States)

    Cofré, Hernán; Cuevas, Emilia; Becerra, Beatriz


    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…

  11. Using Landsat time series for characterizing forest disturbance dynamics in the coupled human and natural systems of Central Europe (United States)

    Senf, Cornelius; Pflugmacher, Dirk; Hostert, Patrick; Seidl, Rupert


    Remote sensing is a key information source for improving the spatiotemporal understanding of forest ecosystem dynamics. Yet, the mapping and attribution of forest change remains challenging, particularly in areas where a number of interacting disturbance agents simultaneously affect forest development. The forest ecosystems of Central Europe are coupled human and natural systems, with natural and human disturbances affecting forests both individually and in combination. To better understand the complex forest disturbance dynamics in such systems, we utilize 32-year Landsat time series to map forest disturbances in five sites across Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. All sites consisted of a National Park and the surrounding forests, reflecting three management zones of different levels of human influence (managed, protected, strictly protected). This allowed for a comparison of spectral, temporal, and spatial disturbance patterns across a gradient from natural to coupled human and natural disturbances. Disturbance maps achieved overall accuracies ranging from 81% to 93%. Disturbance patches were generally small, with 95% of the disturbances being smaller than 10 ha. Disturbance rates ranged from 0.29% yr-1 to 0.95% yr-1, and differed substantially among management zones and study sites. Natural disturbances in strictly protected areas were longer in duration (median of 8 years) and slightly less variable in magnitude compared to human-dominated disturbances in managed forests (median duration of 1 year). However, temporal dynamics between natural and human-dominated disturbances showed strong synchrony, suggesting that disturbance peaks are driven by natural events affecting managed and unmanaged areas simultaneously. Our study demonstrates the potential of remote sensing for mapping forest disturbances in coupled human and natural systems, such as the forests of Central Europe. Yet, we also highlight the complexity of such systems in terms

  12. Natural Radium-226 accumulation in the human thyroid gland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simon, Steven L.; Ibrahim, Shawki A.; Barden, Adam O.; VanMiddlesworth, Lester


    Full text: Small amounts of Ra-226 and other radium isotopes routinely enter the human body through normal dietary intake and, in some cases, through occupational exposure. Currently accepted biokinetic models for radium in the human body assume a uniform distribution among all soft tissues and a short retention time in those tissues. These assumptions persist despite publications in the mid-1980s indicating that radium concentrations in tissue are related to calcium levels in each organ, implying that the thyroid gland could accumulate greater concentrations of radium isotopes than any other tissue. Moreover, the natural intake or production of sulfate or barium compounds in the body could serve to precipitate radium in the thyroid gland, thereby immobilizing it, with the result that the radionuclide stays resident for many years. Evidence of both accumulation and immobilization of Ra-226 in thyroids of grazing animals has been documented since the 1960s by one of us (LVM). Little is known, however, about the concentration and retention of radium in the human thyroid. Reported here, for the first time, are Ra-226 measurement data from about 100 human thyroids collected from over 95 persons with no known occupational exposure to radium with lifetime residences in the US and other countries, one person who routinely ingested a homeopathic preparation containing Ra-226, and three uranium miners. Sensitive measurements were made using the radon emanation technique. Regardless of the origin of the thyroid sample, Ra-226 activity was almost always detected above the detection limit of 0.65 mBq when at least 10 g of thyroid tissue were available. Our analyses to-date suggests a background concentration in human thyroids of about 0.1 ±0.01 Bq/kg, considerably greater than the commonly reported literature value of 0.003 Bq/kg in soft tissues. In addition, our measurements indicate concentrations of Ra-226 in the three uranium miners (whose exact job description was



    Claudiu Ramon D. Butculescu


    This article studies the relationships and interactions between fundamental human rights and natural law school. The objectives of this paper are circumscribed to the way fundamental human rights, by their nature, can be integrated within the doctrine of natural law or to the contrary, may be related to various branches of legal positivism. In specialized literature, it was pointed out that fundamental human rights constitute genuine natural rights which have the same natural law ...

  14. The idea of human prehistory: the natural sciences, the human sciences, and the problem of human origins in Victorian Britain. (United States)

    Goodrum, Matthew R


    The idea of human prehistory was a provocative and profoundly influential new notion that took shape gradually during the nineteenth century. While archaeology played an important role in providing the evidence for this idea many other sciences such as geology, paleontology, ethnology, and physical anthropology all made critical contributions to discussions about human prehistory. Many works have explored the history of prehistoric archaeology but this paper examines the conceptual content of the idea of "human prehistory" as it developed in the British scientific community. Both the natural and the human sciences contributed to what was in fact a complex collection of individual elements that together constituted the prevailing idea of human prehistory, although there were other competing conceptions of human prehistory endorsed by various scientists and critics of the new view of early human history.

  15. Understanding the bonding nature of uranyl ion and functionalized graphene: a theoretical study. (United States)

    Wu, Qun-Yan; Lan, Jian-Hui; Wang, Cong-Zhi; Xiao, Cheng-Liang; Zhao, Yu-Liang; Wei, Yue-Zhou; Chai, Zhi-Fang; Shi, Wei-Qun


    Studying the bonding nature of uranyl ion and graphene oxide (GO) is very important for understanding the mechanism of the removal of uranium from radioactive wastewater with GO-based materials. We have optimized 22 complexes between uranyl ion and GO applying density functional theory (DFT) combined with quasi-relativistic small-core pseudopotentials. The studied oxygen-containing functional groups include hydroxyl, carboxyl, amido, and dimethylformamide. It is observed that the distances between uranium atoms and oxygen atoms of GO (U-OG) are shorter in the anionic GO complexes (uranyl/GO(-/2-)) compared to the neutral GO ones (uranyl/GO). The formation of hydrogen bonds in the uranyl/GO(-/2-) complexes can enhance the binding ability of anionic GO toward uranyl ions. Furthermore, the thermodynamic calculations show that the changes of the Gibbs free energies in solution are relatively more negative for complexation reactions concerning the hydroxyl and carboxyl functionalized anionic GO complexes. Therefore, both the geometries and thermodynamic energies indicate that the binding abilities of uranyl ions toward GO modified by hydroxyl and carboxyl groups are much stronger compared to those by amido and dimethylformamide groups. This study can provide insights for designing new nanomaterials that can efficiently remove radionuclides from radioactive wastewater.

  16. From the Horse's Mouth: Why scientists' views are crucial to nature of science understanding (United States)

    Hodson, Derek; Wong, Siu Ling


    Written in response to criticism of our work by Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, this position paper reaffirms and reinforces our position about the need to broaden and enrich the scope of nature of science (NOS) oriented curricula by exposing students to the voices of practising scientists. While Abd-El-Khalick's motivation for promoting the so-called consensus view of NOS is rooted in issues of assessment (or 'benchmarking', as he calls it), we argue that the major reason for teaching about NOS is its contribution to what Shen calls civic and cultural scientific literacy. We are critical of the consensus view for its philosophical naivety, failure to reflect contemporary scientific practice and potential for confusing students, and we re-state our view that it is important to expose students to a diversity of practice among the sub-disciplines of science. We argue that richer NOS understanding and a more authentic view of scientific practice can be achieved through direct and indirect contact with scientists at the cutting edge of research and development, which we characterise as learning about scientists, learning from scientists and learning with scientists.

  17. Towards understanding the nature of conflict of interest and its application to the discipline of nursing. (United States)

    Crigger, Nancy J


    Most incidences of dishonesty in research, financial investments that promote personal financial gain, and kickback scandals begin as conflicts of interest (COI). Research indicates that healthcare professionals who maintain COI relationships make less optimal and more expensive patient care choices. The discovery of COI relationships also negatively impact patient and public trust. Many disciplines are addressing this professional issue, but little work has been done towards understanding and applying this moral category within a nursing context. Do COIs occur in nursing and are they problematic? What are the morally appropriate responses to COI for our discipline and for individual practicing nurses? In this paper I examine the nature of 'conflict of interest' as a general ethical category, its characteristics and its application to our discipline. Conflict of interest is an odd moral category that may actually or potentially result in immoral decisions. The moral justification for COI is grounded prime facie by the moral value of respect for persons and principle of fidelity from which trust is developed and maintained. In review of the historical development, there appears to be consensus on some qualities of COI that are presented. I conclude that making judgements about COI are challenging and often difficult to determine from a nursing perspective. Improving nurses' and professional organizations' awareness of COI and sharpening our ability to respond appropriately when COI arise can reduce potential harm and promote trust in those whom we serve.

  18. Computational Intelligence-Assisted Understanding of Nature-Inspired Superhydrophobic Behavior. (United States)

    Zhang, Xia; Ding, Bei; Cheng, Ran; Dixon, Sebastian C; Lu, Yao


    In recent years, state-of-the-art computational modeling of physical and chemical systems has shown itself to be an invaluable resource in the prediction of the properties and behavior of functional materials. However, construction of a useful computational model for novel systems in both academic and industrial contexts often requires a great depth of physicochemical theory and/or a wealth of empirical data, and a shortage in the availability of either frustrates the modeling process. In this work, computational intelligence is instead used, including artificial neural networks and evolutionary computation, to enhance our understanding of nature-inspired superhydrophobic behavior. The relationships between experimental parameters (water droplet volume, weight percentage of nanoparticles used in the synthesis of the polymer composite, and distance separating the superhydrophobic surface and the pendant water droplet in adhesive force measurements) and multiple objectives (water droplet contact angle, sliding angle, and adhesive force) are built and weighted. The obtained optimal parameters are consistent with the experimental observations. This new approach to materials modeling has great potential to be applied more generally to aid design, fabrication, and optimization for myriad functional materials.

  19. Natural Good Theories and the Value of Human Dignity. (United States)

    Muders, Sebastian


    One of the widely recognized facts about human dignity is its vastly divergent applicability-from highly controversial issues in bioethics to broader topics in political philosophy. A group of theories that this article subsumes under the header "natural good theories" appears to be especially fitted for normatively multifaceted notions like dignity. However, the heavy normative weight the concept of dignity has to bear due to the central position it occupies within these theories creates its own difficulties. As is shown in a discussion of Martha Nussbaum's capability conception of dignity, dignity appears to be unable to mirror the special normative relevance people want to assign to it in cases of great moral misconduct. The article provides a suggestion on how to solve this problem by means of paradigmatic cases that work as material constraints regarding the exact boundaries of dignity violations.

  20. Human Herpesviridae Methods of Natural Killer Cell Evasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl I. Odom


    Full Text Available Human herpesviruses cause diseases of considerable morbidity and mortality, ranging from encephalitis to hematologic malignancies. As evidence emerges about the role of innate immunity and natural killer (NK cells in the control of herpesvirus infection, evidence of viral methods of innate immune evasion grows as well. These methods include interference with the ligands on infected cell surfaces that bind NK cell activating or inhibitory receptors. This paper summarizes the most extensively studied NK cell receptor/ligand pairs and then describes the methods of NK cell evasion used by all eight herpesviruses through these receptors and ligands. Although great strides have been made in elucidating their mechanisms, there is still a disparity between viruses in the amount of knowledge regarding innate immune evasion. Further research of herpesvirus innate immune evasion can provide insight for circumventing viral mechanisms in future therapies.

  1. Human herpesviridae methods of natural killer cell evasion. (United States)

    Odom, Carl I; Gaston, David C; Markert, James M; Cassady, Kevin A


    Human herpesviruses cause diseases of considerable morbidity and mortality, ranging from encephalitis to hematologic malignancies. As evidence emerges about the role of innate immunity and natural killer (NK) cells in the control of herpesvirus infection, evidence of viral methods of innate immune evasion grows as well. These methods include interference with the ligands on infected cell surfaces that bind NK cell activating or inhibitory receptors. This paper summarizes the most extensively studied NK cell receptor/ligand pairs and then describes the methods of NK cell evasion used by all eight herpesviruses through these receptors and ligands. Although great strides have been made in elucidating their mechanisms, there is still a disparity between viruses in the amount of knowledge regarding innate immune evasion. Further research of herpesvirus innate immune evasion can provide insight for circumventing viral mechanisms in future therapies.

  2. Directly Comparing Computer and Human Performance in Language Understanding and Visual Reasoning. (United States)

    Baker, Eva L.; And Others

    Evaluation models are being developed for assessing artificial intelligence (AI) systems in terms of similar performance by groups of people. Natural language understanding and vision systems are the areas of concentration. In simplest terms, the goal is to norm a given natural language system's performance on a sample of people. The specific…

  3. Biotinylation is a natural, albeit rare, modification of human histones (United States)

    Kuroishi, Toshinobu; Rios-Avila, Luisa; Pestinger, Valerie; Wijeratne, Subhashinee S. K.; Zempleni, Janos


    Previous studies suggest that histones H3 and H4 are posttranslationally modified by binding of the vitamin biotin, catalyzed by holocarboxylase synthetase (HCS). Albeit a rare epigenetic mark, biotinylated histones were repeatedly shown to be enriched in repeat regions and repressed loci, participating in the maintenance of genome stability and gene regulation. Recently, a team of investigators failed to detect biotinylated histones and proposed that biotinylation is not a natural modification of histones, but rather an assay artifact. Here, we describe the results of experiments, including the comparison of various analytical protocols, antibodies, cell lines, classes of histones, and radiotracers. These studies provide unambiguous evidence that biotinylation is a natural, albeit rare, histone modification. Less than 0.001% of human histones H3 and H4 are biotinylated, raising concerns that the abundance might too low to elicit biological effects in vivo. We integrated information from this study, previous studies, and ongoing research efforts to present a new working model in which biological effects are caused by a role of HCS in multiprotein complexes in chromatin. In this model, docking of HCS in chromatin causes the occasional binding of biotin to histones as a tracer for HCS binding sites. PMID:21930408

  4. Enhanced functional connectivity properties of human brains during in-situ nature experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng Chen


    Full Text Available In this study, we investigated the impacts of in-situ nature and urban exposure on human brain activities and their dynamics. We randomly assigned 32 healthy right-handed college students (mean age = 20.6 years, SD = 1.6; 16 males to a 20 min in-situ sitting exposure in either a nature (n = 16 or urban environment (n = 16 and measured their Electroencephalography (EEG signals. Analyses revealed that a brief in-situ restorative nature experience may induce more efficient and stronger brain connectivity with enhanced small-world properties compared with a stressful urban experience. The enhanced small-world properties were found to be correlated with “coherent” experience measured by Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS. Exposure to nature also induces stronger long-term correlated activity across different brain regions with a right lateralization. These findings may advance our understanding of the functional activities during in-situ environmental exposures and imply that a nature or nature-like environment may potentially benefit cognitive processes and mental well-being.

  5. Enhanced functional connectivity properties of human brains during in-situ nature experience. (United States)

    Chen, Zheng; He, Yujia; Yu, Yuguo


    In this study, we investigated the impacts of in-situ nature and urban exposure on human brain activities and their dynamics. We randomly assigned 32 healthy right-handed college students (mean age = 20.6 years, SD = 1.6; 16 males) to a 20 min in-situ sitting exposure in either a nature (n = 16) or urban environment (n = 16) and measured their Electroencephalography (EEG) signals. Analyses revealed that a brief in-situ restorative nature experience may induce more efficient and stronger brain connectivity with enhanced small-world properties compared with a stressful urban experience. The enhanced small-world properties were found to be correlated with "coherent" experience measured by Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS). Exposure to nature also induces stronger long-term correlated activity across different brain regions with a right lateralization. These findings may advance our understanding of the functional activities during in-situ environmental exposures and imply that a nature or nature-like environment may potentially benefit cognitive processes and mental well-being.

  6. A natureza e o lugar habitado como âmbitos da experiência estética: novos entendimentos da relação ser humano - ambiente Nature and space as scopes for aesthetic experience: new understanding of the relationship human being - environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréia Aparecida Marin


    Full Text Available A percepção que o ser humano tem da natureza e do espaço habitado é marcada pela imaginação, pela afetividade, pela memória e pela sensibilidade estética. O significado da experiência estética está presente tanto nas construções do lugar habitado quanto na contemplação dos ambientes preservados. No presente ensaio, propomos um caminho reflexivo que evidencia essa necessidade estética do humano, focando-a nas categorias natureza e espaços do cotidiano como âmbitos de vivência. Tecemos considerações sobre os possíveis significados da teoria estética para a educação ambiental. Para tanto, partimos do resgate de referenciais teóricos da fenomenologia e do campo da filosofia estética, que incluem Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, Dufrenne e Quintás.Human being's perception of nature and of the inhabited space is marked by imagination, affectivity, memory and aesthetic sensibility. The meaning of aesthetic experience is present in the buildings of the inhabited place as well as in the sight of preserved environments. In the present paper we propose a reflective way that makes evident this aesthetic need of mankind, focusing it in the categories of natural and daily spaces as scopes of life experience. We consider the possible meanings of aesthetic theory for environmental education. Thus we start at the recovery of theoretical references of phenomenology and of aesthetic philosophy that include Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, Dufrenne, and Quintás.

  7. The state of human dimensions capacity for natural resource management: needs, knowledge, and resources (United States)

    Sexton, Natalie R.; Leong, Kirsten M.; Milley, Brad J.; Clarke, Melinda M.; Teel, Tara L.; Chase, Mark A.; Dietsch, Alia M.


    The social sciences have become increasingly important in understanding natural resource management contexts and audiences, and are essential in design and delivery of effective and durable management strategies. Yet many agencies and organizations do not have the necessary resource management. We draw on the textbook definition of HD: how and why people value natural resources, what benefits people seek and derive from those resources, and how people affect and are affected by those resources and their management (Decker, Brown, and Seimer 2001). Clearly articulating how HD information can be used and integrated into natural resource management planning and decision-making is an important challenge faced by the HD field. To address this challenge, we formed a collaborative team to explore the issue of HD capacity-building for natural resource organizations and to advance the HD field. We define HD capacity as activities, efforts, and resources that enhance the ability of HD researchers and practitioners and natural managers and decision-makers to understand and address the social aspects of conservation.Specifically, we sought to examine current barriers to integration of HD into natural resource management, knowledge needed to improve HD capacity, and existing HD tools, resources, and training opportunities. We conducted a needs assessment of HD experts and practitioners, developed a framework for considering HD activities that can contribute both directly and indirectly throughout any phase of an adaptive management cycle, and held a workshop to review preliminary findings and gather additional input through breakout group discussions. This paper provides highlights from our collaborative initiative to help frame and inform future HD capacity-building efforts and natural resource organizations and also provides a list of existing human dimensions tools and resources.

  8. Natural images from the birthplace of the human eye.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gašper Tkačik

    Full Text Available Here we introduce a database of calibrated natural images publicly available through an easy-to-use web interface. Using a Nikon D70 digital SLR camera, we acquired about six-megapixel images of Okavango Delta of Botswana, a tropical savanna habitat similar to where the human eye is thought to have evolved. Some sequences of images were captured unsystematically while following a baboon troop, while others were designed to vary a single parameter such as aperture, object distance, time of day or position on the horizon. Images are available in the raw RGB format and in grayscale. Images are also available in units relevant to the physiology of human cone photoreceptors, where pixel values represent the expected number of photoisomerizations per second for cones sensitive to long (L, medium (M and short (S wavelengths. This database is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Unported license to facilitate research in computer vision, psychophysics of perception, and visual neuroscience.

  9. Natural Human Mobility Patterns and Spatial Spread of Infectious Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitaly Belik


    Full Text Available We investigate a model for spatial epidemics explicitly taking into account bidirectional movements between base and destination locations on individual mobility networks. We provide a systematic analysis of generic dynamical features of the model on regular and complex metapopulation network topologies and show that significant dynamical differences exist to ordinary reaction-diffusion and effective force of infection models. On a lattice we calculate an expression for the velocity of the propagating epidemic front and find that, in contrast to the diffusive systems, our model predicts a saturation of the velocity with an increasing traveling rate. Furthermore, we show that a fully stochastic system exhibits a novel threshold for the attack ratio of an outbreak that is absent in diffusion and force of infection models. These insights not only capture natural features of human mobility relevant for the geographical epidemic spread, they may serve as a starting point for modeling important dynamical processes in human and animal epidemiology, population ecology, biology, and evolution.

  10. Transfer of radionuclides by terrestrial food products from semi-natural ecosystems to humans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, B.J.


    The potential radiological significance of radionuclide transfer to humans via foodstuffs derived from semi-natural ecosystems has become apparent since the Chernobyl accident. Foodchain models developed before this time usually did not take such transfers into account. The processes leading to contamination of food in these environments are complex and current understanding of the transfer mechanisms is incomplete. For these reasons the approach adopted in Chapter 3 is to represent, by means of aggregated parameters, the empirical relationships between ground deposits and concentration in the food product. 107 refs, 2 figs, 9 tabs

  11. Dynamics and distribution of natural and human-caused hypoxia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. N. Rabalais


    Full Text Available Water masses can become undersaturated with oxygen when natural processes alone or in combination with anthropogenic processes produce enough organic carbon that is aerobically decomposed faster than the rate of oxygen re-aeration. The dominant natural processes usually involved are photosynthetic carbon production and microbial respiration. The re-supply rate is indirectly related to its isolation from the surface layer. Hypoxic water masses (<2 mg L−1, or approximately 30% saturation can form, therefore, under "natural" conditions, and are more likely to occur in marine systems when the water residence time is extended, water exchange and ventilation are minimal, stratification occurs, and where carbon production and export to the bottom layer are relatively high. Hypoxia has occurred through geological time and naturally occurs in oxygen minimum zones, deep basins, eastern boundary upwelling systems, and fjords.

    Hypoxia development and continuation in many areas of the world's coastal ocean is accelerated by human activities, especially where nutrient loading increased in the Anthropocene. This higher loading set in motion a cascading set of events related to eutrophication. The formation of hypoxic areas has been exacerbated by any combination of interactions that increase primary production and accumulation of organic carbon leading to increased respiratory demand for oxygen below a seasonal or permanent pycnocline. Nutrient loading is likely to increase further as population growth and resource intensification rises, especially with increased dependency on crops using fertilizers, burning of fossil fuels, urbanization, and waste water generation. It is likely that the occurrence and persistence of hypoxia will be even more widespread and have more impacts than presently observed.

    Global climate change will further complicate the causative factors in both natural and human-caused hypoxia. The likelihood of

  12. Entrainment of the Human Circadian Clock to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle (United States)

    Wright, Kenneth P.; McHill, Andrew W.; Birks, Brian R.; Griffin, Brandon R.; Rusterholz, Thomas; Chinoy, Evan D.


    Summary The electric light is one of the most important human inventions. Sleep and other daily rhythms in physiology and behavior however, evolved in the natural light-dark cycle[1] and electrical lighting is thought to have disrupted these rhythms. Yet how much the age of electrical lighting has altered the human circadian clock is unknown. Here we show that electrical lighting and the constructed environment is associated with reduced exposure to sunlight during the day, increased light exposure after sunset, and a delayed timing of the circadian clock as compared to a summer natural 14h40min:9h20min light-dark cycle camping. Furthermore, we find that after exposure to only natural light, the internal circadian clock synchronizes to solar time such that the beginning of the internal biological night occurs at sunset and the end of the internal biological night occurs before wake time just after sunrise. In addition, we find that later chronotypes show larger circadian advances when exposed to only natural light, making the timing of their internal clocks in relation to the light-dark cycle more similar to earlier chronotypes. These findings have important implications for understanding how modern light exposure patterns contribute to late sleep schedules and may disrupt sleep and circadian clocks. PMID:23910656

  13. Understanding and Projecting Climate and Human Impacts on Terrestrial-Coastal Carbon and Nutrient Fluxes (United States)

    Lohrenz, S. E.; Cai, W. J.; Tian, H.; He, R.; Fennel, K.


    Changing climate and land use practices have the potential to dramatically alter coupled hydrologic-biogeochemical processes and associated movement of water, carbon and nutrients through various terrestrial reservoirs into rivers, estuaries, and coastal ocean waters. Consequences of climate- and land use-related changes will be particularly evident in large river basins and their associated coastal outflow regions. Here, we describe a NASA Carbon Monitoring System project that employs an integrated suite of models in conjunction with remotely sensed as well as targeted in situ observations with the objectives of describing processes controlling fluxes on land and their coupling to riverine, estuarine and ocean ecosystems. The nature of our approach, coupling models of terrestrial and ocean ecosystem dynamics and associated carbon processes, allows for assessment of how societal and human-related land use, land use change and forestry and climate-related change affect terrestrial carbon transport as well as export of materials through watersheds to the coastal margins. Our objectives include the following: 1) Provide representation of carbon processes in the terrestrial ecosystem to understand how changes in land use and climatic conditions influence the export of materials to the coastal ocean, 2) Couple the terrestrial exports of carbon, nutrients and freshwater to a coastal biogeochemical model and examine how different climate and land use scenarios influence fluxes across the land-ocean interface, and 3) Project future changes under different scenarios of climate and human impact, and support user needs related to carbon management and other activities (e.g., water quality, hypoxia, ocean acidification). This research is providing information that will contribute to determining an overall carbon balance in North America as well as describing and predicting how human- and climate-related changes impact coastal water quality including possible effects of coastal

  14. Using the Activity Model of Inquiry to Enhance General Chemistry Students' Understanding of Nature of Science (United States)

    Marchlewicz, Sara C.; Wink, Donald J.


    Nature of science refers to the processes of scientific activity and the social and cultural premises involved in the creation of scientific knowledge. Having an informed view of nature of science is important in the development of scientifically literate citizens. However, students often come to the classroom with misconceptions about nature of…

  15. Understanding social reproduction: The recursive nature of structure and agency within a science class (United States)

    Seiler, Gale A.

    Schools and science classrooms within schools continue to contribute to social reproduction and to the disenfranchisement of inner city African American students though attempts have been made to remedy the situation through standards, high-stakes testing, and compensatory programs. Such reforms ignore the sociocultural, political, and economic contexts of the individual students in the schools they are impacting. They do not take into account the uniqueness and diversity of the learners in these settings and have not included the voices of the students. Another possibility was studied here; that of starting with the cultural capital of the learner rather than with external standards. In a non-required science course at a local high school two coteachers endeavored to enact a student-emergent curriculum as a way to foster student agency and to counteract the reproductive nature of schools. The class was examined as a field within multiple other fields. The dialectical relationship between structure and agency in the class was used to frame the analysis and the tension between them was examined at several levels through video and audio analysis. Structural and rational choice views of action were abandoned in favor of an understanding hinged upon strategies of action that actors construct from cultural toolkits in and through practice. In this setting the students and teachers co-constructed a class that can be described and characterized in certain ways yet contained many counter-examples and alternative characterizations. A continuum of successes and failures, agency and subjectivity can be found in the trends and counter-trends in the course. The contradictions were examined to portray the complexity of the interactions and the possibilities for agency within them.

  16. The Goal of Evolutionary and Neoclassical Economics as a Consequence of the Changes in Concepts of Human Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Horodecka


    Full Text Available The economics depends on the concept of human nature very strongly. The concepts of human nature can be understood as a set of assumptions made about the individual (on different levels: behavior, motives, meaning and his interactions with other people, with groups and diverse institutions. It corresponds with the image of world people have. The concept of human nature together with an image of the world builds the basis of thinking about the economics and about such fundamental element of it as its goal. Therefore if those images of men change, the way of thinking about economics and their elements adjust to those changes as well. The goal of the paper is to present the impact of these alterations of image of man on the economics. This impact will be illustrated on the example of the evolutionary economics, which is contrasted with the orthodox concept of human nature persisting in the neoclassical economics – homo economicus. The method applied to this research is, among others, a content analysis of the most important texts developed within neoclassical and evolutionary economics. To reach this goal, the following steps will be conducted: firstly, the concepts of human nature will be defined in regards of their particularity depending on the discipline by which they are defined; secondly, the main differences between concepts of human nature in neoclassical and evolutionary economics will be analyzed, and thirdly the differences in understanding of the goal and field between those two schools will be explained as resulting from the diverse concepts of human nature. The analysis proved that the main differences in those economic schools might be explained by the changed assumptions about the human nature and the image of the world.

  17. Educational Cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia: Outcomes on Human Development, International Understanding and Future Prospect (United States)

    Kijtorntham, Wichuda; Ruangdej, Phumjit; Saisuwan, Chatchanog


    Thailand and Cambodia set up educational cooperation since 1996, before signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Promotion of Education in 2003. This research aimed to investigate outcomes of educational cooperation projects on Cambodia human development and international understanding, process of participatory learning and…

  18. Coupled human and natural systems approach to wildlife research and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil H. Carter


    Full Text Available Conserving wildlife while simultaneously meeting the resource needs of a growing human population is a major sustainability challenge. As such, using combined social and environmental perspectives to understand how people and wildlife are interlinked, together with the mechanisms that may weaken or strengthen those linkages, is of utmost importance. However, such integrated information is lacking. To help fill this information gap, we describe an integrated coupled human and natural systems (CHANS approach for analyzing the patterns, causes, and consequences of changes in wildlife population and habitat, human population and land use, and their interactions. Using this approach, we synthesize research in two sites, Wolong Nature Reserve in China and Chitwan National Park in Nepal, to explicate key relationships between people and two globally endangered wildlife conservation icons, the giant panda and the Bengal tiger. This synthesis reveals that local resident characteristics such as household socioeconomics and demography, as well as community-level attributes such as resource management organizations, affect wildlife and their habitats in complex and even countervailing ways. Human impacts on wildlife and their habitats are in turn modifying the suite of ecosystem services that they provide to local residents in both sites, including access to forest products and cultural values. These interactions are further complicated by human and natural disturbance (e.g., civil wars, earthquakes, feedbacks (including policies, and telecouplings (socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances that increasingly link the focal systems with other distant systems. We highlight several important implications of using a CHANS approach for wildlife research and conservation that is useful not only in China and Nepal but in many other places around the world facing similar challenges.

  19. Dynamics and distribution of natural and human-caused hypoxia (United States)

    Rabalais, N. N.; Díaz, R. J.; Levin, L. A.; Turner, R. E.; Gilbert, D.; Zhang, J.


    Water masses can become undersaturated with oxygen when natural processes alone or in combination with anthropogenic processes produce enough organic carbon that is aerobically decomposed faster than the rate of oxygen re-aeration. The dominant natural processes usually involved are photosynthetic carbon production and microbial respiration. The re-supply rate is indirectly related to its isolation from the surface layer. Hypoxic water masses (hypoxic areas has been exacerbated by any combination of interactions that increase primary production and accumulation of organic carbon leading to increased respiratory demand for oxygen below a seasonal or permanent pycnocline. Nutrient loading is likely to increase further as population growth and resource intensification rises, especially with increased dependency on crops using fertilizers, burning of fossil fuels, urbanization, and waste water generation. It is likely that the occurrence and persistence of hypoxia will be even more widespread and have more impacts than presently observed. Global climate change will further complicate the causative factors in both natural and human-caused hypoxia. The likelihood of strengthened stratification alone, from increased surface water temperature as the global climate warms, is sufficient to worsen hypoxia where it currently exists and facilitate its formation in additional waters. Increased precipitation that increases freshwater discharge and flux of nutrients will result in increased primary production in the receiving waters up to a point. The interplay of increased nutrients and stratification where they occur will aggravate and accelerate hypoxia. Changes in wind fields may expand oxygen minimum zones onto more continental shelf areas. On the other hand, not all regions will experience increased precipitation, some oceanic water temperatures may decrease as currents shift, and frequency and severity of tropical storms may increase and temporarily disrupt hypoxia more

  20. Business Communication and the Natural Environment: Using Traditional and Contemporary Perspectives to Understand the Connections. (United States)

    Bullis, Connie


    Argues that business communication scholarship has not attended to the natural environment. Notes that organizational scholarship has theorized business as it relates to the natural environment but has not thoroughly understood how communication functions in this relationship. Argues that business communication should adopt a Gaian perspective…

  1. Understanding the Trembles of Nature: How Do Disaster Experiences Shape Bank Risk Taking?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, Jaap; Li, Runliang


    This paper examines the impact of natural disaster experiences on banks’ business practices. Using earthquake and banking data for California, we find that banks that have had stronger earthquake experiences change their practices, both as a result of the natural disasters’ effects on local deposit

  2. Understanding Natural Sciences Education in a Reggio Emilia-Inspired Preschool (United States)

    Inan, Hatice Zeynep; Trundle, Kathy Cabe; Kantor, Rebecca


    This ethnographic study explored aspects of how the natural sciences were represented in a Reggio Emilia-inspired laboratory preschool. The natural sciences as a discipline--a latecomer to preschool curricula--and the internationally known approach, Reggio Emilia, interested educators and researchers, but there was little research about science in…

  3. What Does "Natural Capital" Do? The Role of Metaphor in Economic Understanding of the Environment (United States)

    Akerman, Maria


    At the time of its introduction at the end of the 1980s, the concept of natural capital represented new, more ecologically aware thinking in economics. As a symbol of novel thinking, the metaphor of natural capital stimulated a debate between different disciplinary traditions on the definitions of the concept and research priorities and methods.…

  4. Understanding the Heterogeneous Nature of Science: A Comprehensive Notion of PCK for Scientific Literacy (United States)

    Van Dijk, Esther M.


    This paper is concerned with the conceptualization of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching about the nature of science. In contrast to the view that science teachers need to develop a specific "PCK for nature of science," an alternative, more comprehensive notion of PCK for science teaching is suggested. The point of…

  5. Understanding the social acceptability of natural resource decisionmaking processes by using a knowledge base modeling approach. (United States)

    Christina Kakoyannis; Bruce Shindler; George. Stankey


    Natural resource managers are being confronted with increasing conflict and litigation with those who find their management plans unacceptable. Compatible and sustainable management decisions necessitate that natural resource agencies generate plans that are not only biologically possible and economically feasible but also socially acceptable. Currently, however, we...

  6. Studying human respiratory disease in animals--role of induced and naturally occurring models. (United States)

    Williams, Kurt; Roman, Jesse


    Respiratory disorders like asthma, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis affect millions of Americans and many more worldwide. Despite advancements in medical research that have led to improved understanding of the pathophysiology of these conditions and sometimes to new therapeutic interventions, these disorders are for the most part chronic and progressive; current interventions are not curative and do not halt disease progression. A major obstacle to further advancements relates to the absence of animal models that exactly resemble the human condition, which delays the elucidation of relevant mechanisms of action, the unveiling of biomarkers of disease progression, and identification of new targets for intervention in patients. There are currently many induced animal models of human respiratory disease available for study, and even though they mimic features of human disease, discoveries in these models have not always translated into safe and effective treatments in humans. A major obstacle relates to the genetic, anatomical, and functional variations amongst species, which represents the major challenge to overcome when searching for appropriate models of respiratory disease. Nevertheless, rodents, in particular mice, have become the most common species used for experimentation, due to their relatively low cost, size, and adequate understanding of murine genetics, among other advantages. Less well known is the fact that domestic animals also suffer from respiratory illnesses similar to those found in humans. Asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and pulmonary fibrosis are among the many disorders occurring naturally in dogs, cats, and horses, among other species. These models might better resemble the human condition and are emphasized here, but further investigations are needed to determine their relevance. Copyright © 2015 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Human organomics: a fresh approach to understanding human development using single-cell transcriptomics. (United States)

    Camp, J Gray; Treutlein, Barbara


    Innovative methods designed to recapitulate human organogenesis from pluripotent stem cells provide a means to explore human developmental biology. New technologies to sequence and analyze single-cell transcriptomes can deconstruct these 'organoids' into constituent parts, and reconstruct lineage trajectories during cell differentiation. In this Spotlight article we summarize the different approaches to performing single-cell transcriptomics on organoids, and discuss the opportunities and challenges of applying these techniques to generate organ-level, mechanistic models of human development and disease. Together, these technologies will move past characterization to the prediction of human developmental and disease-related phenomena. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Procedures as a Representation for Data in a Computer Program for Understanding Natural Language. (United States)

    Winograd, Terry

    This paper describes a system for the computer understanding of English. The system answers questions, executes commands, and accepts information in normal English dialogue. It uses semantic information and context to understand discourse and to disambiguate sentences. It combines a complete syntactic analysis of each sentence with a heuristic…

  9. Oxytocin and social cognition in rhesus macaques: implications for understanding and treating human psychopathology. (United States)

    Chang, Steve W C; Platt, Michael L


    Converging evidence from humans and non-human animals indicates that the neurohypophysial hormone oxytocin (OT) evolved to serve a specialized function in social behavior in mammals. Although OT-based therapies are currently being evaluated as remedies for social deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders, precisely how OT regulates complex social processes remains largely unknown. Here we describe how a non-human primate model can be used to understand the mechanisms by which OT regulates social cognition and thereby inform its clinical application in humans. We focus primarily on recent advances in our understanding of OT-mediated social cognition in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), supplemented by discussion of recent work in humans, other primates, and rodents. Together, these studies endorse the hypothesis that OT promotes social exploration both by amplifying social motivation and by attenuating social vigilance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Improvement in understanding of natural circulation phenomena in water cooled nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, Jong-Ho; Cleveland, John; Aksan, Nusret


    Highlights: ► Phenomena influencing natural circulation in passive systems. ► Behaviour in large pools of liquid. ► Effect of non-condensable gas on condensation heat transfer. ► Behaviour of containment emergency systems. ► Natural circulation flow and pressure drop in various geometries. - Abstract: The IAEA has organized a coordinated research project (CRP) on “Natural Circulation Phenomena, Modelling, and Reliability of Passive Systems That Utilize Natural Circulation.” Specific objectives of CRP were to (i) establish the status of knowledge: reactor start-up and operation, passive system initiation and operation, flow stability, 3-D effects, and scaling laws, (ii) investigate phenomena influencing reliability of passive natural circulation systems, (iii) review experimental databases for the phenomena, (iv) examine the ability of computer codes to predict natural circulation and related phenomena, and (v) apply methodologies for examining the reliability of passive systems. Sixteen institutes from 13 IAEA Member States have participated in this CRP. Twenty reference advanced water cooled reactor designs including evolutionary and innovative designs were selected to examine the use of natural circulation and passive systems in their designs. Twelve phenomena influencing natural circulation were identified and characterized: (1) behaviour in large pools of liquid, (2) effect of non-condensable gases on condensation heat transfer, (3) condensation on the containment structures, (4) behaviour of containment emergency systems, (5) thermo-fluid dynamics and pressure drops in various geometrical configurations, (6) natural circulation in closed loop, (7) steam liquid interaction, (8) gravity driven cooling and accumulator behaviour, (9) liquid temperature stratification, (10) behaviour of emergency heat exchangers and isolation condensers, (11) stratification and mixing of boron, and (12) core make-up tank behaviour. This paper summarizes the

  11. Human-Nature Relationship in Mediterranean Streams: Integrating Different Types of Knowledge to Improve Water Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Gonzalez


    Full Text Available The social and ecological systems of Mediterranean streams are intrinsically linked as a result of long human occupation. In this region, these links vary greatly across small distances due to geomorphology, resulting in great diversity across space, which poses particular challenges for understanding and managing these systems. This demands (i interdisciplinary integration of knowledge that focuses on the social-ecological interactions, while according due consideration to the whole; and also (ii transdisciplinary integration, integrating lay and expert knowledge to understand local specificities. To address these needs - a focus on interactions and local knowledge - the research presented here studies the human-nature relationship in Mediterranean streams. Its main objective is to improve understanding of Mediterranean streams, but it also provides practical inputs to enhance local-level management. The study adopts an applied approach from the perspective of natural resources management. A case study was developed conducting field work on streams within the Natura 2000 site of Monfurado, Portugal - a mainly privately owned area with conflicting land uses between conservation and farming. Rivers and streams in Portugal are considered to be in very bad condition, particularly with regard to water quality. The experimental design was based, from a critical realism perspective of inter- and trans-disciplinarity, on the complementarities between methodologies from (i the social sciences: value survey and analysis of discourse; and (ii the natural sciences: biomonitoring and integrity biotic indexes. Results characterized the connected systems from both ecological and social points of view. They also characterized the relationship between both dimensions. We concluded that well-established riparian vegetation cover of streams is a key structural element of the human-nature relationship in the Mediterranean streams of Monfurado at several levels

  12. Understanding human error and aiding human diagnostic behavior in nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasmussen, J.; Rouse, W.B.


    This essay deals with the vulnerability of nuclear plant operators to human error. The various ways in which they can err, and how machine errors differ from human errors are discussed. Diagnosis of system failure utilizing computers is offered as a possible solution

  13. The Impact of Designing and Evaluating Molecular Animations on How Well Middle School Students Understand the Particulate Nature of Matter (United States)

    Chang, Hsin-Yi; Quintana, Chris; Krajcik, Joseph S.


    In this study, we investigated whether the understanding of the particulate nature of matter by students was improved by allowing them to design and evaluate molecular animations of chemical phenomena. We developed Chemation, a learner-centered animation tool, to allow seventh-grade students to construct flipbook-like simple animations to show…

  14. Effectiveness of Science-Technology-Society (STS) Instruction on Student Understanding of the Nature of Science and Attitudes toward Science (United States)

    Akcay, Behiye; Akcay, Hakan


    The study reports on an investigation about the impact of science-technology-society (STS) instruction on middle school student understanding of the nature of science (NOS) and attitudes toward science compared to students taught by the same teacher using traditional textbook-oriented instruction. Eight lead teachers used STS instruction an…

  15. Do Pre-Service Science Teachers Have Understanding of the Nature of Science?: Explicit-Reflective Approach (United States)

    Örnek, Funda; Turkey, Kocaeli


    Current approaches in Science Education attempt to enable students to develop an understanding of the nature of science, develop fundamental scientific concepts, and develop the ability to structure, analyze, reason, and communicate effectively. Students pose, solve, and interpret scientific problems, and eventually set goals and regulate their…

  16. Explicitly Targeting Pre-Service Teacher Scientific Reasoning Abilities and Understanding of Nature of Science through an Introductory Science Course (United States)

    Koenig, Kathleen; Schen, Melissa; Bao, Lei


    Development of a scientifically literate citizenry has become a national focus and highlights the need for K-12 students to develop a solid foundation of scientific reasoning abilities and an understanding of nature of science, along with appropriate content knowledge. This implies that teachers must also be competent in these areas; but…

  17. Decoding natural reach-and-grasp actions from human EEG (United States)

    Schwarz, Andreas; Ofner, Patrick; Pereira, Joana; Ioana Sburlea, Andreea; Müller-Putz, Gernot R.


    Objective. Despite the high number of degrees of freedom of the human hand, most actions of daily life can be executed incorporating only palmar, pincer and lateral grasp. In this study we attempt to discriminate these three different executed reach-and-grasp actions utilizing their EEG neural correlates. Approach. In a cue-guided experiment, 15 healthy individuals were asked to perform these actions using daily life objects. We recorded 72 trials for each reach-and-grasp condition and from a no-movement condition. Main results. Using low-frequency time domain features from 0.3 to 3 Hz, we achieved binary classification accuracies of 72.4%, STD  ±  5.8% between grasp types, for grasps versus no-movement condition peak performances of 93.5%, STD  ±  4.6% could be reached. In an offline multiclass classification scenario which incorporated not only all reach-and-grasp actions but also the no-movement condition, the highest performance could be reached using a window of 1000 ms for feature extraction. Classification performance peaked at 65.9%, STD  ±  8.1%. Underlying neural correlates of the reach-and-grasp actions, investigated over the primary motor cortex, showed significant differences starting from approximately 800 ms to 1200 ms after the movement onset which is also the same time frame where classification performance reached its maximum. Significance. We could show that it is possible to discriminate three executed reach-and-grasp actions prominent in people’s everyday use from non-invasive EEG. Underlying neural correlates showed significant differences between all tested conditions. These findings will eventually contribute to our attempt of controlling a neuroprosthesis in a natural and intuitive way, which could ultimately benefit motor impaired end users in their daily life actions.

  18. The effects of IL-17 upon human natural killer cells. (United States)

    Al Omar, Suliman; Flanagan, Brian F; Almehmadi, Mazen; Christmas, Stephen E


    These experiments were designed to investigate the effects of IL-17 upon the phenotype and function of human Natural Killer (NK) cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy subjects were cultured in the presence or absence of different combinations of IL-17s and changes in relative numbers and cell surface phenotype of NK cells and CD56+CD3+ cells measured by flow cytometry. Real time PCR was used to measure changes in expression of the cytotoxicity-related genes perforin A and granzymes A and B and IL-17 receptors. A chromium release assay was used to measure cytotoxic function against K562 tumour cells. IL-17D, IL-17A, IL-17F or the combination of both of the latter had little effect upon NK cell surface expression of Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptors, although IL-17A modestly increased NK cell numbers. Slight but not significant increases in expression of perforin and granzymes were induced by IL-17A and/or IL-17F. Both IL-17A and D significantly increased cytotoxic function of NK cells at some E:T ratios. Similarly, numbers of NK cells induced to express CD107a after interaction with K562 cells were increased, but not significantly, by all combinations of IL-17s tested. IL-17RC was not found at the NK cell surface but was expressed at the message level and the protein detected intracellularly. NK cells are known to produce IL-17 but here we report that there is little response to this cytokine although some isoforms may moderately enhance cytotoxic function. There may therefore be some enhancement of NK cell function resulting from Th17 cell activation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The natural number bias and its role in rational number understanding in children with dyscalculia. Delay or deficit? (United States)

    Van Hoof, Jo; Verschaffel, Lieven; Ghesquière, Pol; Van Dooren, Wim


    Previous research indicated that in several cases learners' errors on rational number tasks can be attributed to learners' tendency to (wrongly) apply natural number properties. There exists a large body of literature both on learners' struggle with understanding the rational number system and on the role of the natural number bias in this struggle. However, little is known about this phenomenon in learners with dyscalculia. We investigated the rational number understanding of learners with dyscalculia and compared it with the rational number understanding of learners without dyscalculia. Three groups of learners were included: sixth graders with dyscalculia, a chronological age match group, and an ability match group. The results showed that the rational number understanding of learners with dyscalculia is significantly lower than that of typically developing peers, but not significantly different from younger learners, even after statistically controlling for mathematics achievement. Next to a delay in their mathematics achievement, learners with dyscalculia seem to have an extra delay in their rational number understanding, compared with peers. This is especially the case in those rational number tasks where one has to inhibit natural number knowledge to come to the right answer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Understandings of Nature of Science and Multiple Perspective Evaluation of Science News by Non-science Majors (United States)

    Leung, Jessica Shuk Ching; Wong, Alice Siu Ling; Yung, Benny Hin Wai


    Understandings of nature of science (NOS) are a core component of scientific literacy, and a scientifically literate populace is expected to be able to critically evaluate science in the media. While evidence has remained inconclusive on whether better NOS understandings will lead to critical evaluation of science in the media, this study aimed at examining the correlation therein. Thirty-eight non-science majors, enrolled in a science course for non-specialists held in a local community college, evaluated three health news articles by rating the extent to which they agreed with the reported claims and providing as many justifications as possible. The majority of the participants were able to evaluate and justify their viewpoint from multiple perspectives. Students' evaluation was compared with their NOS conceptions, including the social and cultural embedded NOS, the tentative NOS, the peer review process and the community of practice. Results indicated that participants' understanding of the tentative NOS was significantly correlated with multiple perspective evaluation of science news reports of socioscientific nature (r = 0.434, p media of socioscientific nature. However, the null result for other target NOS aspects in this study suggested a lack of evidence to assume that understanding the social dimensions of science would have significant influence on the evaluation of science in the media. Future research on identifying the reasons for why and why not NOS understandings are applied in the evaluation will move this field forward.

  1. Injecting learning experience into geoethics for human and natural sustainability (United States)

    Crookall, David


    Our early life experience has a strong influence on our actions in later life. Humans today are just starting to re-learn, collectively, how to treat Earth with the respect that it deserves and that is needed for our offspring to inherit a decent home. However, we still have a long way to go to instill in people at large the ethics, knowledge and skills necessary to ensure a healthy journey for humanity on spaceship. The experience of early upbringing, of schooling and of everyday life is probably the only path strong enough to develop in people a strong desire for ethical behaviour towards their environment. The problem is that the measures taken today to ensure the development of ethical behaviours in the population at large are woefully inadequate. At best, western school programmes contain a few lessons devoted to the environment, and even then they usually just pay lip service to the basics of the environment; they rarely aim to instill skills and knowledge in order to understand and care deeply for the environment. My presentation will suggest some practical ways to help communities build ethical frameworks and strategies to guide and generate tools, methods and activities that guide young people (pupils, students, scholars, researchers) to toward more ethical behaviours regarding their environment and their communities. Examples might include: - Developing geoethical dimensions of internships, in all areas; - Designing, testing and running simulation/games+debriefing providing a rich affective-cognitive context for grappling with geoethical problems- eg, FISH BANKS, KEEP COOL. - Pressuring governments to make geoethics, environmental care and climate change understanding central components of (almost) all educational programmes (in, eg, history, language, business, law, medicine, etc). - Subsidizing environmental-care summer schools for families and teachers at all levels. - Etc. One of my actions is founding a academic journal in the area, maybe with the

  2. Resolution of ambiguities in cartoons as an illustration of the role of pragmatics in natural language understanding by computers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mazlack, L.J.; Paz, N.M.


    Newspaper cartoons can graphically display the result of ambiguity in human speech; the result can be unexpected and funny. Likewise, computer analysis of natural language statements also needs to successfully resolve ambiguous situations. Computer techniques already developed use restricted world knowledge in resolving ambiguous language use. This paper illustrates how these techniques can be used in resolving ambiguous situations arising in cartoons. 8 references.

  3. Why do humans behave as they do? Answers based on “human nature" and their critique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciro Flamarion Cardoso


    Full Text Available This article focus on one of the possible kinds of answers to the question: what can explain the behavior and the actions of human beings? Namely, it analyses the answers to this question that stress a determinant human nature, be it genetic, otherwise natural, or not clearly attributed to natural factors. Critiques and alternatives, supported by the paper’s author, are also examined.

  4. Canine hip dysplasia: A natural animal model for human developmental dysplasia of the hip. (United States)

    Pascual-Garrido, Cecilia; Guilak, Farshid; Rai, M Farooq; Harris, Michael D; Lopez, Mandi J; Todhunter, Rory J; Clohisy, John C


    Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) in humans is a common condition that is associated with hip pain, functional limitations, and secondary osteoarthritis (OA). Surgical treatment of DDH has improved in the last decade, allowing excellent outcomes at short- and mid-term follow-up. Still, the etiology, mechanobiology, and pathology underlying this disease are not well understood. A pre-clinical animal model of DDH could help advance the field with a deeper understanding of specific pathways that initiate hip joint degeneration secondary to abnormal biomechanics. An animal model would also facilitate different interventional treatments that could be tested in a rigorous and controlled environment. The dog model exhibits several important characteristics that make it valuable as a pre-clinical animal model for human DDH. Dogs are naturally prone to develop canine hip dysplasia (CHD), which is treated in a similar manner as in humans. Comparable to human DDH, CHD is considered a pre-OA disease; if left untreated it will progress to OA. However, progression to OA is significantly faster in dogs than humans, with progression to OA within 1-2 years of age, associated with their shorter life span compared to humans. Animal studies could potentially reveal the underlying biochemical pathway(s), which can inform refined treatment modalities and provide opportunities for new treatment and prevention targets. Herein, we review the similarities and differences between the two species and outline the argument supporting CHD as an appropriate pre-clinical model of human DDH. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Encoding of natural sounds at multiple spectral and temporal resolutions in the human auditory cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santoro, Roberta; Moerel, Michelle; De Martino, Federico; Goebel, R.; Ugurbil, Kamil; Yacoub, Essa; Formisano, Elia

    Functional neuroimaging research provides detailed observations of the response patterns that natural sounds (e.g. human voices and speech, animal cries, environmental sounds) evoke in the human brain. The computational and representational mechanisms underlying these observations, however, remain

  6. [A brief history of the natural causes of human disease]. (United States)

    Lips-Castro, Walter


    In the study of the causes of disease that have arisen during the development of humankind, one can distinguish three major perspectives: the natural, the supernatural, and the artificial. In this paper we distinguish the rational natural causes of disease from the irrational natural causes. Within the natural and rational causal approaches of disease, we can highlight the Egyptian theory of putrid intestinal materials called "wechdu", the humoral theory, the atomistic theory, the contagious theory, the cellular theory, the molecular (genetic) theory, and the ecogenetic theory. Regarding the irrational, esoteric, and mystic causal approaches to disease, we highlight the astrological, the alchemical, the iatrochemical, the iatromechanical, and others (irritability, solidism, brownism, and mesmerism).

  7. Understanding the Relative Influence of Anthropogenic Versus Natural Nitrogen on Biogeochemical Processes in the Southern California Bight (United States)

    McLaughlin, K.; Howard, M. D.; Beck, C. D. A.; Emler, L.; Nezlin, N. P.; Sutula, M.


    Nitrogen (N) pollution is considered to be one of the most significant consequences of human-accelerated global change on coastal oceans (Howarth and Marino 2006). In the southern California Bight, wastewater effluent represents 92% of total terrestrial N loading and these loads are equivalent to the "background" N flux from upwelling (Howard et al. 2014). In this study, we attempt to quantify the relative influence of the two dominant nitrogen sources to the Bight (wastewater effluent and upwelled nitrogen) on biogeochemical processes linked to dissolved oxygen, pH and algal blooms. We will compare the sources and fate of nitrogen in an effluent impacted region (offshore of Los Angeles and Orange Counties) to minimally-impacted regions both along the coastline (offshore of Northern San Diego County) and two offshore stations. Key rates of nitrogen and carbon cycling are measured, including primary production and respiration, nitrogen uptake by primary producers, and nitrification. Stable isotope tracer techniques have also been applied to determine the relative influence of effluent versus upwelled nitrogen on biological communities and concentrations. Data generated from this study will be used to validate calculated rate constants used in oceanographic models of ecological response from natural and anthropogenic nutrient inputs in the Bight. These models will be used to estimate the extent to which anthropogenic nutrients are affecting primary production, acidification and hypoxia, as well as which regions are most at risk. They will also be used to analyze management scenarios to understand the effects of anthropogenic nutrient load reductions relative to climate change scenarios.

  8. Orion Versus Poseidon: Understanding How Nasa's Crewed Capsule Survives Nature's Fury (United States)

    Barbre, Robert E., Jr.


    This presentation summarizes the Marshall Space Flight Center Natural Environments Terrestrial and Planetary Environments (TPE) Team support to the NASA Orion space vehicle. The Orion vehicle, part of the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Program, is designed to carry astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit and is currently undergoing a series of tests including Exploration Flight Test (EFT)-1. This design must address the natural environment to which the capsule and launch vehicle are exposed during all mission phases. In addition, the design must, to the best extent possible, implement the same process and data to be utilized on launch day. The TPE utilizes meteorological data to assess the sensitivities of the vehicle due to the terrestrial environment. The presentation describes examples of TPE support for vehicle design and several tests, as well as support for EFT-1 and planning for upcoming Exploration Missions while emphasizing the importance of accounting for the natural environment's impact to the vehicle early in the vehicle's program.

  9. ActivityNet: A Large-Scale Video Benchmark for Human Activity Understanding

    KAUST Repository

    Heilbron, Fabian Caba


    In spite of many dataset efforts for human action recognition, current computer vision algorithms are still severely limited in terms of the variability and complexity of the actions that they can recognize. This is in part due to the simplicity of current benchmarks, which mostly focus on simple actions and movements occurring on manually trimmed videos. In this paper we introduce ActivityNet, a new largescale video benchmark for human activity understanding. Our benchmark aims at covering a wide range of complex human activities that are of interest to people in their daily living. In its current version, ActivityNet provides samples from 203 activity classes with an average of 137 untrimmed videos per class and 1.41 activity instances per video, for a total of 849 video hours. We illustrate three scenarios in which ActivityNet can be used to compare algorithms for human activity understanding: untrimmed video classification, trimmed activity classification and activity detection.

  10. The Exposome Research Paradigm: an Opportunity to Understand the Environmental Basis for Human Health and Disease. (United States)

    Buck Louis, Germaine M; Smarr, Melissa M; Patel, Chirag J


    This paper presents an overview of the exposome research paradigm with particular application to understanding human reproduction and development and its implications for health across a lifespan. The exposome research paradigm has generated considerable discussion about its feasibility and utility for delineating the impact of environmental exposures on human health. Early initiatives are underway, including smaller proof-of-principle studies and larger concerted efforts. Despite the notable challenges underlying the exposome paradigm, analytic techniques are being developed to handle its untargeted approach and correlated and multi-level or hierarchical data structures such initiatives generate, while considering multiple comparisons. The relatively short intervals for critical and sensitive windows of human reproduction and development seem well suited for exposome research and may revolutionize our understanding of later onset diseases. Early initiatives suggest that the exposome paradigm is feasible, but its utility remains to be established with applications to population human health research.

  11. Natural ionizing radiation and human health in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obradović-Arsić Danijela R.


    Full Text Available This paper provides information about potential effects of natural ionizing radiation on general population health. Natural radionuclides are particularly stressed, as well as health effects of high and lower doses. Radio-ecological areals have been presented for Serbia, while radiation risk has been assessed for the population of Serbia according to census years.

  12. Understanding the Nature of Local-Global Interactions in Istanbul’s Retail Property Market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatih Eren


    Full Text Available Today, capital, people and information flows have increased more than ever before among different regions in the world. Every flow creates a different local-global interaction in its own social environment. One of social environments in which this kind of interactions occurs is property markets. There are some theories to explain the nature of local and global interactions in social sciences literature. However, the success of these theories in explaining the nature of local-global interactions in a property market became subject to a research very few. This research aims to make a contribution to this area. The study also intends to find general answers to some important questions emerge in the internationalization process of property markets. The study focuses on the three well-accepted interaction theories of social sciences, which are imperialism, globalisation and glocalisation. The validity of the assumptions of these theories in the case of Istanbul’s retail property market is questioned in this research. The emergence of social structures and the specific behaviours of these structures in local property markets may be understood better when true point of view is found out about interactions. A qualitative methodology is followed; interview and document analysis methods are used in the study. Findings show that the nature of local-global interactions experienced in Istanbul’s retail property market is very unique so it is not possible to explain this unique nature using the perspective of only one settled theory.

  13. Freezing Point of Milk: A Natural Way to Understand Colligative Properties (United States)

    Novo, Mercedes; Reija, Belen; Al-Soufi, Wajih


    A laboratory experiment is presented in which the freezing point depression is analyzed using milk as solution. The nature of milk as a mixture of different solutes makes it a suitable probe to learn about colligative properties. The first part of the experiment illustrates the analytical use of freezing point measurements to control milk quality,…

  14. Speech perception and reading: two parallel modes of understanding language and implications for acquiring literacy naturally. (United States)

    Massaro, Dominic W


    I review 2 seminal research reports published in this journal during its second decade more than a century ago. Given psychology's subdisciplines, they would not normally be reviewed together because one involves reading and the other speech perception. The small amount of interaction between these domains might have limited research and theoretical progress. In fact, the 2 early research reports revealed common processes involved in these 2 forms of language processing. Their illustration of the role of Wundt's apperceptive process in reading and speech perception anticipated descriptions of contemporary theories of pattern recognition, such as the fuzzy logical model of perception. Based on the commonalities between reading and listening, one can question why they have been viewed so differently. It is commonly believed that learning to read requires formal instruction and schooling, whereas spoken language is acquired from birth onward through natural interactions with people who talk. Most researchers and educators believe that spoken language is acquired naturally from birth onward and even prenatally. Learning to read, on the other hand, is not possible until the child has acquired spoken language, reaches school age, and receives formal instruction. If an appropriate form of written text is made available early in a child's life, however, the current hypothesis is that reading will also be learned inductively and emerge naturally, with no significant negative consequences. If this proposal is true, it should soon be possible to create an interactive system, Technology Assisted Reading Acquisition, to allow children to acquire literacy naturally.

  15. Influences of Teleological and Lamarckian Thinking on Student Understanding of Natural Selection (United States)

    Stover, Shawn K.; Mabry, Michelle L.


    Previous research has demonstrated creationist, Lamarckian, and teleological reasoning in high school and college students. These lines of thinking conflict with the Darwinian notion of natural selection, which serves as the primary catalyst for biological evolution. The current study assessed evolutionary conceptions in non-science majors,…

  16. Developing Conceptual Understanding of Natural Selection: The Role of Interest, Efficacy, and Basic Prior Knowledge (United States)

    Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa; Pugh, Kevin J.; Koskey, Kristin L. K.; Stewart, Victoria C.


    Changes in high school students' (n = 94) conceptions of natural selection were examined as a function of motivational beliefs (individual interest, academic self-efficacy), basic prior knowledge, and gender across three assessments (pre, post, follow-up). Results from variable-centered analyses suggested that these variables had relatively little…

  17. Understanding the Views of the Nature of Science of Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Students (United States)

    Hypolite, Karen L.


    Much of the nature of science research has been focused on high school students. High school students are primarily the target of such research to aid and to guide them in making informed decisions about possible career choices in the sciences (Bell, Blair, Crawford, & Lederman, 2002). Moreover, during review of the literature, little to no…

  18. Changes in Pre-service Science Teachers' Understandings After Being Involved in Explicit Nature of Science and Socioscientific Argumentation Processes (United States)

    Kutluca, A. Y.; Aydın, A.


    The study explored the changes in pre-service science teachers' understanding of the nature of science and their opinions about the nature of science, science teaching and argumentation after their participation in explicit nature of science (NOS) and socioscientific argumentation processes. The participants were 56 third-grade pre-service science teachers studying in a state university in Turkey. The treatment group comprised 27 participants, and there were 29 participants in the comparison group. The comparison group participants were involved in a student-centred science-teaching process, and the participants of the treatment group were involved in explicit NOS and socioscientific argumentation processes. In the study, which lasted a total of 11 weeks, a NOS-as-argumentation questionnaire was administered to all the participants to determine their understanding of NOS at the beginning and end of the data collection process, and six random participants of the treatment group participated in semi-structured interview questions in order to further understand their views regarding NOS, science teaching and argumentation. Qualitative and quantitative data analysis revealed that the explicit NOS and socioscientific argumentation processes had a significant effect on pre-service science teachers' NOS understandings. Furthermore, NOS, argumentation and science teaching views of the participants in the treatment group showed a positive change. The results of this study are discussed in light of the related literature, and suggestions are made within the context of contribution to science-teaching literature, improvement of education quality and education of pre-service teachers.

  19. Towards modelling flood protection investment as a coupled human and natural system (United States)

    O'Connell, P. E.; O'Donnell, G.


    Due to a number of recent high-profile flood events and the apparent threat from global warming, governments and their agencies are under pressure to make proactive investments to protect people living in floodplains. However, adopting a proactive approach as a universal strategy is not affordable. It has been argued that delaying expensive and essentially irreversible capital decisions could be a prudent strategy in situations with high future uncertainty. This paper firstly uses Monte Carlo simulation to explore the performance of proactive and reactive investment strategies using a rational cost-benefit approach in a natural system with varying levels of persistence/interannual variability in annual maximum floods. It is found that, as persistence increases, there is a change in investment strategy optimality from proactive to reactive. This could have implications for investment strategies under the increasingly variable climate that is expected with global warming. As part of the emerging holistic approaches to flood risk management, there is increasing emphasis on stakeholder participation in determining where and when flood protection investments are made, and so flood risk management is becoming more people-centred. As a consequence, multiple actors are involved in the decision-making process, and the social sciences are assuming an increasingly important role in flood risk management. There is a need for modelling approaches which can couple the natural and human system elements. It is proposed that coupled human and natural system (CHANS) modelling could play an important role in understanding the motivations, actions and influence of citizens and institutions and how these impact on the effective delivery of flood protection investment. A framework for using agent-based modelling of human activities leading to flood investments is outlined, and some of the challenges associated with implementation are discussed.

  20. Evolutionary Roots of Property Rights; The Natural and Cultural Nature of Human Cooperation


    Szocik, Konrad; Herian, Robert


    Debates about the role of natural and cultural selection in the development of prosocial, antisocial and socially neutral mechanisms and behavior raise questions that touch property rights, cooperation, and conflict. For example, some researchers suggest that cooperation and prosociality evolved by natural selection (Hamilton 1964, Trivers 1971, Axelrod and Hamilton 1981, De Waal 2013, 2014), while others claim that natural selection is insufficient for the evolution of cooperation, which req...

  1. Human History and Environmental Geology: A Match Made in Nature (United States)

    Selvans, M. M.


    I draw on my dual educational background in the geological sciences (PhD) and sociology (BA), with an emphasis on environmental justice, for the inspiration to approach issues in my geology courses that are directly connected to modern policy decisions with the goal of increasing students' self-awareness. I believe that giving students the opportunity for increased understanding of their own beliefs and values with respect to the environment will allow them to be more engaged in discussions and debates about environmental policies at the local, national, and global scales. I designed Environmental Geology of Prince William Forest Park (VA), a one-day Field Studies course offered through Northern Virginia Community College, to motivate students to articulate personal convictions about land use. To provide a social context for discussion of environmental issues, students first gave presentations on the demographics, economics, and methods of land use of the people that used the park over the last 400 years. At locations along Quantico Creek, students presented topics that covered geologic processes at work on the landscape, progressive farming methods promoted by some early Virginians, and agricultural methods to stabilize soil and its nutrients. Finally, at the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine (active 1889-1920) we discussed laborer work conditions and the environmental impact of tailings, as well as the process and effects of remediation. Students tested pH levels in the creek upstream and downstream of the mine as one concrete way to personally observe the results of recent remediation (since 1994), with neutral pH in both locations indicating success. Students wrapped up the course with written reflections, from their own perspectives with respect to socially and environmentally responsible land use, on the geologic processes and human impacts that shaped the park. Social justice and environmental stewardship are two lenses that allow students to find personal meaning

  2. Toward mechanistic understanding of the relationship between the sound absorption and the natural and resonant frequencies of porous media. (United States)

    Hasani Baferani, A; Ohadi, A R; Keshavarz, R


    In this paper, the natural and resonant frequencies of porous media are studied based on Biot's equations. The governing equations of porous media are analytically solved by using the recent developed potential function method. Based on the obtained results, the natural and resonant frequencies of the porous medium can be investigated. In this research, several foams with different acoustical and non-acoustical properties are considered and the natural and resonant frequencies are studied. In addition, for a better understanding of the natural and variation of resonant frequencies of the considered foams, various damping gains are defined and by changing them gradually, the variations of absorption coefficient and field variables are studied. The results show that the trends of absorption coefficient versus frequency for porous media can be predicted by considering the arrangement of structural and fluid natural frequencies. Also, around the structural natural frequencies two types of variations in absorption coefficient occur (i.e., maximum-minimum or maximum variations). Additionally, after computing the corresponding results of rigid frame and Biot's models it can be seen that the rigid frame theory cannot correctly predict the sound absorption coefficient in the vicinity of structural natural frequencies.

  3. From natural to human-dominated floodplains - A Holocene perspective for the Dijle catchment, Belgium (United States)

    Broothaerts, Nils; Verstraeten, Gert; Kasse, Cornelis; Bohncke, Sjoerd; Notebaert, Bastiaan; Vandenberghe, Jef


    Floodplain systems underwent important changes in many West and Central European catchments through the late Holocene. To better understand the relation between these landscape changes and human disturbances, geomorphic fieldwork needs to be complemented by quantitative measures of human impact in the landscape. In this study, we provide an holistic discussion in which we combine detailed data on floodplain changes with detailed data on human impact for the Dijle catchment (758 km²), Belgium. Human impact in the catchment was quantified based on statistical analysis of pollen data of six alluvial study sites. The results show that during the Neolithic Period, human impact was nearly absent and floodplains consisted of a strongly vegetated marshy environment where organic material accumulated, which is considered as the natural state of the floodplain. From the Bronze Age onwards, human impact increased and caused an increase in soil erosion and hillslope-floodplain connectivity. Consequently, sediment input in the floodplain system increased and floodplain geoecology changed towards an open floodplain dominated by clastic overbank deposits, mainly as the indirect result of an intensification of agricultural activities. Based on these data, a generalized model of floodplain development is presented: At the scale of the entire Dijle catchment, the gradual changes in floodplain morphology coincided with the gradually increasing human impact in the catchment, which suggests a linearity between the external forcing (human impact) and geomorphic response (floodplain change). However, at the narrow floodplains in the headwaters, the gradual increase in human impact contrasts with the abrupt change in floodplain geoecology, only triggered when human impact reached a threshold. Observed differences at catchment scale in time-lags and in the process-response model are attributed to differences in hillslope-floodplain connectivity, the location within the catchment and to

  4. Instruments of Inquiry: Understanding the Nature and Role of Design Tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Peter


    Designers employ a range of tools in most design projects, yet there are few frameworks for understanding how and why they work. On the basis of a well-established school of thought, pragmatism, this paper contributes with a coherent conceptualisation of tools in design, which I label instruments...

  5. 21 Ideas: A 42-Year Search to Understand the Nature of Giftedness (United States)

    Sternberg, Robert J.


    In this article, I describe the 21 ideas underlying a 42-year search to understand giftedness. I present the ideas roughly chronologically, in the order in which they arose, and discuss how in a career as in science, progress means supplementing or even superseding one idea with the next. In terms of the 21 ideas, I start with a discussion of how…

  6. Laboratory Activities to Support Student Understanding of the Molecular Mechanisms of Mutation & Natural Selection (United States)

    Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan


    The molecular basis of evolution is an important and challenging concept for students to understand. In a previous article, we provided some of the scientific background necessary to teach this topic. This article features a series of laboratory activities demonstrating that molecular events can alter the genomes of organisms. These activities are…

  7. Mindsets and Human Nature: Promoting Change in the Middle East, the Schoolyard, the Racial Divide, and Willpower (United States)

    Dweck, Carol S.


    Debates about human nature often revolve around what is built in. However, the hallmark of human nature is how much of a person's identity is not built in; rather, it is humans' great capacity to adapt, change, and grow. This nature versus nurture debate matters--not only to students of human nature--but to everyone. It matters whether people…

  8. Understanding the nature and threats of drug trafficking to national and regional security in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwesi Aning


    Full Text Available Several West African states are threatened by increasingly powerful transnational organised criminal networks. Yet, scholarly work on the nature, characteristics and strength of these groups and how their activities threaten states remains sparse, leading to misunderstandings and inadequate appreciation of the precise nature of the threats they pose to West Africa. This paper seeks to fill these lacunae in our knowledge. It focuses on the nexus between drugs, crime and terrorism. It argues that, the financial spin-offs from criminal activities contribute to the development of opportunistic relationships between criminals and extremist groups that threatens West Africa’s fragile states. The analyses are based on evidence from several West African states, but employ the ongoing crisis in the Sahel, particularly Mali, as an empirical case, to demonstrate how ‘profitable collusion’ among different actors permits hollow states to become edifices that allows corruption, criminality and impunity to flourish.

  9. Understanding ecosystem services adoption by natural resource managers and research ecologists (United States)

    Engel, Daniel; Evans, Mary; Low, Bobbi S.; Schaeffer, Jeff


    The ecosystem services (ES) paradigm has gained much traction as a natural resource management approach due to its comprehensive nature and ability to provide quantitative tools to improve decision-making. However, it is still uncertain whether and how practitioners have adopted the ES paradigm into their work and how this aligns with resource management information needs. To address this, we surveyed natural resource managers within the Great Lakes region about their use of ES information in decision-making. We complemented our manager survey with in-depth interviews of a related population—research ecologists at the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center. In this study, managers and ecologists almost unanimously agreed that ES were appropriate to consider in resource management. We also found high congruence between managers and ecologists in the ES considered most relevant to their work, with provision of habitat, recreation and tourism, biological control, and primary production being the ES ranked highly by both groups. However, a disconnect arose when research ecologists deemed the information they provide regarding ES as adequate for management needs, but managers disagreed. Furthermore, managers reported that they would use economic information about ES if they had access to that information. We believe this data deficiency could represent a gap in scientific coverage by ecologists, but it may also simply reflect an underrepresentation of ecological economists who can translate ecological knowledge of ES providers into economic information that many managers desired.

  10. Research and Teaching: Factors Related to College Students' Understanding of the Nature of Science--Comparison of Science Majors and Nonscience Majors (United States)

    Partin, Matthew L.; Underwood, Eileen M.; Worch, Eric A.


    To develop a more scientifically literate society, students need to understand the nature of science, which may be affected by controversial topics such as evolution. There are conflicting views among researchers concerning the relationships between understanding evolution, acceptance of evolution, and understanding of the nature of science. Four…

  11. Effects of a Co-operative Learning Strategy on Ninth-Graders' Understanding of Human Nutrition. (United States)

    Soyibo, Kola; Evans, Hermel G.


    Looks at the effect of teaching strategies on a group's attitude toward biology and understanding human nutrition. Used an experimental group that participated in co-operative learning and a control group taught using the lecture method. Involves ninth graders (n=156) from two high schools in Jamaica. (Author/YDS)

  12. The Psychology of Isolated and Confined Environments: Understanding Human Behavior in Antarctica. (United States)

    Palinkas, Lawrence A.


    Reviews lessons learned from research in Antarctica with relevance to understanding human behavior in other isolated and confined environments. Outlines four distinct characteristics of psychosocial adaptation to such environments and discusses some of the benefits for individuals seeking challenging experiences. (Contains references.) (SLD)

  13. Communicating Numerical Risk: Human Factors That Aid Understanding in Health Care (United States)

    Brust-Renck, Priscila G.; Royer, Caisa E.; Reyna, Valerie F.


    In this chapter, we review evidence from the human factors literature that verbal and visual formats can help increase the understanding of numerical risk information in health care. These visual representations of risk are grounded in empirically supported theory. As background, we first review research showing that people often have difficulty understanding numerical risks and benefits in health information. In particular, we discuss how understanding the meanings of numbers results in healthier decisions. Then, we discuss the processes that determine how communication of numerical risks can enhance (or degrade) health judgments and decisions. Specifically, we examine two different approaches to risk communication: a traditional approach and fuzzy-trace theory. Applying research on the complications of understanding and communicating risks, we then highlight how different visual representations are best suited to communicating different risk messages (i.e., their gist). In particular, we review verbal and visual messages that highlight gist representations that can better communicate health information and improve informed decision making. This discussion is informed by human factors theories and methods, which involve the study of how to maximize the interaction between humans and the tools they use. Finally, we present implications and recommendations for future research on human factors in health care. PMID:24999307

  14. UNESCO and the Associated Schools Project: Symbolic Affirmation of World Community, International Understanding, and Human Rights (United States)

    Suarez, David F.; Ramirez, Francisco O.; Koo, Jeong-Woo


    The UNESCO Associated Schools Project emphasizes world community, human rights, and international understanding. This article investigates the emergence and global diffusion of the project from 1953 to 2001, estimating the influence of national, regional, and world characteristics on the likelihood of a country adopting a UNESCO school. It also…


    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr Ike

    mention a few) have attempted to locate the source of these malaises. A close analysis of some of their arguments ... As the long history of moral conflict now makes clear to us, the idea of a single human function is mistaken. Human ..... taxation and conscription. As he says of taxation: “if someone with an income of $2,000 a ...

  16. Managing black walnut in natural stands: the human dimension (United States)

    H.E. " Hank" Stelzer


    In managing black walnut, or any forest tree species, the human dimension is often overlooked. As a result, both the number of landowners managing their land and the number of forested acres under management has not significantly increased over the past 30 years. Elements of the human landscape are explored and a roadmap for engaging landowners is proposed.

  17. Viral symbiosis and the holobiontic nature of the human genome. (United States)

    Ryan, Francis Patrick


    The human genome is a holobiontic union of the mammalian nuclear genome, the mitochondrial genome and large numbers of endogenized retroviral genomes. This article defines and explores this symbiogenetic pattern of evolution, looking at the implications for human genetics, epigenetics, embryogenesis, physiology and the pathogenesis of inborn errors of metabolism and many other diseases. © 2016 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Biomimetics: using nature as an inspiring model for human innovation (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph


    The evolution of nature over 3.8 billion years led to the highly effective and power efficient biological mechanisms. Imitating these mechanisms offers enormous potentials for the improvement of our life and the tools we use.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jovica Petković


    Full Text Available The modern lifestyle of today's man imposes the need to return to nature, which is the primordial and evolutionary related. Man's desire for an increase of leisure timespent in an environment that suits their biological characteristics, is in part genetically determined, while is strongly related to the existence of awareness of the importance of staying active in nature. It has long been known that physical activity in nature is one of the best ways to preserve and promote health. Through regular stimulation and guiding the natural environment one can produce positive changes in structure and function of the organism. The collective life of camping and outdoor activities significantly affect the formation of personality. It develops comradeship, solidarity,self-sacrifice. The constant activities and obligations arising from them accountable to their colleagues, result in forming solid personalities.

  20. Dialectical Reason and Necessary Conflict—Understanding and the Nature of Terror

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelica Nuzzo


    Full Text Available Taking as point of departure Hegelrsquo;s early reflections on his historical present, this essay examines the relationship between dialectical reason and the activity of the understanding in generating contradiction. Dialecticmdash;as logic and methodmdash;is Hegelrsquo;s attempt at a philosophical comprehension of the conflicts and the deep changes of his contemporary world. This idea of dialectic as logic of historical transformation guides the development of consciousness in the emPhenomenology of Spirit/em. Since my claim is that the dialectic of consciousness and its capacity of overcoming contradiction are rooted in the historical situation of 1807, the question is raised of what would be the specific problems encountered by consciousness in our contemporary worldmdash;in 2007. What are the challenges posed by our globalized world to a phenomenology of contemporary spirit; and what is the role that contradiction and dialectic play in the understanding of our own historical present?

  1. Need of paleoclimatic reconstructions to understand natural and anthropogenic climatic hazards

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nigam, R.

    in monsoon rainfall as her economy largely depends on rainfall. Such climatic events (floods, droughts etc.) and their effects on society were recorded right from early historic period. Such historical climatic records are mostly available in the inscriptions... of the fishes. which would in turn affect the economy of the country. Along the Indian coast line, no direct evidence is available to understand the migratory changes of fishes in the past. Quest for an additional tool to decipher such eventualities in the past...

  2. Essentialism Regarding Human Nature in the Defence of Gender Equality in Education (United States)

    Holma, Katariina


    In this article I consider contemporary philosophical conceptions of human nature from the point of view of the ideal of gender equality. My main argument is that an essentialist account of human nature, unlike what I take to be its two main alternatives (the subjectivist account and the cultural account), is able coherently to justify the…

  3. Shallow water benthic foraminifera as proxy for natural versus human-induced environmental change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nooijer, L.J. de


    Ecosystem composition and functioning is not only subjected to human-induced alterations, ecosystems also subjected to natural (e.g. climate-induced) variability. To quantify human impacts on ecosystems, these natural fluctuations must be accounted for. Since long-term biological monitoring programs

  4. From Human Nature to Moral Judgments : Reframing Debates about Disability and Enhancement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harnacke, C.E.


    My goal in my dissertation is to develop an account of how a theory of human nature should be integrated into bioethics and to show what bioethics can gain from using this account. I explore the relevance of human nature for moral argumentation, and especially for bioethics. Thereby, I focus on

  5. Understanding Spatiotemporal Patterns of Human Convergence and Divergence Using Mobile Phone Location Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiping Yang


    Full Text Available Investigating human mobility patterns can help researchers and agencies understand the driving forces of human movement, with potential benefits for urban planning and traffic management. Recent advances in location-aware technologies have provided many new data sources (e.g., mobile phone and social media data for studying human space-time behavioral regularity. Although existing studies have utilized these new datasets to characterize human mobility patterns from various aspects, such as predicting human mobility and monitoring urban dynamics, few studies have focused on human convergence and divergence patterns within a city. This study aims to explore human spatial convergence and divergence and their evolutions over time using large-scale mobile phone location data. Using a dataset from Shenzhen, China, we developed a method to identify spatiotemporal patterns of human convergence and divergence. Eight distinct patterns were extracted, and the spatial distributions of these patterns are discussed in the context of urban functional regions. Thus, this study investigates urban human convergence and divergence patterns and their relationships with the urban functional environment, which is helpful for urban policy development, urban planning and traffic management.

  6. Text understanding for computers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kenter, T.M.


    A long-standing challenge for computers communicating with humans is to pass the Turing test, i.e., to communicate in such a way that it is impossible for humans to determine whether they are talking to a computer or another human being. The field of natural language understanding — which studies

  7. Hypnosis, human nature, and complexity: integrating neuroscience approaches into hypnosis research. (United States)

    Barnier, Amanda J; McConkey, Kevin M


    Hypnosis research has contributed much to the understanding of human behavior and experience, both normal and abnormal. This paper considers ways in which neuroscience approaches may be integrated into hypnosis research to continue and enhance that contribution, as well as further reveal the nature of hypnosis itself. The authors review the influences on and advances in hypnosis research over the last century; illustrate the investigative value of hypnosis to selected phenomena across the areas of doing, feeling, believing, and remembering; and specify elements for the successful integration of neuroscience approaches into hypnosis research. The authors believe that hypnosis research offers powerful techniques to isolate psychological processes in ways that allow their neural bases to be mapped. Successful integration will be achieved when researchers add levels of explanation, rather than shift the emphasis from one level or feature to another.

  8. Understanding Social Conflicts Between Forestry and Nature Protection Sectors: Case Study Velebit Mountain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konrad Kiš


    Full Text Available Background and Purpose: The last couple of decades brought significant changes in forest and nature protection policy worldwide. Rising environmental awareness, over-utilization of scarce natural resources and global climate change set high goals for the forest and nature protection policy makers. This paper is about a case study of relations among various stakeholders on Velebit Mountain, a coast-by mountain in Central Croatia. Velebit Mountain is both: a nature protection area and a forest exploitation site, which raises various conflicts between these two sectors and major stakeholders. Purpose of this research was to investigate the relations among various interest groups and coalition parties, their opinions, aspirations and interests and, especially, the way to resolve issues or manage conflicts. Material and Methods: This case-study research was conducted in form of interviews held with the representatives of each of the defined stakeholder groups within the target area, i.e. Velebit Mountain Nature Park. Interviews consisted of several groups of questions (introductory part, conflicts, conflict management and policy development, while stakeholder groups included "Croatian Forests ltd.", a state-owned company in charge of the management of state forests, Nature Park Velebit, National Park Paklenica, National Park "Northern Velebit", hunters' associations, private forest owners, fishermen associations, representatives of the local administration and mountaineers' associations. The questionnaire consisted of open-ended questions regarding various issues divided into these four groups. The data was analyzed by using the NVivo qualitative data analysis software. Theoretical framework used in this research was Walker and Daniels' Social Conflict Theory (1997, p.13 which describes types of conflicts, ways to address them and typical sources of occurring conflicts. Results and Conclusion: The results showed which the most salient conflict

  9. Pathways of understanding: The interactions of humanity and global environmental change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobson, H.K.; Katzenberger, J.; Lousma, J.; Mooney, H.A.; Moss, R.H.; Kuhn, W.; Luterbacher, U.; Wiegandt, E.


    How humans, interacting within social systems, affect and are affected by global change is explored. Recognizing the impact human activities have on the environment and responding to the need to document the interactions among human activities, the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) commissioned a group of 12 scientists to develop a framework illustrating the key human systems that contribute to global change. This framework, called the Social Process Diagram, will help natural and social scientists, educators, resource managers and policy makers envision and analyze how human systems interact among themselves and with the natural system. The Social Process Diagram consists of the following blocks that constitute the Diagram's structural framework: (1) fund of knowledge and experience; (2) preferences and expectations; (3) factors of production and technology; (4) population and social structure; (5) economic systems; (6) political systems and institutions; and (7) global scale environmental processes. To demonstrate potential ways the Diagram can be used, this document includes 3 hypothetical scenarios of global change issues: global warming and sea level rise; the environmental impact of human population migration; and energy and the environment. These scenarios demonstrate the Diagram's usefulness for visualizing specific processes that might be studied to evaluate a particular global change issues. The scenario also shows that interesting and unanticipated questions may emerge as links are explored between categories on the Diagram

  10. On the way to understanding the time phenomenon the constructions of time in natural science

    CERN Document Server

    Time is considered as an independent entity which cannot be reduced to the concept of matter, space or field. The point of discussion is the "time flow" conception of N A Kozyrev (1908-1983), an outstanding Russian astronomer and natural scientist. In addition to a review of the experimental studies of "the active properties of time", by both Kozyrev and modern scientists, the reader will find different interpretations of Kozyrev's views and some developments of his ideas in the fields of geophysics, astrophysics, general relativity and theoretical mechanics.

  11. A possible way to naturalize the human soul

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luis Guijarro Morales


    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 false false false ES X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 One of the most basic linguistic principles (or parameters, according to some is used to point to a likely necessary (though, probably, not sufficient condition of human uniqueness (i.e. being able to speak, communicate complex messages, have religious feelings, indulge in art and humour, and so on which has been conceptualised either as the fact that we have human souls, in religious contexts, or human minds, in other contexts.

  12. Probing The Structure North China To Better Understand Its Evolution, Natural Resources, And Seismic Hazards (Invited) (United States)

    Keller, G. R.; Gao, R.; Qu, G.; Li, Q.; Liu, M.


    Recently, North China has been the target of a vast array of geoscience investigations that have advanced our understanding of the region. One major effort that has targeted the area is SinoProbe, which is China's ambitious national joint earth science research project that was established to develop a comprehensive understanding of the deep interior beneath the Chinese continent via a broad range of investigations that include deep drilling and geological and geophysical studies along continental-scale transects. As one of the eight major programs within SinoProbe, SinoProbe-02 (Seismic Observations) initiated a large-scale controlled-source seismic experiment in North China under the leadership of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (CAGS) of the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) in cooperation with the University of Oklahoma and University of Missouri-Columbia in the U. S. This experiment was conducted in December of 2009 and consisted of three coordinated seismic recording activities along a profile that extended for over 400km from near Beijing northwestward to the Mongolian border. Near Beijing, the profile began near the eastern edge of the Western Block of the North China Precambrian craton, crossed this feature to the Solonker suture zone, and ended in the Central Asian orogenic belt (CAOB). The CAOB is one of the world's most prominent sites of the formation juvenile Phanerozoic crust. In January of 2010, a different effort led by the Chinese Earthquake administration was undertaken in cooperation with the same US universities. This effort targeted the Tangshan area where a devastating earthquake killed at least 250,000 people in 1976. In this seismic experiment, an innovative 3-D survey was undertaken across a 40km x 40km region centered on the city of Tangshan by deploying Texan instruments along a web of profiles with shotpoints at their intersections. This experiment targeted the middle and upper crust. A deep seismic reflection profile was

  13. Present status of understanding on the G6PD deficiency and natural selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tripathy V


    Full Text Available G6PD deficiency is a common hemolytic genetic disorder, particularly in the areas endemic to malaria. Individuals are generally asymptomatic and hemolytic anemia occurs when some anti-malarial drugs or other oxidizing chemicals are administered. It has been proposed that G6PD deficiency provides protection against malaria. Maintaining of G6PD deficient alleles at polymorphic proportions is complicated because of the X-linked nature of G6PD deficiency. A comprehensive review of the literature on the hypothesis of malarial protection and the nature of the selection is being presented. Most of the epidemiological, in vitro and in vivo studies report selection for G6PD deficiency. Analysis of the G6PD gene also reveals that G6PD-deficient alleles show some signatures of selection. However, the question of how this polymorphism is being maintained remains unresolved because the selection/fitness coefficients for the different genotypes in the two sexes have not been established. Prevalence of G6PD deficiency in Indian caste and tribal populations and the different variants reported has also been reviewed.

  14. Four basic levels of the interactions between humanity and the imbalanced Nature (United States)

    Kontar, V. A.


    There are the clearly distinguishable four basic levels of interaction the humanity with the imbalanced Nature: 1 Level - Naivety: Self-healing Nature in defiance of the humanity activities. 2 Level - Collaboration: Restoration of Nature in cooperation with humanity. 3 Level - Conflict: The resistance of Nature against the humanity's interference. 4 Level - Disappearance: Nature destroys humanity as the trouble maker. On the first level the people were afraid and respected Nature and are taking from Nature only what Nature gave willingly. Therefore Nature could easy regenerate itself. So it was thousands of years and people become under the false impression that it will be forever. The first signs the end of this period was visible in the era of industrialization. It turned out that resources are not infinite, and the waste of humanity grows much faster than Nature can utilize or dispose it. But in the world still had plenty of the untouched places and industrialization continued to develop rapidly. Thus problems with Nature were dislocated into the colonies rather far off from the prosperous metropolitan countries. The false impression about the man's victory over Nature has increased. Very soon the main untouched place was used, and the global circulations bring the pollutions from colonies to the metropolis. The second level was started as processes to creating the national parks, natural reservations, etc. It was some beginning of the cooperation humanity with Nature. The invasion into the Nature of the colonies was intensified. In addition start increasing the pollution in the metropolis from the waste of resources which have been imported from the colonies. The third level was started and Nature began to resist and revenge to the self-confident man. But man didn't stop and continued create more and more aggressive processes which provoked some avalanches-looks reactions of Nature. Now people can start these avalanches, but cannot stop it. One of these man

  15. Understanding the role of representations of human-leopard conflict in Mumbai through media-content analysis. (United States)

    Bhatia, Saloni; Athreya, Vidya; Grenyer, Richard; MacDonald, David W


    Attempts to minimize the effects of human-wildlife conflict (HWC) on conservation goals require an understanding of the mechanisms by which such conflicts are caused and sustained. This necessitates looking beyond the natural sciences to the human dimensions of wildlife management. Public dissemination of information regarding HWC occurs largely through the mass media. We conducted a content analysis of print media articles on human-leopard conflict in Mumbai, India. We sought to understand the framing of HWC and the changes in media coverage over a 10-year period (2001-2011) during which a large number of attacks on people prior to 2005 were followed by a program of trapping and relocation. After 2005, when there was a decrease in the level of conflict, the tone of English-language media reports changed. The perpetrator framing was over 5 times more likely before 2005, whereas a neutral framing was twice as likely after 2005. English-language and non-English-language print media differed significantly in their framing of HWC and in the kinds of solutions advocated. Our results also suggest the print mass media in Mumbai could be an influential conduit for content that diminishes HWC. These media outlets seem attentive to human-leopard conflict, capable of correcting erroneous perceptions and facilitating mitigation and effective management. We believe better contact and mutual understanding between conservation professionals and the mass media could be an important component of managing HWC. We further suggest that in such interactions conservation professionals need to be aware of cultural and linguistic differences in reporting within the country. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Natural soil reservoirs for human pathogenic and fecal indicator bacteria (United States)

    Boschiroli, Maria L; Falkinham, Joseph; Favre-Bonte, Sabine; Nazaret, Sylvie; Piveteau, Pascal; Sadowsky, Michael J.; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Delaquis, Pascal; Hartmann, Alain


    Soils receive inputs of human pathogenic and indicator bacteria through land application of animal manures or sewage sludge, and inputs by wildlife. Soil is an extremely heterogeneous substrate and contains meso- and macrofauna that may be reservoirs for bacteria of human health concern. The ability to detect and quantify bacteria of human health concern is important in risk assessments and in evaluating the efficacy of agricultural soil management practices that are protective of crop quality and protective of adjacent water resources. The present chapter describes the distribution of selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in soils. Methods for detecting and quantifying soilborne bacteria including extraction, enrichment using immunomagnetic capture, culturing, molecular detection and deep sequencing of metagenomic DNA to detect pathogens are overviewed. Methods for strain phenotypic and genotypic characterization are presented, as well as how comparison with clinical isolates can inform the potential for human health risk.

  17. Ecosystem Services: Benefits Supplied to Human Societies by Natural Ecosystems (United States)

    The module provides a link to an article that is part of a series of articles in Issues in Ecology. This article discusses the many services an ecosystem provides in order to sustain and fulfill human needs.

  18. 3D recovery of human gaze in natural environments (United States)

    Paletta, Lucas; Santner, Katrin; Fritz, Gerald; Mayer, Heinz


    The estimation of human attention has recently been addressed in the context of human robot interaction. Today, joint work spaces already exist and challenge cooperating systems to jointly focus on common objects, scenes and work niches. With the advent of Google glasses and increasingly affordable wearable eye-tracking, monitoring of human attention will soon become ubiquitous. The presented work describes for the first time a method for the estimation of human fixations in 3D environments that does not require any artificial landmarks in the field of view and enables attention mapping in 3D models. It enables full 3D recovery of the human view frustum and the gaze pointer in a previously acquired 3D model of the environment in real time. The study on the precision of this method reports a mean projection error ≈1.1 cm and a mean angle error ≈0.6° within the chosen 3D model - the precision does not go below the one of the technical instrument (≈1°). This innovative methodology will open new opportunities for joint attention studies as well as for bringing new potential into automated processing for human factors technologies.

  19. Quantifying Urban Texture in Nairobi, Kenya and its Implications for Understanding Natural Hazard Impact (United States)

    Taylor, Faith E.; Malamud, Bruce D.; Millington, James D. A.


    The configuration of infrastructure networks such as roads, drainage and power lines can both affect and be affected by natural hazards such as earthquakes, intense rain, wildfires and extreme temperatures. In this paper, we present and compare two methods to quantify urban topology on approximate scales of 0.0005 km2 to 10 km2 and create classifications of different 'urban textures' that relate to risk of natural hazard impact in an area. The methods we use focus on applicability in urban developing country settings, where access to high resolution and high quality data may be difficult. We use the city of Nairobi, Kenya to trial these methods. Nairobi has a population >3 million, and is a mix of informal settlements, residential and commercial development. The city and its immediate surroundings are subject to a variety of natural hazards such as floods, landslides, fires, drought, hail, heavy wind and extreme temperatures; all of these hazards can occur singly, but also have the potential for one to trigger another, thus providing a 'cascade' of hazards, or for two of the hazards to occur spatially and temporally near each other and interact. We use two measures of urban texture: (i) Street block textures, (ii) Google Earth land cover textures. Street block textures builds on the methodology of Louf and Barthelemy (2014) and uses Open Street Map data to analyse the shape, size, complexity and pattern of individual blocks of land created by fully enclosed loops of the major and minor road network of Nairobi. We find >4000 of these blocks ranging in size from approximately 0.0005 km2 to 10 km2, with approximately 5 classifications of urban texture. Google Earth land cover texture is a visual classification of homogeneous parcels of land performed in Google Earth using high-resolution airborne imagery and a qualitative criteria for each land cover type. Using the Google Earth land cover texture method, we identify >40 'urban textures' based on visual

  20. Using Scaling to Understand, Model and Predict Global Scale Anthropogenic and Natural Climate Change (United States)

    Lovejoy, S.; del Rio Amador, L.


    The atmosphere is variable over twenty orders of magnitude in time (≈10-3 to 1017 s) and almost all of the variance is in the spectral "background" which we show can be divided into five scaling regimes: weather, macroweather, climate, macroclimate and megaclimate. We illustrate this with instrumental and paleo data. Based the signs of the fluctuation exponent H, we argue that while the weather is "what you get" (H>0: fluctuations increasing with scale), that it is macroweather (Hbackground as close to white noise and focuses on quasi-periodic variability assumes a spectrum that is in error by a factor of a quadrillion (≈ 1015). Using this scaling framework, we can quantify the natural variability, distinguish it from anthropogenic variability, test various statistical hypotheses and make stochastic climate forecasts. For example, we estimate the probability that the warming is simply a giant century long natural fluctuation is less than 1%, most likely less than 0.1% and estimate return periods for natural warming events of different strengths and durations, including the slow down ("pause") in the warming since 1998. The return period for the pause was found to be 20-50 years i.e. not very unusual; however it immediately follows a 6 year "pre-pause" warming event of almost the same magnitude with a similar return period (30 - 40 years). To improve on these unconditional estimates, we can use scaling models to exploit the long range memory of the climate process to make accurate stochastic forecasts of the climate including the pause. We illustrate stochastic forecasts on monthly and annual scale series of global and northern hemisphere surface temperatures. We obtain forecast skill nearly as high as the theoretical (scaling) predictability limits allow: for example, using hindcasts we find that at 10 year forecast horizons we can still explain ≈ 15% of the anomaly variance. These scaling hindcasts have comparable - or smaller - RMS errors than existing GCM

  1. Overcoming Multidrug Resistance in Human Cancer Cells by Natural Compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomohiro Nabekura


    Full Text Available Multidrug resistance is a phenomenon whereby tumors become resistant to structurally unrelated anticancer drugs. P-glycoprotein belongs to the large ATP-binding cassette (ABC transporter superfamily of membrane transport proteins. P-glycoprotein mediates resistance to various classes of anticancer drugs including vinblastine, daunorubicin, and paclitaxel, by actively extruding the drugs from the cells. The quest for inhibitors of anticancer drug efflux transporters has uncovered natural compounds, including (--epigallocatechin gallate, curcumin, capsaicin, and guggulsterone, as promising candidates. In this review, studies on the effects of natural compounds on P-glycoprotein and anticancer drug efflux transporters are summarized.

  2. Munazza's story: Understanding science teaching and conceptions of the nature of science in Pakistan through a life history study (United States)

    Halai, Nelofer

    In this study I have described and tried to comprehend how a female science teacher understands her practice. Additionally, I have developed some understanding of her understanding of the nature of science. While teaching science, a teacher projects messages about the nature of science that can be captured by observations and interviews. Furthermore, the manner is which a teacher conceptualizes science for teaching, at least in part, depends on personal life experiences. Hence, I have used the life history method to understand Munazza's practice. Munazza is a young female science teacher working in a private, co-educational school for children from middle income families in Karachi, Pakistan. Her stories are central to the study, and I have represented them using a number of narrative devices. I have woven in my own stories too, to illustrate my perspective as a researcher. The data includes 13 life history interviews and many informal conversations with Munazza, observations of science teaching in classes seven and eight, and interviews with other science teachers and administrative staff of the school. Munazza's personal biography and experiences of school and undergraduate courses has influenced the way she teaches. It has also influenced the way she does not teach. She was not inspired by her science teachers, so she has tried not to teach the way she was taught science. Contextual factors, her conception of preparation for teaching as preparation for subject content and the tension that she faces in balancing care and control in her classroom are some factors that influence her teaching. Munazza believes that science is a stable, superior and value-free way of knowing. In trying to understand the natural world, observations come first, which give reliable information about the world leading inductively to a "theory". Hence, she relies a great deal on demonstrations in the class where students "see" for themselves and abstract the scientific concept from the

  3. Understanding to Hierarchical Microstructures of Crab (Chinese hairy) Shell as a Natural Architecture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chuanqiang, Zhou; Xiangxiang, Gong; Jie, Han


    This work was done to better understand the microstructures, composition and mechanical properties of Chinese hairy crab shell. For fully revealing its hierarchical microstructure, the crab shell was observed with electron microscope under different magnifications from different facets. XRD, EDS, FTIR and TGA techniques have been used to characterize the untreated and chemically-treated crab shells, which provided enough information to determine the species and relative content of components in this biomaterial. Combined the microstructures with constituents analysis, the structural principles of crab shell was detailedly realized from different structural levels beyond former reports. To explore the relationship between structure and function, the mechanical properties of shell have been measured through performing tensile tests. The contributions of organics and minerals in shell to the mechanical properties were also discussed by measuring the tensile strength of de-calcification samples treated with HCl solution

  4. Understanding to Hierarchical Microstructures of Crab (Chinese hairy) Shell as a Natural Architecture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chuanqiang, Zhou [Testing Center, Yangzhou University, No. 48 Wenhui East Road, Yangzhou (China); Xiangxiang, Gong [Testing Center, Yangzhou University, No. 48 Wenhui East Road, Yangzhou (China); School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou (China); Jie, Han [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou (China)


    This work was done to better understand the microstructures, composition and mechanical properties of Chinese hairy crab shell. For fully revealing its hierarchical microstructure, the crab shell was observed with electron microscope under different magnifications from different facets. XRD, EDS, FTIR and TGA techniques have been used to characterize the untreated and chemically-treated crab shells, which provided enough information to determine the species and relative content of components in this biomaterial. Combined the microstructures with constituents analysis, the structural principles of crab shell was detailedly realized from different structural levels beyond former reports. To explore the relationship between structure and function, the mechanical properties of shell have been measured through performing tensile tests. The contributions of organics and minerals in shell to the mechanical properties were also discussed by measuring the tensile strength of de-calcification samples treated with HCl solution.

  5. Human genetic studies in areas of high natural radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freire-Maia, A.; Krieger, H.


    Data have been obtained by a genetic-epidemiological survey of a population living in the State of Espirito Santo (Brazil), and subjected to mean levels of natural radiation, per locality, ranging from 7 to 133 μrad/hr. Multiple regression models have been applied to the data, and the results showed no detectable effect of natural radiation on the sex ratio at birth, on the occurrence of congenital anomalies, and on the numbers of pregnancy terminations, stillbirths, livebirths, and post-infant mortality in the children, as well as fecundity and fertility of the couples (these observations contradict some data from the literature, based on official records and without analyses of the concomitant effects of other variables). However, nonsignificant results cannot be considered as disproving harmful effects of natural radiation on mortality and morbidity. These results may simply mean that other causes of mortality and morbidity are so important, under the conditions of the study, that the contribution of low-level, chronic natural radiation is made negligible. (author)

  6. Modeling the Temporal Nature of Human Behavior for Demographics Prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Felbo, Bjarke; Sundsøy, Pål; Pentland, Alex


    nature of the patterns in the data. From high-level assumptions we design a data representation and convolutional network architecture for modeling patterns within a week. We then examine three strategies for aggregating patterns across weeks and show that our method reaches state-of-the-art accuracy...

  7. The significance of human induced and natural erosion features ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Massive hill slope erosion in Madagascar is represented by the widespread gullies called 'lavaka'. Lavakas may be result of natural processes that involves a combination of continuous tectonic uplift that maintains a high angle of repose, ground water sapping at the soil - saprolite interface, and subsequent collapse of the ...

  8. The Natural and Human Environments in Nigeria: Their Implications ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    difficult. The paper separates these factors into natural and artificial components and relates them to the sociocultural environments prevalent in Nigeria. This paper elaborates on the various features, which designers often ignore, and recommends a simultaneous interaction between architecture and the environment.

  9. Flexible learning of natural statistics in the human brain. (United States)

    Schwarzkopf, D Samuel; Zhang, Jiaxiang; Kourtzi, Zoe


    The ability to detect and identify targets in cluttered scenes is a critical skill for survival and interactions. To solve this challenge the brain has optimized mechanisms for capitalizing on frequently occurring regularities in the environment. Although evolution and development have been suggested to shape the brain's architecture in a manner that resembles these natural statistics, we provide novel evidence that short-term experience in adulthood may modify the brain's functional organization to support integration of signals atypical of shape contours in natural scenes. Although collinearity is a prevalent principle for perceptual integration in natural scenes, we show that observers learn to exploit other image regularities (i.e., orthogonal alignments of segments at an angle to the contour path) that typically signify discontinuities. Combining behavioral and functional MRI measurements, we demonstrate that this flexible learning is mediated by changes in the neural representations of behaviorally relevant image regularities primarily in dorsal visual areas. These changes in neural sensitivity are in line with changes in perceptual sensitivity for the detection of orthogonal contours and are evident only in observers that show significant performance improvement. In contrast, changes in the activation extent in frontoparietal regions are evident independent of performance changes, may support the detection of salient regions, and modulate perceptual integration in occipitotemporal areas in a top-down manner. Thus experience at shorter timescales in adulthood supports the adaptive functional optimization of visual circuits for flexible interpretation of natural scenes.

  10. Animal density and track counts: understanding the nature of observations based on animal movements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek Keeping

    Full Text Available Counting animals to estimate their population sizes is often essential for their management and conservation. Since practitioners frequently rely on indirect observations of animals, it is important to better understand the relationship between such indirect indices and animal abundance. The Formozov-Malyshev-Pereleshin (FMP formula provides a theoretical foundation for understanding the relationship between animal track counts and the true density of species. Although this analytical method potentially has universal applicability wherever animals are readily detectable by their tracks, it has long been unique to Russia and remains widely underappreciated. In this paper, we provide a test of the FMP formula by isolating the influence of animal travel path tortuosity (i.e., convolutedness on track counts. We employed simulations using virtual and empirical data, in addition to a field test comparing FMP estimates with independent estimates from line transect distance sampling. We verify that track counts (total intersections between animals and transects are determined entirely by density and daily movement distances. Hence, the FMP estimator is theoretically robust against potential biases from specific shapes or patterns of animal movement paths if transects are randomly situated with respect to those movements (i.e., the transects do not influence animals' movements. However, detectability (the detection probability of individual animals is not determined simply by daily travel distance but also by tortuosity, so ensuring that all intersections with transects are counted regardless of the number of individual animals that made them becomes critical for an accurate density estimate. Additionally, although tortuosity has no bearing on mean track encounter rates, it does affect encounter rate variance and therefore estimate precision. We discuss how these fundamental principles made explicit by the FMP formula have widespread implications for

  11. Are animal models useful or confusing in understanding the human feto-maternal relationship? A debate. (United States)

    Chaouat, Gérard; Clark, David A


    The proposition "This house agrees that the proper study of man is woman" was debated. For those negating the proposition, the alternative was that "animal models are useful in understanding the human feto-maternal relationship." Evidence for the proposition emphasized molecular and structural differences between the human and animal placenta and placentation. Evidence against the proposition and in favor of the alternative focused on functional and structural homologies, emphasizing that different molecules could be used in humans to achieve similar functional effects seen in animal (e.g., mouse) models. It was agreed that one always needed to test the validity of animal data by studying humans. The advantages and limitations of animal models were discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A lived experience of dualism between the natural and human science paradigms in nursing. (United States)

    Chan, Engle Angela


    To describe the use of narrative as both phenomenon and method to illuminate college nurse educators' nursing knowledge development through their day-to-day stories on the institutional landscape, which shape and are shaped by health-care and nursing education changes. The Ontario health-care reform in Canada and a shift in nursing curriculum have brought to light a different dimension of a theory-practice issue. The traditional predominant natural science approach in nursing is now no longer considered responsive to the unique characteristics of patients' health-care needs. Emerging from current nursing education is an emphasis on a human science paradigm. However, as many college nurse educators moved back and forth between their classrooms to clinical settings, they experienced tremendous tensions in living between the new caring paradigm and the old culture of biomedical science ideology. Compounding this challenge is a lack of understanding by the policymakers and administrators of the importance of nurses' contribution vis-à-vis an ailing health-care system. This growing complexity demands that nursing, as a practice discipline, should articulate its unique body of knowledge for advancing contributions in health care. My stories of experience and those of my participants were analysed narratively to determine the knowledge and understanding developed from living the complex and interwoven changes in nursing education and practice. Through living, telling, retelling and reliving our stories, my participants and I recognized a false dualism between the seemingly polarized biomedical and human science paradigms. The meaning of certainty-uncertainty inherent in nursing teaching and practice demands that nurse educators rethink how stories of experience play out in their understanding of teaching future graduates the interrelationships between these two approaches.

  13. Adaptive interaction a utility maximization approach to understanding human interaction with technology

    CERN Document Server

    Payne, Stephen J


    This lecture describes a theoretical framework for the behavioural sciences that holds high promise for theory-driven research and design in Human-Computer Interaction. The framework is designed to tackle the adaptive, ecological, and bounded nature of human behaviour. It is designed to help scientists and practitioners reason about why people choose to behave as they do and to explain which strategies people choose in response to utility, ecology, and cognitive information processing mechanisms. A key idea is that people choose strategies so as to maximise utility given constraints. The frame

  14. Biological Principles and Threshold Concepts for Understanding Natural Selection. Implications for Developing Visualizations as a Pedagogic Tool (United States)

    Tibell, Lena A. E.; Harms, Ute


    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.

  15. An Alternative to Liquid Human Nature at the Crossroads of the Technological Era

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Antonio Santos Arnaiz


    Full Text Available This paper discusses the idea of an ethic of weakness, expressing distrust about the rise of exacerbated capitalist individualism that drives a technological perfectionism. The extended modernity, as uncompleted project, provides context around the strong separation between humanity and nature. Both concepts posts in relation to perfectionism of the human beings eventually devalue and even deny a more or less permanent human nature. It therefore urges return to a concept of human nature understood as the development program of a free human being, which includes a number of common elements due to genotypic and phenotypic traits, while an ontological concept of human dignity that stems from political equity of all human beings. Historical time must be rethought to make ethical, medical and legal decisions in technology with prudence and responsibility, considering that unfortunately processes undertaken are irreversible.

  16. What's the point? Golden and Labrador retrievers living in kennels do not understand human pointing gestures. (United States)

    D'Aniello, Biagio; Alterisio, Alessandra; Scandurra, Anna; Petremolo, Emanuele; Iommelli, Maria Rosaria; Aria, Massimo


    In many studies that have investigated whether dogs' capacities to understand human pointing gestures are aspects of evolutionary or developmental social competences, family-owned dogs have been compared to shelter dogs. However, for most of these studies, the origins of shelter dogs were unknown. Some shelter dogs may have lived with families before entering shelters, and from these past experiences, they may have learned to understand human gestures. Furthermore, there is substantial variation in the methodology and analytic approaches used in such studies (e.g. different pointing protocols, different treatment of trials with no-choice response and indoor vs. outdoor experimental arenas). Such differences in methodologies and analysis techniques used make it difficult to compare results obtained from different studies and may account for the divergent results obtained. We thus attempted to control for several parameters by carrying out a test on dynamic proximal and distal pointing. We studied eleven kennel dogs of known origin that were born and raised in a kennels with limited human interaction. This group was compared to a group of eleven dogs comparable in terms of breed, sex and age that had lived with human families since they were puppies. Our results demonstrate that pet dogs outperform kennel dogs in their comprehension of proximal and distal pointing, regardless of whether trials where no-choice was made were considered as errors or were excluded from statistical analysis, meaning that dogs living in kennels do not understand pointing gestures. Even if genetic effects of the domestication process on human-dog relationships cannot be considered as negligible, our data suggest that dogs need to learn human pointing gestures and thus underscore the importance of ontogenetic processes.

  17. A natural saline soil as a model for understanding to what extent the concentration of salt affects the distribution of microorganisms (United States)

    Canfora, Loredana; Pinzari, Flavia; Lo Papa, Giuseppe; Vittori Antisari, Livia; Vendramin, Elisa; Salvati, Luca; Dazzi, Carmelo; Benedetti, Anna


    Soils preserve and sustain life. Their health and functioning are crucial for crop production and for the maintenance of major ecosystem services. Human induced salinity is one of the main soil threats that reduces soil fertility and affect crop yields. In recent times, great attention has been paid to the general shortage of arable land and to the increasing demand for ecological restoration of areas affected by salinization processes. Despite the diffuse interest on the effects of salinization on plants' growth, and all the derived socioeconomic issues, very few studies analyzed the ecology of the microbial species in naturally saline soils and the resilience of biological fertility in these extreme habitats. Microorganisms inhabiting such environments may share a strategy, may have developed multiple adaptations for maintaining their populations, and cope eventually to extreme conditions by altruistic or cooperative behaviors for maintaining their metabolism active. The understanding and the knowledge of the composition and distribution of microbial communities in natural hypersaline soils can be interesting for ecological reasons but also to develop new restoration strategy where soil fertility was compromised by natural accidents or human mismanagement. The aim of this research was to provide specific information on saline soils in Italy, stressing mainly their distribution, the socioeconomic issues and the understanding of the characterizing ecological processes. Moreover, natural saline soils were used as a model for understanding to what extent the concentration of salt can affect some basic microbial processes. In the present study, physical, chemical and microbiological soil properties were investigated in the shallower horizons of natural salt affected soils in Sicily (Italy), where some ecological contrasting variables acted as strong drivers in fungal and bacterial spatial distribution. Furthermore, the interface between biological and geochemical

  18. Insights from the Den: How Hibernating Bears May Help Us Understand and Treat Human Disease. (United States)

    Berg von Linde, Maria; Arevström, Lilith; Fröbert, Ole


    Hibernating brown bears (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus) spend half of the year in a physically inactive state inside their winter dens without food intake and defecating and no or little urination. Under similar extreme conditions, humans would suffer from loss of lean body mass, heart failure, thrombosis, azotemia, osteoporosis, and more. However, bears exit the den in the spring strong without organ injuries. Translational animal models are used in human medicine but traditional experimental animals have several shortcomings; thus, we believe that it is time to systematically explore new models. In this review paper, we describe physiological adaptations of hibernating bears and how similar adaptations in humans could theoretically alleviate medical conditions. The bear has solved most of the health challenges faced by humans, including heart and kidney disease, atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Understanding and applying this library of information could lead to a number of major discoveries that could have implications for the understanding and treatment of human disease. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Managing Watersheds as Couple Human-Natural Systems: A Review of Research Opportunities (United States)

    Cai, X.


    Many watersheds around the world are impaired with severe social and environmental problems due to heavy anthropogenic stresses. Humans have transformed hydrological and biochemical processes in watersheds from a stationary to non-stationary status through direct (e.g., water withdrawals) and indirect (e.g., altering vegetation and land cover) interferences. It has been found that in many watersheds that socio-economic drivers, which have caused increasingly intensive alteration of natural processes, have even overcome natural variability to become the dominant factor affecting the behavior of watershed systems. Reversing this trend requires an understanding of the drivers of this intensification trajectory, and needs tremendous policy reform and investment. As stressed by several recent National Research Council (NRC) reports, watershed management will pose an enormous challenge in the coming decades. Correspondingly, the focus of research has started an evolution from the management of reservoir, stormwater and aquifer systems to the management of integrated watershed systems, to which policy instruments designed to make more rational economic use of water resources are likely to be applied. To provide a few examples: reservoir operation studies have moved from a local to a watershed scale in order to consider upstream best management practices in soil conservation and erosion control and downstream ecological flow requirements and water rights; watersheds have been modeled as integrated hydrologic-economic systems with multidisciplinary modeling efforts, instead of traditional isolated physical systems. Today's watershed management calls for a re-definition of watersheds from isolated natural systems to coupled human-natural systems (CHNS), which are characterized by the interactions between human activities and natural processes, crossing various spatial and temporal scales within the context of a watershed. The importance of the conceptual innovation has been

  20. Understanding fluid transport through the multiscale pore network of a natural shale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davy Catherine A.


    Full Text Available The pore structure of a natural shale is obtained by three imaging means. Micro-tomography results are extended to provide the spatial arrangement of the minerals and pores present at a voxel size of 700 nm (the macroscopic scale. FIB/SEM provides a 3D representation of the porous clay matrix on the so-called mesoscopic scale (10-20 nm; a connected pore network, devoid of cracks, is obtained for two samples out of five, while the pore network is connected through cracks for two other samples out of five. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM is used to visualize the pore space with a typical pixel size of less than 1 nm and a porosity ranging from 0.12 to 0.25. On this scale, in the absence of 3D images, the pore structure is reconstructed by using a classical technique, which is based on truncated Gaussian fields. Permeability calculations are performed with the Lattice Boltzmann Method on the nanoscale, on the mesoscale, and on the combination of the two. Upscaling is finally done (by a finite volume approach on the bigger macroscopic scale. Calculations show that, in the absence of cracks, the contribution of the nanoscale pore structure on the overall permeability is similar to that of the mesoscale. Complementarily, the macroscopic permeability is measured on a centimetric sample with a neutral fluid (ethanol. The upscaled permeability on the macroscopic scale is in good agreement with the experimental results.

  1. Understanding the life cycle surface land requirements of natural gas-fired electricity (United States)

    Jordaan, Sarah M.; Heath, Garvin A.; Macknick, Jordan; Bush, Brian W.; Mohammadi, Ehsan; Ben-Horin, Dan; Urrea, Victoria; Marceau, Danielle


    The surface land use of fossil fuel acquisition and utilization has not been well characterized, inhibiting consistent comparisons of different electricity generation technologies. Here we present a method for robust estimation of the life cycle land use of electricity generated from natural gas through a case study that includes inventories of infrastructure, satellite imagery and well-level production. Approximately 500 sites in the Barnett Shale of Texas were sampled across five life cycle stages (production, gathering, processing, transmission and power generation). Total land use (0.62 m2 MWh-1, 95% confidence intervals ±0.01 m2 MWh-1) was dominated by midstream infrastructure, particularly pipelines (74%). Our results were sensitive to power plant heat rate (85-190% of the base case), facility lifetime (89-169%), number of wells per site (16-100%), well lifetime (92-154%) and pipeline right of way (58-142%). When replicated for other gas-producing regions and different fuels, our approach offers a route to enable empirically grounded comparisons of the land footprint of energy choices.

  2. Understanding Public Support for Indigenous Natural Resource Management in Northern Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin K. Zander


    Full Text Available Increased interest in indigenous-led natural resource management (NRM on traditionally owned land in northern Australia has raised important questions in relation to policies that compensate indigenous Australians for providing environmental services. A choice experiment survey was mailed out to respondents across the whole of Australia to assess if and to what extent Australian people think that society benefits from these services and how much they would pay for them. More than half the respondents would in principle support indigenous NRM in northern Australia, with a high willingness to pay for carbon, biodiversity, and recreational services. Social aspects of indigenous NRM, however, were not valued by the society, emphasizing the need for awareness raising and clarifications of benefits that indigenous people gain while carrying out land management on their traditional country. Any marketing campaign should take into account preference variation across Australian society, which this research shows is substantial, particularly between people from the north and those from the south. People from the south were more likely to support indigenous NRM, a significant finding for campaigns targeting potential donors.

  3. Did natural selection make the Dutch taller? A cautionary note on the importance of quantification in understanding evolution. (United States)

    Tarka, Maja; Bolstad, Geir H; Wacker, Sebastian; Räsänen, Katja; Hansen, Thomas F; Pélabon, Christophe


    One of the main achievements of the modern synthesis is a rigorous mathematical theory for evolution by natural selection. Combining this theory with statistical models makes it possible to estimate the relevant parameters so as to quantify selection and evolution in nature. Although quantification is a sign of a mature science, statistical models are unfortunately often interpreted independently of the motivating mathematical theory. Without a link to theory, numerical results do not represent proper quantifications, because they lack the connections that designate their biological meaning. Here, we want to raise awareness and exemplify this problem by examining a recent study on natural selection in a contemporary human population. Stulp et al. (2015) concluded that natural selection may partly explain the increasing stature of the Dutch population. This conclusion was based on a qualitative assessment of the presence of selection on height. Here, we provide a quantitative interpretation of these results using standard evolutionary theory to show that natural selection has had a minuscule effect. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. On the uncertain nature of human capital investments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazza, J.


    The four studies presented here pertain to an often neglected characteristic of educational investments in human capital literature: its unpredictability and how individuals account for and respond to it. The first study elicits, from a sample of Dutch high school students, the level of information

  5. The optical nature of methylsuccinic acid in human urine (United States)

    Zeitman, B.; Lawless, J. G.


    Methylsuccinic acid was isolated from human urine, derivatized as the di-S-(+)-2-butyl ester, and analyzed using a gas chromatographic system capable of separating the enantiomers of the derivative. The R-(+)-isomer was found to be present. Methylsuccinic acid is potentially important as a criterion for abiogenicity, having been obtained as a racemic mixture from sources known to be abiotic.

  6. Naturally occuring nucleosome positioning signals in human exons and introns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baldi, Pierre; Brunak, Søren; Chauvin, Yves


    We describe the structural implications of a periodic pattern found in human exons and introns by hidden Markov models. We show that exons (besides the reading frame) have a specific sequential structure in the form of a pattern with triplet consensus non-T(A/T)G, and a minimal periodicity...

  7. Human genetics studies in areas of high natural radiation, 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freire-Maia, A.


    Two methods to estimate the inbreeding load, employed in our analysis, are reviewed. Besides the total population, a sample constituted of individuals with no alien ancestral is also analysed. The measurements by genetic load models show any clear effect of natural radioactivity (especially for abortions, pre-natal mortality, anomalies, and abnormalities in general). The results on stillbirths and post-natal and total mortalities are discussed and it is concluded that uncontrolled concomitant variables (if not chance alone) cause the differences [pt


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Danihelová


    Full Text Available Flavonoids as natural bioactive compounds are present in almost every sort of fruits, vegetables and from them derived products. Flavonols may be found mainly in fruits and vegetables, while flavones are abundant in herbs and spices. Rich natural sources of flavanols are tea, cocoa, grape seeds or apple skin. Flavanones are primarily found in a variety of citrus fruits and anthocyanidins in many coloured berries. Soy is rich in isoflavonoids. Average daily intake of flavonoids is approximately in the range of 150 to 300 mg. It strongly depends on individual, country and culture usages. In west countries main dietary sources of flavonoids consist of tea, wine and fruits, while in east countries there is consumed mainly soy with high isoflavonoid content. Many studies have shown, that intake of fruits and vegetables with high flavonoid content is associated with lowered risk of incidence of some diseases such as cardiovascular or cancer. These findings are attributed to experimentally confirmed biological effects of flavonoids - antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anticancer or cardioprotective. The final effect is however depending on their bioavailability, which is in the case of flavonoids not high, because in the nature dominating flavonoid glycosides can poorly penetrate through lipophilic cell membranes. Final effective molecules are flavonoid metabolites, that more or less retain their biological activities. doi: 10.5219/160

  9. Socio-ecological Typologies for Understanding Adaptive Capacity of a Region to Natural Disasters (United States)

    Surendran Nair, S.; Preston, B. L.; King, A. W.; Mei, R.


    It is expected that the frequency and magnitude of extreme climatic events will increase in coming decades with an anticipated increase in losses from climate hazards. In the Gulf Coastal region of the United States, climate hazards/disasters are common including hurricanes, drought and flooding. However, the capacity to adapt to extreme climatic events varies across the region. This adaptive capacity is linked to the magnitude of the extreme event, exposed infrastructure, and the socio-economic conditions across the region. This study uses hierarchical clustering to quantitatively integrates regional socioeconomic and biophysical factors and develop socio-ecological typologies (SET). The biophysical factors include climatic and topographic variables, and the socio-economic variables include human capital, social capital and man-made resources (infrastructure) of the region. The types of the SET are independent variables in a statistical model of a regional variable of interest. The methodology was applied to US Gulf States to evaluate the social and biophysical determinants of the regional variation in social vulnerability and economic loss to climate hazards. The results show that the SET explains much of the regional variation in social vulnerability, effectively capturing its determinants. In addition, the SET also explains of the variability in economic loss to hazards across of the region. The approach can thus be used to prioritize adaptation strategies to reduce vulnerability and loss across the region.

  10. The natural radioactivity of plants, animals and humans. 3. enl. ed.

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schewtschenko, I.N.; Danilenko, A.I.


    The natural radioactivity of plants, animals and humans are of important scientific relevance for radiobiology and medicine. The possible effects of micro doses during life span are still controversially discussed. Part I of the book (the natural radioactivity of plants, animals and humans for the normal case and in case of pathological changes) covers the following topics: the natural radioisotopes in living organisms (plants, animals, humans) and their environment; methodologies of qualitative and quantitative determination of beta-activity in biological objects; the radioactivity of atmospheric precipitations; the beta-activity of plants; the beta-activity of animals; beta-activity of human organs and tissues. Part II (dynamics of radionuclides in the biological chains in the period 1960 to 2007): the modern conceptions on the biological role of natural radioactive elements, biological indications during early stages of low-dose ionizing irradiation; the radioactivity of the human blood; radiation and carcerogenesis

  11. The role of strategic groups in understanding strategic human resource management


    Gannon, Judie; Doherty, Liz; Roper, Angela


    Purpose – This article explores how understanding the challenges faced by companies’ attempts to create competitive advantage through their human resources and HRM practices can be enhanced by insights into the concept of strategic groups within industries. Based within the international hotel industry this study identifies how strategic groups emerge in the analysis of HRM practices and approaches. It sheds light on the value of strategic groups as a way of readdressing the focus on firm and...

  12. Understanding the Link between Urban Activity Destinations and Human Travel Pattern


    Jiang, Shan; Gonzalez, Marta C.; Ferreira, Joseph, Jr.


    In the urban transportation field, planners and engineers have explored the relationship between urban destinations and travel behavior for more than half a century. However, we still have only a preliminary understanding about how the spatial arrangement of different types of urban activity destinations influence human travel, and how urban development policies influence travel patterns. Recent developments in urban sensing and cell phone technologies have enabled spatially-detailed and mass...

  13. Personal assistance for disabled people and the understanding of human being


    Mladenov, Teodor


    This paper explores personal assistance - a practice considered crucial for supporting the independence and social inclusion of disabled people. The starting point of the analysis is the presumption that the significance of personal assistance goes well beyond welfare, touching upon existential-ontological issues. In order to uncover these issues, a phenomenological approach is used. The aim is to highlight the understanding of human being which is mediated by an internationally prominent mod...

  14. Sign language: its history and contribution to the understanding of the biological nature of language. (United States)

    Ruben, Robert J


    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.

  15. ‘Unwilling’ versus ‘unable’: Tonkean macaques’ understanding of human goal-directed actions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Canteloup


    Full Text Available The present study investigated the understanding of goal-directed actions in Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana using the unwilling versus unable paradigm, previously used in several species. Subjects were tested in three experimental conditions that varied according to the goal-directed actions of a human actor. In the “unwilling” condition, the actor was capable of giving the subject food but unwilling to do it; in the “unable” condition, she was willing to give food but was unable to do it because of a physical barrier; and in the “distracted” condition, she was occupied by manipulating a pebble instead of food. We report for the first time that Tonkean macaques, like capuchins, chimpanzees and human infants, behaved differently across these experimental conditions. They attempted to grasp food in the actor’s hand significantly more and displayed more threats in the presence of an unwilling actor rather than an unable or a distracted one. Inversely, they begged significantly more and displayed more frustration behaviors facing a distracted and unable experimenter rather than an unwilling one. These results suggest that Tonkean macaques understand human goal-directed actions by predicting whether they were likely to obtain food merely based on movements, cue and motor intentions reading and understanding of physical constraints.

  16. From evolution to revolution: understanding mutability in large and disruptive human groups (United States)

    Whitaker, Roger M.; Felmlee, Diane; Verma, Dinesh C.; Preece, Alun; Williams, Grace-Rose


    Over the last 70 years there has been a major shift in the threats to global peace. While the 1950's and 1960's were characterised by the cold war and the arms race, many security threats are now characterised by group behaviours that are disruptive, subversive or extreme. In many cases such groups are loosely and chaotically organised, but their ideals are sociologically and psychologically embedded in group members to the extent that the group represents a major threat. As a result, insights into how human groups form, emerge and change are critical, but surprisingly limited insights into the mutability of human groups exist. In this paper we argue that important clues to understand the mutability of groups come from examining the evolutionary origins of human behaviour. In particular, groups have been instrumental in human evolution, used as a basis to derive survival advantage, leaving all humans with a basic disposition to navigate the world through social networking and managing their presence in a group. From this analysis we present five critical features of social groups that govern mutability, relating to social norms, individual standing, status rivalry, ingroup bias and cooperation. We argue that understanding how these five dimensions interact and evolve can provide new insights into group mutation and evolution. Importantly, these features lend themselves to digital modeling. Therefore computational simulation can support generative exploration of groups and the discovery of latent factors, relevant to both internal group and external group modelling. Finally we consider the role of online social media in relation to understanding the mutability of groups. This can play an active role in supporting collective behaviour, and analysis of social media in the context of the five dimensions of group mutability provides a fresh basis to interpret the forces affecting groups.

  17. Distancing Students from Nature: Science Camp and the Representation of the Human-Nature Relationship (United States)

    Terrill, Laura Anne


    This study investigated the curricular representations of the environment and the human-environment relationship at one residential school sponsored science camp. Data gathered included field notes from observational time at the camp, interviews with staff and classroom teachers, and documents from the site's website, guides, manuals, and…

  18. Information and entropy theory for the sustainability of coupled human and natural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey L. Mayer


    Full Text Available For coupled human and natural systems (CHANS, sustainability can be defined operationally as a feasible, desirable set of flows (material, currency, information, energy, individuals, etc. that can be maintained despite internal changes and changes in the environment. Sustainable development can be defined as the process by which CHANS can be moved toward sustainability. Specific indicators that give insight into the structure and behavior of feedbacks in CHANS are of particular interest because they would aid in the sustainable management of these systems through an understanding of the structures that govern system behavior. However, the use of specific feedbacks as monitoring tools is rare, possibly because of uncertainties regarding the nature of their dynamics and the diversity of types of feedbacks encountered in these systems. An information theory perspective may help to rectify this situation, as evidenced by recent research in sustainability science that supports the use of unit-free measures such as Shannon entropy and Fisher information to aggregate disparate indicators. These measures have been used for spatial and temporal datasets to monitor progress toward sustainability targets. Here, we provide a review of information theory and a theoretical framework for studying the dynamics of feedbacks in CHANS. We propose a combination of information-based indices that might productively inform our sustainability goals, particularly when related to key feedbacks in CHANS.

  19. Understanding nature's particle accelerators using high energy gamma-ray survey instruments (United States)

    Abeysekara, Anushka Udara

    Nature's particle accelerators, such as Pulsars, Pulsar Wind Nebulae, Active Galactic Nuclei and Supernova Remnants accelerate charged particles to very high energies that then produce high energy photons. The particle acceleration mechanisms and the high energy photon emission mechanisms are poorly understood phenomena. These mechanisms can be understood either by studying individual sources in detail or, alternatively, using the collective properties of a sample of sources. Recent development of GeV survey instruments, such as Fermi-LAT, and TeV survey instruments, such as Milagro, provides a large sample of high energy gamma-ray flux measurements from galactic and extra-galactic sources. In this thesis I provide constraints on GeV and TeV radiation mechanisms using the X-ray-TeV correlations and GeV-TeV correlations. My data sample was obtained from three targeted searches for extragalactic sources and two targeted search for galactic sources, using the existing Milagro sky maps. The first extragalactic candidate list consists of Fermi-LAT GeV extragalactic sources, and the second extragalactic candidate list consists of TeVCat extragalactic sources that have been detected by Imaging Atmospheric Cerenkov Telescopes (IACTs). In both extragalactic candidate lists Markarian 421 was the only source detected by Milagro. A comparison between the Markarian 421 time-averaged flux, measured by Milagro, and the flux measurements of transient states, measured by IACTs, is discussed. The third extragalactic candidate list is a list of potential TeV emitting BL Lac candidates that was synthesized using X-ray observations of BL Lac objects and a Synchrotron Self-Compton model. Milagro's sensitivity was not sufficient to detect any of those candidates. However, the 95% confidence flux upper limits of those sources were above the predicted flux. Therefore, these results provide evidence to conclude that the Synchrotron Self-Compton model for BL Lac objects is still a viable

  20. Understanding specificity in metabolic pathways--structural biology of human nucleotide metabolism. (United States)

    Welin, Martin; Nordlund, Pär


    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.

  1. Continuous Timescale Long-Short Term Memory Neural Network for Human Intent Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhibin Yu


    Full Text Available Understanding of human intention by observing a series of human actions has been a challenging task. In order to do so, we need to analyze longer sequences of human actions related with intentions and extract the context from the dynamic features. The multiple timescales recurrent neural network (MTRNN model, which is believed to be a kind of solution, is a useful tool for recording and regenerating a continuous signal for dynamic tasks. However, the conventional MTRNN suffers from the vanishing gradient problem which renders it impossible to be used for longer sequence understanding. To address this problem, we propose a new model named Continuous Timescale Long-Short Term Memory (CTLSTM in which we inherit the multiple timescales concept into the Long-Short Term Memory (LSTM recurrent neural network (RNN that addresses the vanishing gradient problem. We design an additional recurrent connection in the LSTM cell outputs to produce a time-delay in order to capture the slow context. Our experiments show that the proposed model exhibits better context modeling ability and captures the dynamic features on multiple large dataset classification tasks. The results illustrate that the multiple timescales concept enhances the ability of our model to handle longer sequences related with human intentions and hence proving to be more suitable for complex tasks, such as intention recognition.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welin, Martin; Nordlund, Paer


    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.

  3. The Human - Nature Relationship i n t he Context o f Theo - Centric Environmental Ethics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gülşen YAYLI


    Full Text Available The environmental problems are one of the issues that intensively occupy the agenda of humankind. This fact mainly derives from the ambiguity of the s pan and the content of the issue. The concept of environmental problems can not be confined to th e soil, air and water pollution for the reason that it covers a scope wider than a classical pollution issues. Initially the form of the relations hip between h uman and nature has been relying on the “consumption at the level of content” which stands for a level that is enough to sustain the living. The perception of the nature used to be described with the metaphor of mother while natural environment was defined as the “mother earth”. However subsequent to natural environment definition of the Cartesian philosophy with its approach to the human nature relationship, the core metaphor to describe the natural environment has changed from the metaphor of “mother” to the “slave” which should serve by any means. The human - nature relationship within the context of ethics, both the parties an d their respective statues bear an importance. In terms of ethics of human - nature relationship, it is possible to mention three main approaches. First one is the anthropo - centric approach. Within the scope of historical process, human - nature relationship is addressed according to anthropo - centric ethics comprehension so human has remained at the center of discussion. Following the change of the perception regarding the issue of environment, new approaches have emerged that give emphasis not only on human beings but also others; on li ving and non - living beings with in the eco - system. In principle, this represents a departure from an anthropo - centric ethics to a new ethic approach which fall s into two categories, bio centric and eco - centric. The theo - centric ethics should also be included to these ethics approaches that are shaped within the sphere of positive sciences. The Abrahamic

  4. Natural killer cell biology illuminated by primary immunodeficiency syndromes in humans. (United States)

    Voss, Matthias; Bryceson, Yenan T


    Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cytotoxic effector cells well known for their role in antiviral immunity and tumor immunosurveillance. In parts, this knowledge stems from rare inherited immunodeficiency disorders in humans that abrogate NK cell function leading to immune impairments, most notably associated with a high susceptibility to viral infections. Phenotypically, these disorders range from deficiencies selectively affecting NK cells to complex general immune defects that affect NK cells but also other immune cell subsets. Moreover, deficiencies may be associated with reduced NK cell numbers or rather impair specific NK cell effector functions. In recent years, genetic defects underlying the various NK cell deficiencies have been uncovered and have triggered investigative efforts to decipher the molecular mechanisms underlying these disorders. Here we review the associations between inherited human diseases and NK cell development as well as function, with a particular focus on defects in NK cell exocytosis and cytotoxicity. Furthermore we outline how reports of diverse genetic defects have shaped our understanding of NK cell biology. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Prevalence and Incidence of Anal and Cervical High-Risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Types covered by Current HPV Vaccines among HIV-Infected Women in the Study to Understand the Natural History of HIV/AIDS in the Era of Effective Therapy (The SUN Study). (United States)

    Kojic, Erna Milunka; Conley, Lois; Bush, Tim; Cu-Uvin, Susan; Unger, Elizabeth R; Henry, Keith; Hammer, John; Escota, Gerome; Darragh, Teresa M; Palefsky, Joel M; Brooks, John T; Patel, Pragna


    Nonavalent (9v) human papilloma virus vaccine targets high-risk (HR)-HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58, and low-risk 6, 11. We examined prevalence, incidence, and clearance of anal and cervical HR-HPV in HIV-infected women. From 2004-2006, the SUN Study enrolled 167 women from four US cities. Anal and cervical specimens were collected annually for cytology and identification of 37 HPV types; 14 HR include: 9v 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58; non-9v 35, 39, 51, 56, 59, 66, 68. Baseline characteristics of 126 women included: median age 38 years; 57% non-Hispanic black; 67% HIV RNA HPV prevalence at anus and cervix was 90% and 83%; for 9v HR-HPV types, 67% and 51%; non-9v HR-HPV, 54% and 29%, respectively. 9v and non-9v HR-HPV incidence rates/100 person-years were similar (10.4 vs 9.5: 8.5 vs 8.3, respectively); 9v clearance rates were 42% and 61%; non-9v 46% and 59%, in anus and cervix, respectively. Anal HR-HPV prevalence was higher than cervical with lower clearance; incidence was similar. Although prevalence of non-9v HR-HPV was substantial, 9v HR-HPV types were generally more prevalent. These findings support use of nonavalent vaccine in HIV-infected women. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail:

  6. The multifactorial nature of human homosexual behavior: A brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barona, Daniel


    Full Text Available Homosexual behavior has been analyzed as an evolutionary paradox in the biological context. In this review, we will try to compile the main genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, neurological and immune explanations of homosexuality, as well as the ultimate evolutionary causes of this complex behavior in the human being, incorporating information from studies in other animal species. All these factors determine the homosexual behavior, acting most of the times, simultaneously. Hereditary and non hereditary factors determine homosexual behavior, explaining its persistence despite its apparent disadvantages in relation to reproductive fitness.

  7. Radical Transformation in the Human - Nature Perception: Deep Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan YAYLI


    Full Text Available There have been numerous endeavors to date the green thought. As the environmental problems have begun to be apparent in the aftermath of the second world war, the year of 1952, a traumatic incident is noted where more than four thousand people have died d ue to air pollution in London, while in 1970, Rome Club have initiated within the Project of Predicament of Mankind in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, in which zero growth thesis put forward in its famed report. Both the for mer and the latter ignited environmental awareness and regarded as the point of origins for the green thought. Regardless of where it begins from, ecological movements have mainly followed the paths of two movements of thought and tried to develop their p aradigms on the basis of these two main thoughts. The environmentalists that named as socialist or Marxist asserts that only through a radical transformation where capitalist way of production is abandoned, the prevention of environmental degradation cou ld be achieved. Whereas the environmentalists who follow the capitalist paradigm believed the protection of environment could be achieved by means of the sustainability in terms of natural resource pool and waste - disposal practices. If we look closely, both of these two movements of thought are anthropocentric. An alternative ecological movement of thought has proposed in 1973 by Norwegian philosopher, Arne Naess, in his work named, “The Shallow and the Deep, Long - Range Ecology Moveme nt: A Summary”. This Deep Ecology approach moves through the commitment to the inner value of the nature aside from mankind and by this way, differs from anthropocentric approaches. Within forty two years, Deep Ecology has led various discussions. The the mes as “ecosophy” which has proposed to define itself and the “bio - regions” conception which put forward to actualize its philosophy could be counted among the reference points of the

  8. Nature is far more imaginative than human beings!

    CERN Multimedia


    Is today’s science fiction really tomorrow’s science fact (*)? If you remember the Star Trek TV series, you will have noticed that extra-dimensions are becoming more plausible than you could have imagined when Captain Kirk was leading the Enterprise. Lawrence Krauss, author of "The Physics of Star Trek", visited CERN on 28 August and told us how the LHC inspires him both as a scientist and as a writer.Wearing his cosmologist’s hat, Lawrence Krauss met the CERN audience in the Main Auditorium and gave a colloquium entitled "Cosmology as Science? From Inflation to Eternity". Wearing his other hat of bestselling writer, he told us that he finds the LHC a very inspiring human adventure. "The LHC and its experiments", he says, "represent how science can span and bridge human cultures and interests, focusing for an incredibly intense period on questions which may seem esoteric but in some way will give us insights into our place in the Universe". CERN science has inspired ...

  9. The quality of Albanian natural waters and the human impact. (United States)

    Cullaj, Alqiviadh; Hasko, Agim; Miho, Aleko; Schanz, Ferdinand; Brandl, Helmut; Bachofen, Reinhard


    Albania possesses a wealth of aquatic ecosystems, many of enormous natural and biological value, such as the Lakes Ohrid, Prespa and Shkodra, glacial lakes, river valleys, and coastal lagoons. Although many habitats are highly polluted by inorganic and organic wastes, detailed knowledge on the water quality is still lacking. For the first time, an environmental assessment of the water quality is presented and the main polluting sources identified. As a consequence, a systematic control and the establishment of routine monitoring of surface and groundwater is proposed, which elucidates the present environmental state and helps to develop new strategies of waste and wastewater management. It would help allow Albania to reach an international standard in environmental protection, as a part of UNECE Convention, the Mediterranean Action Plan, the MAP/UNEP Medpol Program and the Basel Convention.

  10. What is nature capable of? Evidence, ontology and speculative medical humanities. (United States)

    Savransky, Martin; Rosengarten, Marsha


    Expanding on the recent call for a 'critical medical humanities' to intervene in questions of the ontology of health, this article develops a what we call a 'speculative' orientation to such interventions in relation to some of the ontological commitments on which contemporary biomedical cultures rest. We argue that crucial to this task is an approach to ontology that treats it not as a question of first principles, but as a matter of the consequences of the images of nature that contemporary biomedical research practices espouse when they make claims to evidence, as well as the possible consequences of imagining different worlds in which health and disease processes partake. By attending to the implicit ontological assumptions involved in the method par excellence of biomedical research, namely the randomised controlled trial (RCT), we argue that the mechanistic ontology that tacitly informs evidence-based biomedical research simultaneously authorises a series of problematic consequences for understanding and intervening practically in the concrete realities of health. As a response, we develop an alternative ontological proposition that regards processes of health and disease as always situated achievements. We show that, without disqualifying RCT-based evidence, such a situated ontology enables one to resist the reduction of the realities of health and disease to biomedicine's current forms of explanation. In so doing, we call for medical humanities scholars to actively engage in the speculative question of what nature may be capable of. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

  11. Guideline for assessing the performance of electric power systems in natural hazard and human threat events (United States)

    Savage, W.U.; Nishenko, S.P.; Honegger, D.G.; Kempner, L.


    Electric power utilities are familiar with and skilled in preparing for and responding to almost-routine natural hazard events such as strong wind and ice storms and seasonal floods, as well as intentional human acts such as vandalism. Recent extreme weather (hurricanes Katrina and Rita), extremely destructive international earthquakes (in Sumatra and Pakistan), and nation-wide concerns regarding future terrorist attacks have increased the pressure on utilities to take appropriate steps to avoid being overwhelmed by such infrequent and exceedingly severe events. Determining what constitutes the appropriate steps to take requires various levels of understanding of the specific hazards and the risks faced by the utility. The American Lifelines Alliance (www. has prepared a Guideline that provides clear, concise, and nationally-applicable guidance on determining the scope and level of effort necessary to assess power system performance in the wide range of natural hazard or human threat events. Included in this Guideline are specific procedures to follow and information to consider in performing standardized assessments. With the results of such assessments, utility owners can effectively establish and carry out risk management programs that will lead to achieving appropriate levels of performance in future events. The Guideline incorporates an inquiry-driven process with a two-phase performance assessment that can be applied to power systems of any size. The screening phase enables systems or components that are clearly not at risk to be screened out early. The subsequent analysis phase uses results from the screening phase to prioritize and allocate resources for more detailed assessments of hazard, vulnerability, and system performance. This process helps assure that the scope of the assessment meets the specific performance objectives of the inquiry. A case history is presented to illustrate the type of experience with an inquiry

  12. Molluskan Hemocyanins Activate the Classical Pathway of the Human Complement System through Natural Antibodies. (United States)

    Pizarro-Bauerle, Javier; Maldonado, Ismael; Sosoniuk-Roche, Eduardo; Vallejos, Gerardo; López, Mercedes N; Salazar-Onfray, Flavio; Aguilar-Guzmán, Lorena; Valck, Carolina; Ferreira, Arturo; Becker, María Inés


    Molluskan hemocyanins are enormous oxygen-carrier glycoproteins that show remarkable immunostimulatory properties when inoculated in mammals, such as the generation of high levels of antibodies, a strong cellular reaction, and generation of non-specific antitumor immune responses in some types of cancer, particularly for superficial bladder cancer. These proteins have the ability to bias the immune response toward a T h 1 phenotype. However, despite all their current uses with beneficial clinical outcomes, a clear mechanism explaining these properties is not available. Taking into account reports of natural antibodies against the hemocyanin of the gastropod Megathura crenulata [keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH)] in humans as well as other vertebrate species, we report here for the first time, the presence, in sera from unimmunized healthy donors, of antibodies recognizing, in addition to KLH, two other hemocyanins from gastropods with documented immunomodulatory capacities: Fisurella latimarginata hemocyanin (FLH) and Concholepas concholepas hemocyanin (CCH). Through an ELISA screening, we found IgM and IgG antibodies reactive with these hemocyanins. When the capacity of these antibodies to bind deglycosylated hemocyanins was studied, no decreased interaction was detected. Moreover, in the case of FLH, deglycosylation increased antibody binding. We evaluated through an in vitro complement deposition assay whether these antibodies activated the classical pathway of the human complement system. The results showed that all three hemocyanins and their deglycosylated counterparts elicited this activation, mediated by C1 binding to immunoglobulins. Thus, this work contributes to the understanding on how the complement system could participate in the immunostimulatory properties of hemocyanins, through natural, complement-activating antibodies reacting with these proteins. Although a role for carbohydrates cannot be completely ruled out, in our experimental setting

  13. Gut microbiota: next frontier in understanding human health and development of biotherapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prakash S


    Full Text Available Satya Prakash, Laetitia Rodes, Michael Coussa-Charley, Catherine Tomaro-DuchesneauBiomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Artificial Cells and Organs Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, CanadaAbstract: The gut microbiota is a remarkable asset for human health. As a key element in the development and prevention of specific diseases, its study has yielded a new field of promising biotherapeutics. This review provides comprehensive and updated knowledge of the human gut microbiota, its implications in health and disease, and the potentials and limitations of its modification by currently available biotherapeutics to treat, prevent and/or restore human health, and future directions. Homeostasis of the gut microbiota maintains various functions which are vital to the maintenance of human health. Disruption of the intestinal ecosystem equilibrium (gut dysbiosis is associated with a plethora of human diseases, including autoimmune and allergic diseases, colorectal cancer, metabolic diseases, and bacterial infections. Relevant underlying mechanisms by which specific intestinal bacteria populations might trigger the development of disease in susceptible hosts are being explored across the globe. Beneficial modulation of the gut microbiota using biotherapeutics, such as prebiotics, probiotics, and antibiotics, may favor health-promoting populations of bacteria and can be exploited in development of biotherapeutics. Other technologies, such as development of human gut models, bacterial screening, and delivery formulations eg, microencapsulated probiotics, may contribute significantly in the near future. Therefore, the human gut microbiota is a legitimate therapeutic target to treat and/or prevent various diseases. Development of a clear understanding of the technologies needed to exploit the gut microbiota is urgently required.Keywords: gut microbiota, human

  14. Natural Environmental Changes versus Human Impact in a Florida Estuary (Rookery Bay, USA)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lammers, J.M.; Soelen, E.E. van; Donders, T.H.; Wagner-Cremer, F.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Reichart, G.-J.

    Assessing the impact of climate change and anthropogenic activity on Florida coastal areas requires a thorough understanding of natural climate variability. The available instrumental record, however, is too short and too limited to capture the full range of natural variability. In order to provide

  15. Natural Environmental Changes versus Human Impact in a Florida Estuary (Rookery Bay, USA)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lammers, J.M.; Soelen, E.E. van; Donders, T.H.; Wagner-Cremer, F.; Damsté, J.S.S.; Reichart, G.J.


    Assessing the impact of climate change and anthropogenic activity on Florida coastal areas requires a thorough understanding of natural climate variability. The available instrumental record, however, is too short and too limited to capture the full range of natural variability. In order to provide

  16. Protection of the human race against natural hazards (asteroids, comets, volcanoes, earthquakes) (United States)

    Smith, Joseph V.


    Although we justifiably worry about the danger of nuclear war to civilization, and perhaps even to survival of the human race, we tend to consider natural hazards (e.g., comets, asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes) as unavoidable acts of God. In any human lifetime, a truly catastrophic natural event is very unlikely, but ultimately one will occur. For the first time in human history we have sufficient technical skills to begin protection of Earth from some natural hazards. We could decide collectively throughout the world to reassign resources: in particular, reduction of nuclear and conventional weapons to a less dangerous level would allow concomitant increase of international programs for detection and prevention of natural hazards. Worldwide cooperation to mitigate natural hazards might help psychologically to lead us away from the divisive bickering that triggers wars. Future generations could hail us as pioneers of peace and safety rather than curse us as agents of death and destruction.

  17. Understanding the Spatio-Temporal Response of Coral Reef Fish Communities to Natural Disturbances: Insights from Beta-Diversity Decomposition. (United States)

    Lamy, Thomas; Legendre, Pierre; Chancerelle, Yannick; Siu, Gilles; Claudet, Joachim


    Understanding how communities respond to natural disturbances is fundamental to assess the mechanisms of ecosystem resistance and resilience. However, ecosystem responses to natural disturbances are rarely monitored both through space and time, while the factors promoting ecosystem stability act at various temporal and spatial scales. Hence, assessing both the spatial and temporal variations in species composition is important to comprehensively explore the effects of natural disturbances. Here, we suggest a framework to better scrutinize the mechanisms underlying community responses to disturbances through both time and space. Our analytical approach is based on beta diversity decomposition into two components, replacement and biomass difference. We illustrate this approach using a 9-year monitoring of coral reef fish communities off Moorea Island (French Polynesia), which encompassed two severe natural disturbances: a crown-of-thorns starfish outbreak and a hurricane. These disturbances triggered a fast logistic decline in coral cover, which suffered a 90% decrease on all reefs. However, we found that the coral reef fish composition remained largely stable through time and space whereas compensatory changes in biomass among species were responsible for most of the temporal fluctuations, as outlined by the overall high contribution of the replacement component to total beta diversity. This suggests that, despite the severity of the two disturbances, fish communities exhibited high resistance and the ability to reorganize their compositions to maintain the same level of total community biomass as before the disturbances. We further investigated the spatial congruence of this pattern and showed that temporal dynamics involved different species across sites; yet, herbivores controlling the proliferation of algae that compete with coral communities were consistently favored. These results suggest that compensatory changes in biomass among species and spatial

  18. The Evolution of Integrated Assessment and Emerging Challenges in the Assessment of Human and Natural System Interactions (United States)

    Clarke, L.


    Integrated assessment (IA) modeling and research has a long history, spanning over 30 years since its inception and addressing a wide range of contemporary issues along the way. Over the last decade, IA modeling and research has emerged as one of the primary analytical methods for understanding the complex interactions between human and natural systems, from the interactions between energy, water, and land/food systems to the interplay between health, climate, and air pollution. IA modeling and research is particularly well-suited for the analysis of these interactions because it is a discipline that strives to integrate representations of multiple systems into consistent computational platforms or frameworks. In doing so, it explicitly confronts the many tradeoffs that are frequently necessary to manage complexity and computational cost while still representing the most important interactions and overall, coupled system behavior. This talk explores the history of IA modeling and research as a means to better understand its role in the assessment of contemporary issues at the confluence of human and natural systems. It traces the evolution of IA modeling and research from initial exploration of long-term emissions pathways, to the role of technology in the global evolution of the energy system, to the key linkages between land and energy systems and, more recently, the linkages with water, air pollution, and other key systems and issues. It discusses the advances in modeling that have emerged over this evolution and the biggest challenges that still present themselves as we strive to better understand the most important interactions between human and natural systems and the implications of these interactions for human welfare and decision making.

  19. The Impact of Zodiac Signs on Human Nature and Fate (United States)

    Gasparyan, Naira


    Horoscope signs have unavoidable impact on human behaviour and interests, health and even fate. Moreover, intermingled with the impact of planets they become a powerful force able to bring about unbelievable changes. The investigation reveals that horoscopes have existed in the Armenian reality since ancient times. The most striking fact about their eistence is that in order to have and use zodiak signs in one's national culture, the nation should first of all have sufficient knowledge in Astrological Sciences since the system of zodiak signs has a direct reference to the cognitive processes and scientific knowledge of the universe, astrological issues and sometimes even there is a hint on hidden signs and messages. Anania Shirakatsi, one of the learned Armenians, had to display much diplomacy with the Armenian Church and religion when discussing the topic in his manuscripts. His observations are still of much importance and vitality even today.

  20. Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect - Nature and Humans (United States)

    Alevizos, Anastasios; Zygouras, Grigorios


    In this project twenty A grade students of Lyceum (age 16) were involved (2011-12) and had been learning to give answers to questions about greenhouse gases, their origin and the processes forming them with regard to human activity on our planet and our dependence on fossil fuels. They had considered whether and how this dependence affects global warming, how this dependence can be reduced by changing attitudes and using renewable energy sources and further more they had put questions and doubts about anthropogenic global warming existence. The student dialogues during a '' TV series debate '' concerning the views, questions and answers of three groups, the ''IPCCs'', the ''CLIMATE SCEPTICS'' and the '' REALISTS'' are exposed on a poster.