Sample records for understand human nature

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

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


    Supervision Distant supervision is a recent trend in information extraction. Distantly-supervised extractors are trained using a corpus of unlabeled text...consists of fill-in-the-blank natural language questions such as “Incan emperor ” or “Cunningham directed Auchtre’s second music video .” These questions...with an 132 unknown knowledge base, simultaneously learning how to semantically parse language and pop - ulate the knowledge base. The weakly

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


    conversational agent with information exchange disabled until the end of the experiment run. The meaning of the indicator in the top- right of the agent... Human Computer Collaboration at the Edge: Enhancing Collective Situation Understanding with Controlled Natural Language Alun Preece∗, †Emerging Technology Services, IBM United Kingdom Ltd, Hursley Park, Winchester, UK ‡US Army Research Laboratory, Human

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Influences of Antagonistic Views of Nature on Understanding of Humanity : In the Case of Rousseau and Nietzsche


    宮島, 光志


    The aim of this study lies in considering, in the case of Rousseau and Nietzsche, how strongly the antagonistic views of nature influenced the understanding of humanity (human nature). Both Rousseau and Nietzsche criticized the modern European civilization and sought to recover the "nature" in human beings. However, at least, Nietzsche didn't assume that Rousseau was his forerunner. On the contrary, he criticized Rousseau as the greatest enemy. The reason for it can be explained from the diff...

  7. Toward a 21st-Century Understanding of Humans' Relation to Nature: Two Hats? (United States)

    Rennie, Scott


    From its inception, environmental education (EE) has shouldered the imposition of impartiality on its methods and practices. Considering the reality of global climate change, the author urges the adoption of the more accurate theory of humans' relation to the natural world. This theory necessitates partiality toward healthy, functioning natural…

  8. 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…

  9. Natural language understanding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoshida, S


    Language understanding is essential for intelligent information processing. Processing of language itself involves configuration element analysis, syntactic analysis (parsing), and semantic analysis. They are not carried out in isolation. These are described for the Japanese language and their usage in understanding-systems is examined. 30 references.

  10. Evolution of Humans: Understanding the Nature and Methods of Science through Cooperative Learning (United States)

    Lee, Yeung Chung


    This article describes the use of an enquiry-based approach to the study of human evolution in a practical context, integrating role-playing, jigsaw cooperative learning and scientific argumentation. The activity seeks to unravel the evolutionary relationships of five hominids and one ape from rather "messy" evidence. This approach enhanced the…

  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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Understanding the physical and chemical nature of the warfarin drug binding site in human serum albumin: experimental and theoretical studies. (United States)

    Abou-Zied, Osama K


    Human serum albumin (HSA) is one of the major carrier proteins in the body and constitutes approximately half of the protein found in blood plasma. It plays an important role in lipid metabolism, and its ability to reversibly bind a large variety of pharmaceutical compounds makes it a crucial determinant of drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. This review deals with one of the protein's major binding sites "Sudlow I" which includes a binding pocket for the drug warfarin (WAR). The binding nature of this important site can be characterized by measuring the spectroscopic changes when a ligand is bound. Using several drugs, including WAR, and other drug-like molecules as ligands, the results emphasize the nature of Sudlow I as a flexible binding site, capable of binding a variety of ligands by adapting its binding pockets. The high affinity of the WAR pocket for binding versatile molecular structures stems from the flexibility of the amino acids forming the pocket. The binding site is shown to have an ionization ability which is important to consider when using drugs that are known to bind in Sudlow I. Several studies point to the important role of water molecules trapped inside the binding site in molecular recognition and ligand binding. Water inside the protein's cavity is crucial in maintaining the balance between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic nature of the binding site. Upon the unfolding and refolding of HSA, more water molecules are trapped inside the binding site which cause some swelling that prevents a full recovery from the denatured state. Better understanding of the mechanism of binding in macromolecules such as HSA and other proteins can be achieved by combining experimental and theoretical studies which produce significant synergies in studying complex biochemical phenomena.

  15. 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.

  16. Science Olympiad students' nature of science understandings (United States)

    Philpot, Cindy J.


    Recent reform efforts in science education focus on scientific literacy for all citizens. In order to be scientifically literate, an individual must have informed understandings of nature of science (NOS), scientific inquiry, and science content matter. This study specifically focused on Science Olympiad students' understanding of NOS as one piece of scientific literacy. Research consistently shows that science students do not have informed understandings of NOS (Abd-El-Khalick, 2002; Bell, Blair, Crawford, and Lederman, 2002; Kilcrease and Lucy, 2002; Schwartz, Lederman, and Thompson, 2001). However, McGhee-Brown, Martin, Monsaas and Stombler (2003) found that Science Olympiad students had in-depth understandings of science concepts, principles, processes, and techniques. Science Olympiad teams compete nationally and are found in rural, urban, and suburban schools. In an effort to learn from students who are generally considered high achieving students and who enjoy science, as opposed to the typical science student, the purpose of this study was to investigate Science Olympiad students' understandings of NOS and the experiences that formed their understandings. An interpretive, qualitative, case study method was used to address the research questions. The participants were purposefully and conveniently selected from the Science Olympiad team at a suburban high school. Data collection consisted of the Views of Nature of Science -- High School Questionnaire (VNOS-HS) (Schwartz, Lederman, & Thompson, 2001), semi-structured individual interviews, and a focus group. The main findings of this study were similar to much of the previous research in that the participants had informed understandings of the tentative nature of science and the role of inferences in science, but they did not have informed understandings of the role of human imagination and creativity, the empirical nature of science, or theories and laws. High level science classes and participation in

  17. Understanding coupled natural and human systems on fire prone landscapes: integrating wildfire simulation into an agent based planning system. (United States)

    Barros, Ana; Ager, Alan; Preisler, Haiganoush; Day, Michelle; Spies, Tom; Bolte, John


    Agent-based models (ABM) allow users to examine the long-term effects of agent decisions in complex systems where multiple agents and processes interact. This framework has potential application to study the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems where multiple stimuli determine trajectories over both space and time. We used Envision, a landscape based ABM, to analyze long-term wildfire dynamics in a heterogeneous, multi-owner landscape in Oregon, USA. Landscape dynamics are affected by land management policies, actors decisions, and autonomous processes such as vegetation succession, wildfire, or at a broader scale, climate change. Key questions include: 1) How are landscape dynamics influenced by policies and institutions, and 2) How do land management policies and actor decisions interact to produce intended and unintended consequences with respect to wildfire on fire-prone landscapes. Applying Envision to address these questions required the development of a wildfire module that could accurately simulate wildfires on the heterogeneous landscapes within the study area in terms of replicating historical fire size distribution, spatial distribution and fire intensity. In this paper we describe the development and testing of a mechanistic fire simulation system within Envision and application of the model on a 3.2 million fire prone landscape in central Oregon USA. The core fire spread equations use the Minimum Travel Time algorithm developed by M Finney. The model operates on a daily time step and uses a fire prediction system based on the relationship between energy release component and historical fires. Specifically, daily wildfire probabilities and sizes are generated from statistical analyses of historical fires in relation to daily ERC values. The MTT was coupled with the vegetation dynamics module in Envision to allow communication between the respective subsystem and effectively model fire effects and vegetation dynamics after a wildfire. Canopy and

  18. 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.    

  19. Dialectical Model of Human Nature


    Cachat, Jonathan


    The DMoHN is a graphical representation of my current understanding and conceptualization of human nature, in addition to embodying the guiding ethos of social neuroscience. The dialectic is a logic, or way of thinking that joins opposite elements together in a uniting fashion to create emergent attributes not present in the elements alone. The dialectical structure of this model explicitly links Culture and Biology within the human brain in order to convey the symbiotic and dynamic interacti...

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Exotic species as models to understand biocultural adaptation: Challenges to mainstream views of human-nature relations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Dourado Sena Gama

    Full Text Available A central argument in the research on traditional knowledge, which persists in the scientific literature, is that the entrance of exotic plants in local medical systems is directly associated with acculturation. However, this logic has put an end for a long period to efforts to understand why such species have so successfully entered socio-ecological systems or even their real role in such systems. This study provides evidence that (1 in some socio-environmental contexts, exotic medicinal species usually confer greater adaptive advantages to local populations, and (2 despite their general importance, exotic species only excel in medical systems when cost-benefit ratio is favorable to them. Thus, in order to avoid the loss of knowledge about native plants and to ensure biocultural conservation, it is necessary to create strategies to amplify the advantages of these species.

  3. 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

  4. 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......, 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...... 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...

  5. Understanding human DNA sequence variation. (United States)

    Kidd, K K; Pakstis, A J; Speed, W C; Kidd, J R


    Over the past century researchers have identified normal genetic variation and studied that variation in diverse human populations to determine the amounts and distributions of that variation. That information is being used to develop an understanding of the demographic histories of the different populations and the species as a whole, among other studies. With the advent of DNA-based markers in the last quarter century, these studies have accelerated. One of the challenges for the next century is to understand that variation. One component of that understanding will be population genetics. We present here examples of many of the ways these new data can be analyzed from a population perspective using results from our laboratory on multiple individual DNA-based polymorphisms, many clustered in haplotypes, studied in multiple populations representing all major geographic regions of the world. These data support an "out of Africa" hypothesis for human dispersal around the world and begin to refine the understanding of population structures and genetic relationships. We are also developing baseline information against which we can compare findings at different loci to aid in the identification of loci subject, now and in the past, to selection (directional or balancing). We do not yet have a comprehensive understanding of the extensive variation in the human genome, but some of that understanding is coming from population genetics.

  6. 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.

  7. Art and human nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirta Toledo


    Full Text Available This article presents a visual artist’s point of view about art. This view confronts the Eurocentric traditional cannon with some ignored, but valuable traditions, thus proposing a contra-canon. These ideas are examined on the light of a variety of sources, including prehistoric, pre-Columbian, and 20th century art expressions, in a variety of media, from sculpture to literature. Recent art expressions are characterized by their incorporation of minority values and perspectives that challenge “universal” views. Using samples of works from Latino and African American artists, the author shows that, even today, art is a means to know the world and its people, to exhibit personal life, to create personal symbolism, and to show one’s identity or the search for it. Like the human nature it represents, art has multiple faces.

  8. Co-creating Understanding in Water Use & Agricultural Resilience in a Multi-scale Natural-human System: Sacramento River Valley--California's Water Heartland in Transition (United States)

    Fairbanks, D. H.; Brimlowe, J.; Chaudry, A.; Gray, K.; Greene, T.; Guzley, R.; Hatfield, C.; Houk, E.; Le Page, C.


    linked. Data gathered in a survey of agency stakeholder perspectives on how producers operate with respect to crop types, fallowing and water transfers, production components and land changes were compared with monitoring data (1990-2011) covering two drought emergency time periods in the state. Results show that a synthesis is required between top-down and bottom-up approaches to understand land-use dynamics, as decision makers had a limited understanding on water and land-use decisions by land owners at the farm level. A major goal is to create a high level of transparency and stakeholder buy-in by co-developing a model of the system. The approach captures context-based parcel level changes that include the range of variability in natural-human systems such as decisions stakeholders make during drought vs. non-drought years. These decisions are crucial to understanding the tensions that current and future land-use change dynamics will place on the vulnerable hydrological system of the SRV. Knowledge gained through this effort will provide a rigorous conceptual understanding of how the primary land and water stakeholders in the SRV obtain and use water to accommodate competing interests of local agricultural production and resilience, environmental management, and regional and state water needs.

  9. 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.


    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

  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. 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…

  13. Understanding the natural history of Gaucher disease. (United States)

    Mistry, Pramod K; Belmatoug, Nadia; vom Dahl, Stephan; Giugliani, Roberto


    Gaucher disease is a rare and extraordinarily heterogeneous inborn error of metabolism that exhibits diverse manifestations, a broad range of age of onset of symptoms, and a wide clinical spectrum of disease severity, from lethal disease during infancy to first age of onset of symptoms in octogenarians. Before the advent of the International Collaborative Gaucher Group (ICGG) Gaucher Registry, the understanding of the natural history and phenotypic range of Gaucher disease was based on isolated case reports and small case series. Limited data hindered understanding of the full spectrum of the disease leading to some early misconceptions about Gaucher disease, notably, that nonneuronopathic (type 1) disease was a disease of adults only. The global scope of the ICGG Gaucher Registry, with its vast body of longitudinal data, has enabled a real appreciation of both the phenotypic spectrum of Gaucher disease and its natural history. This body of evidence represents the foundation for accurate assessment of the response to specific therapies for Gaucher disease and to the development of standard-of-care to monitor disease activity. Here, we outline the key developments in delineating the natural history of this highly complex disease and role of the ICGG Gaucher Registry in this effort. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Nature remedies human damage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heikkonen, H.


    Ecolution Ltd puts its emphasis on technologies which use nature's own methods. This technology is best suited to the bioremediation of old industrial sites, saw mills or oil- contaminated areas. The results of biopurification are consistently good and, in comparison with burning, the costs are low

  15. The Problem of Understanding of Nature in Exact Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo Näpinen


    Full Text Available In this short inquiry I would like to defend the statement that exact science deals with the explanation of models, but not with the understanding (comprehending of nature. By the word ‘nature’ I mean nature as physis (as a self-moving and self-developing living organism to which humans also belong, not nature as natura naturata (as a nonevolving creature created by someone or something. The Estonian philosopher of science Rein Vihalemm (2008 has shown with his conception of phi-science (φ-science that exact science is itself an idealized model or theoretical object derived from Galilean mathematical physics.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Understanding and representing natural language meaning (United States)

    Waltz, D. L.; Maran, L. R.; Dorfman, M. H.; Dinitz, R.; Farwell, D.


    During this contract period the authors have: (1) continued investigation of events and actions by means of representation schemes called 'event shape diagrams'; (2) written a parsing program which selects appropriate word and sentence meanings by a parallel process know as activation and inhibition; (3) begun investigation of the point of a story or event by modeling the motivations and emotional behaviors of story characters; (4) started work on combining and translating two machine-readable dictionaries into a lexicon and knowledge base which will form an integral part of our natural language understanding programs; (5) made substantial progress toward a general model for the representation of cognitive relations by comparing English scene and event descriptions with similar descriptions in other languages; (6) constructed a general model for the representation of tense and aspect of verbs; (7) made progress toward the design of an integrated robotics system which accepts English requests, and uses visual and tactile inputs in making decisions and learning new tasks.

  4. Human, nature, society: synergetic dimension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Н. А. Вахнин


    Full Text Available The paper gives an overview of the major directions of development in the system ‘human – society – nature’ and their philosophical and scientific contemplation. The fundamental achievements of the society and responsibility of the mankind for its progressive development have been analyzed. The distinctive features of changes in human interactions with nature in the era of globalization and intensive progress in science and technology are presented. It is reported that numerous studies of human intervention in the biosphere processes prove that it can become the most profound anomaly in the development of not only the biosphere but of the entire Earth system, i.e. become a cause of such conditions on the Earth that would be alien to the general biological process in its ontological sense.  The consequence of this is a dissonance in the rate of social evolution (social form of matter and nature evolution (all pre-social forms of matter, which is translated into the disturbed ‘functional optimum’ of intensive development of the ‘human-society-nature’ system, a threat of environmental crisis and disturbances in the very biological nature  of a human. It is asserted that synergetics today still remains appealing due to a need to find adequate answers to global civilization challenges in the world living through a crisis. According to estimations, human synergetic activities come to the fore in the 21st century, it is especially true for small and large self-organizing groups, which shall not only live in harmony with the nature, but also successfully manage all different-level subsystems. It is shown that synergetics is a new dialogue between human and nature, a new synthesis of the human knowl- edge and wisdom. This is a new approach to gaining insight into the evolution crises, instability and chaos, to mastering complicated systems in the state of volatility.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Narrativity and Enaction: The Social Nature of Literary Narrative Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanna B. Popova


    Full Text Available 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.

  11. Synthesis of human-nature feedbacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Hull


    Full Text Available In today's globalized world, humans and nature are inextricably linked. The coupled human and natural systems (CHANS framework provides a lens with which to understand such complex interactions. One of the central components of the CHANS framework involves examining feedbacks among human and natural systems, which form when effects from one system on another system feed back to affect the first system. Despite developments in understanding feedbacks in single disciplines, interdisciplinary research on CHANS feedbacks to date is scant and often site-specific, a shortcoming that prevents complex coupled systems from being fully understood. The special feature "Exploring Feedbacks in Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS" makes strides to fill this critical gap. Here, as an introduction to the special feature, we provide an overview of CHANS feedbacks. In addition, we synthesize key CHANS feedbacks that emerged in the papers of this special feature across agricultural, forest, and urban landscapes. We also examine emerging themes explored across the papers, including multilevel feedbacks, time lags, and surprises as a result of feedbacks. We conclude with recommendations for future research that can build upon the foundation provided in the special feature.

  12. A Business-Relevant View of Human Nature


    Mitreanu, Cristian


    The article, "A Business-Relevant View of Human Nature," provides a new theory of human nature, and aims to bring it to the center of our understanding of business, or commerce, creating a strong foundation for new business and economic principles and practices. The article has three parts. In the first section, the author identifies and discusses the fundamental drives that characterize all forms of life. Building upon these findings, he then develops the unique view of human nature in the s...

  13. 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.

  14. Ninth Grade Students' Understanding of The Nature of Scientific Knowledge (United States)

    Kilic, Kerem; Sungur, Semra; Cakiroglu, Jale; Tekkaya, Ceren


    The purpose of this study was to investigate the 9th-grade students' understandings of the nature of scientific knowledge. The study also aimed to investigate the differences in students' understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge by gender, and school types. A total of 575 ninth grade students from four different school types (General…

  15. 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…

  16. Understanding the Societal Impact of Humanities Scholarship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, David Budtz; Johansson, Lasse Gøhler


    in society. An important assumption in this paper is that impact should be studied both from conceptual, qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Any approach that focuses merely on scientific outputs (such as publications or citations) or that relies on purely bibliometric indicators will result...... 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......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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Empowering Learning through Natural, Human, and Building Ecologies. (United States)

    Kobet, Robert J.

    This article asserts that it is critical to understand the connections between human ecology and building ecology to create humane environments that show inspiration and creativity and that also serve diverse needs. It calls for efforts to: (1) construct an environmental education approach that fuses the three ecologies (natural, human, and…

  20. 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...

  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. 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

  3. Understanding Surface Adhesion in Nature: A Peeling Model. (United States)

    Gu, Zhen; Li, Siheng; Zhang, Feilong; Wang, Shutao


    Nature often exhibits various interesting and unique adhesive surfaces. The attempt to understand the natural adhesion phenomena can continuously guide the design of artificial adhesive surfaces by proposing simplified models of surface adhesion. Among those models, a peeling model can often effectively reflect the adhesive property between two surfaces during their attachment and detachment processes. In the context, this review summarizes the recent advances about the peeling model in understanding unique adhesive properties on natural and artificial surfaces. It mainly includes four parts: a brief introduction to natural surface adhesion, the theoretical basis and progress of the peeling model, application of the peeling model, and finally, conclusions. It is believed that this review is helpful to various fields, such as surface engineering, biomedicine, microelectronics, and so on.

  4. Animal and human models to understand ageing. (United States)

    Lees, Hayley; Walters, Hannah; Cox, Lynne S


    Human ageing is the gradual decline in organ and tissue function with increasing chronological time, leading eventually to loss of function and death. To study the processes involved over research-relevant timescales requires the use of accessible model systems that share significant similarities with humans. In this review, we assess the usefulness of various models, including unicellular yeasts, invertebrate worms and flies, mice and primates including humans, and highlight the benefits and possible drawbacks of each model system in its ability to illuminate human ageing mechanisms. We describe the strong evolutionary conservation of molecular pathways that govern cell responses to extracellular and intracellular signals and which are strongly implicated in ageing. Such pathways centre around insulin-like growth factor signalling and integration of stress and nutritional signals through mTOR kinase. The process of cellular senescence is evaluated as a possible underlying cause for many of the frailties and diseases of human ageing. Also considered is ageing arising from systemic changes that cannot be modelled in lower organisms and instead require studies either in small mammals or in primates. We also touch briefly on novel therapeutic options arising from a better understanding of the biology of ageing. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  5. The nature of human altruism


    Ernst Fehr; Urs Fischbacher


    Some of the most fundamental questions concerning our evolutionary origins, our social relations, and the organization of society are centred around issues of altruism and selfishness. Experimental evidence indicates that human altruism is a powerful force and is unique in the animal world. However, there is much individual heterogeneity and the interaction between altruists and selfish individuals is vital to human cooperation. Depending on the environment, a minority of altruists can force ...

  6. Hermeneutics and the Historicity of Human Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gholamreza Jamshidnia


    Full Text Available Whether objectivity in the understanding of history is achivable? Putting  in another way, whether it is possible to account a historical event purely objectively, and free of one's own values, attitudes, and interests? Whether it is possible to have a "complete history'' and a complete explanation of any historical matter? If it is not possible, then it necessarily leads to a relativistic approach which finds any historical narrative acceptable? Are there any criteria according to which one could compare truthfulness of various historical narratives? The present study approach these questions hermeneutically. However, not all hermeneutical approaches answer them alike. Denying the relativist approach, this study attempts to analyze historicity of the human understanding and that of the interpreter him/herself.

  7. Understanding human behavior in times of war. (United States)

    Vetter, Stefan


    The Third Geneva Convention reflects on the values of humanism, declaring the rights of humaneness, honor, and protection before torture and final discharge of war prisoners after the end of a war. These days, the occurrences in Baghdad Central Detention Center (formerly known as Abu Ghraib Prison), the actions of British soldiers in Basra, and the inflamed public discussion of whether torture might be an appropriate method to obtain crucial information from terrorists put the Third Geneva Convention back in the spotlight. The aforementioned occurrences raise questions regarding the psychological mass phenomena that make us vulnerable to think and to act against our education, habits, and beliefs. Only an understanding of these phenomena will help us to act against behavior we condemn. This article is an attempt to show how cognition of societies and individuals slowly changes during longer conflicts. Furthermore, it tries to summarize the possibilities we have to confront these tendencies.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Grade six students' understanding of the nature of science (United States)

    Cochrane, Donald Brian

    The goal of scientific literacy requires that students develop an understanding of the nature of science to assist them in the reasoned acquisition of science concepts and in their future role as citizens in a participatory democracy. The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe the range of positions that grade six students hold with respect to the nature of science and to investigate whether gender or prior science education was related to students' views of the nature of science. Two grade six classes participated in this study. One class was from a school involved in a long-term elementary science curriculum project. The science curriculum at this school involved constructivist epistemology and pedagogy and a realist ontology. The curriculum stressed hands-on, open-ended activities and the development of science process skills. Students were frequently involved in creating and testing explanations for physical phenomena. The second class was from a matched school that had a traditional science program. Results of the study indicated that students hold a wider range of views of the nature of science than previously documented. Student positions ranged from having almost no understanding of the nature of science to those expressing positions regarding the nature of science that were more developed than previous studies had documented. Despite the range of views documented, all subjects held realist views of scientific knowledge. Contrary to the literature, some students were able to evaluate a scientific theory in light of empirical evidence that they had generated. Results also indicated that students from the project school displayed more advanced views of the nature of science than their matched peers. However, not all students benefited equally from their experiences. No gender differences were found with respect to students' understanding of the nature of science.

  12. How Contextualized Learning Settings Enhance Meaningful Nature of Science Understanding (United States)

    Bilican, K.; Cakiroglu, J.; Oztekin, C.


    Exploring different contexts to facilitate in-depth nature of science (NOS) views were seen as critical for better professional development of pre-service science teachers, which ultimately would assure better students' NOS understanding and achieve an ultimate goal of current science education reforms. This study aimed to reduce the lack of…

  13. 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.

  14. The nature of human aggression. (United States)

    Archer, John


    Human aggression is viewed from four explanatory perspectives, derived from the ethological tradition. The first consists of its adaptive value, which can be seen throughout the animal kingdom, involving resource competition and protection of the self and offspring, which has been viewed from a cost-benefit perspective. The second concerns the phylogenetic origin of aggression, which in humans involves brain mechanisms that are associated with anger and inhibition, the emotional expression of anger, and how aggressive actions are manifest. The third concerns the origin of aggression in development and its subsequent modification through experience. An evolutionary approach to development yields conclusions that are contrary to the influential social learning perspective, notably that physical aggression occurs early in life, and its subsequent development is characterized by learned inhibition. The fourth explanation concerns the motivational mechanisms controlling aggression: approached from an evolutionary background, these mechanisms range from the inflexible reflex-like responses to those incorporating rational decision-making.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Human Nature in the Adaptation of Trust


    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 under what conditions, trust and loyalty are viable in markets.While the model incorporates some well known behavioural phenomena from the trust literature, more extended modeling of human nature ...

  18. Understanding Human Error in Naval Aviation Mishaps. (United States)

    Miranda, Andrew T


    To better understand the external factors that influence the performance and decisions of aviators involved in Naval aviation mishaps. Mishaps in complex activities, ranging from aviation to nuclear power operations, are often the result of interactions between multiple components within an organization. The Naval aviation mishap database contains relevant information, both in quantitative statistics and qualitative reports, that permits analysis of such interactions to identify how the working atmosphere influences aviator performance and judgment. Results from 95 severe Naval aviation mishaps that occurred from 2011 through 2016 were analyzed using Bayes' theorem probability formula. Then a content analysis was performed on a subset of relevant mishap reports. Out of the 14 latent factors analyzed, the Bayes' application identified 6 that impacted specific aspects of aviator behavior during mishaps. Technological environment, misperceptions, and mental awareness impacted basic aviation skills. The remaining 3 factors were used to inform a content analysis of the contextual information within mishap reports. Teamwork failures were the result of plan continuation aggravated by diffused responsibility. Resource limitations and risk management deficiencies impacted judgments made by squadron commanders. The application of Bayes' theorem to historical mishap data revealed the role of latent factors within Naval aviation mishaps. Teamwork failures were seen to be considerably damaging to both aviator skill and judgment. Both the methods and findings have direct application for organizations interested in understanding the relationships between external factors and human error. It presents real-world evidence to promote effective safety decisions.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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....

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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 ...

  20. Fast human behavior analysis for scene understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lao, W.


    Human behavior analysis has become an active topic of great interest and relevance for a number of applications and areas of research. The research in recent years has been considerably driven by the growing level of criminal behavior in large urban areas and increase of terroristic actions. Also,

  1. Neural networks of human nature and nurture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel S. Levine


    Full Text Available Neural network methods have facilitated the unification of several unfortunate splits in psychology, including nature versus nurture. We review the contributions of this methodology and then discuss tentative network theories of caring behavior, of uncaring behavior, and of how the frontal lobes are involved in the choices between them. The implications of our theory are optimistic about the prospects of society to encourage the human potential for caring.

  2. 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.

  3. Human nature: neither material nor spiritually being

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Alba Martínez Amorós


    Full Text Available The idea of «human nature» defended by Ortega y Gasset is as original as opposite to what is usually understood. We are making a mistake if the starting point is to conceive Man as one living being among others. Neither science nor philosophy, while remaining in the Eleatic tradition, can give a clear explanation. Science, because if we look at Man, as he is presented to us, it is impossible to distinguish in him materially from spiritually; his body and his psyche. Philosophy, because the concept of «human nature» is an invention of our reason, a fantasy. That nature doesn’t exist because the being of man is so strange and different from other beings that its consistency is just going to be what it never manages to be. Therefore, it is what happens, a journey, a history that is running within a circumstance. This is my life, and that of everyone.

  4. 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

  5. Gene therapy, human nature and the churches. (United States)

    Dunstan, G R


    Moral analysis must begin with respect for the empirical features, the "facts of the case". Major advances in genetic knowledge and technology -- as in other sciences -- inevitably change mental attitudes. But they could not change human nature, a product of the distinctively human cerebral cortex. Human capacities like compassion and justice are our own and for us to guard. To ask (as some do) about a "right" to inherit a non-manipulated genome is to ask an unanswerable question: the language of rights is inappropriate in this context. Parents have a duty to safeguard and to serve the interests of their potential child. The medical duty is to help in that task in ways which they have limited freedom to choose. The role of churches is to be faithful to their deposit of faith and their theological principles, including that of freedom of conscience. Churches are too easily led in practice to over-rule conscience on grounds of authority, ecclesiastical or biblical, not sustained by convincing reason. This is most evident in some declarations concerning human reproduction. Better were it for them to help their faithful in moral reasoning, the ethics of choice; to keep consciences tender.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 ...

  9. Formation of Human Subjectivity in Psychological Interactions with Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S A Mudrak


    Full Text Available The article outlines the current trends in the environmental psychological research of the peculiarities of developing the subject-subjective human relationship with nature: considering human habitat environment as a set of natural objects; studying certain natural sites as psychologically attributive elements of the environment; determining the psychological meaning of the «Human Habitat Environment»; giving the analysis of the problem of the subjectivity development in human interaction with the natural objects.

  10. Development of Object-understanding Among Students in the Humanities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindholm, Morten

    This paper describes a on-going empirical study, inspired by phenomenography, aiming at understanding how students from the humanities learn the concepts of objects and object-orientation during a programming course.  ......This paper describes a on-going empirical study, inspired by phenomenography, aiming at understanding how students from the humanities learn the concepts of objects and object-orientation during a programming course.  ...

  11. 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 curricular guides. These data were analyzed to understand how the camp represented the human-environment relationship and the "proper" human-environment relationship to its participants. Analysis indicated that the camp's official and enacted curriculum was shaped in response to two perceived problems, (1) students were perceived as having a disconnected relationship with the outdoors and lacking in outdoor experiences; and (2) staff members of the camp believed that time for science during the school day had diminished and that students were not receiving adequate science instruction at school. In response, the goal of the camp was to connect students to the outdoors through hands-on, sensory, experience based science and outdoor education experiences. However, key aspects of the camp experience and the formal and enacted curriculum unintentionally positioned students as separate from nature. The camp experience presented a vacation like understanding of the human-environment relationship as students became tourists of the outdoors. Despite the site's goal of connecting students to the outdoors, the science camp experience worked to distance students from the outdoors by unintentionally representing the outdoors as a place that existed away from home and students' everyday lives. Notably, nature became a place that existed in the past, separate from modernity. Students were tourists in an exotic location - nature. They received tours of the foreign outdoors, had fun, and returned home to their ordinary lives that were separate and distinct from the natural world.

  12. Theorising Learning and Nature: Post-Human Possibilities and Problems (United States)

    Quinn, Jocey


    In their predominantly theoretical turn to the material, post-humanist feminists often focus on "nature", arguing that the nature/culture binary has collapsed and that fixed distinctions between human and non-human spheres no longer hold. Conversely, outdoor learning sees nature as a space where humans act and has been more concerned…

  13. 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; ...

  14. 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

  15. Role of natural radiations in human leukemogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobson, A.P.; Plato, P.A.; Frigerio, N.A.


    Some 3 billion years ago, life arose from a warm pool of primordial ooze amid a constant drizzle of radiation. Steadily, man evolved from the lesser forms of life because of or in spite of his natural background-radiation environment. This study is an attempt to determine to what extent these background radiations are responsible for human disease, namely leukemia. Dose rate data were compared with data on all forms of leukemia in the 50 United States for four population subgroups. For the total U. S., no relation between background radiation and leukemia is apparent. A positive correlation appears, however, if various states are deleted from the analysis. It appears that conditions relative to populations and their environment could mask a radiation effect if in fact one is present

  16. "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…





    The recent growth of Experimental Semiotics (ES) offers us a new option to investigate human communication. We briefly introduce ES, presenting results from three themes of research which emerged within it. Then we illustrate the contribution ES can make to the investigation of human communication systems, particularly in comparison with the other existing options. This comparison highlights how ES can provide an engine of discovery for understanding human communication. In fact, in complemen...

  18. 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».

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


    how a Concept specializes its subsumer. |C|ANIMAL. |C|PLANT. |C(PERSON, and |C| UNICORN are natural kinds, and so will need a PrimitiveClass. this proof, we must build a proof of p x (p X n) steps. The size of the proofs grows exponentially with the depth of nesting This :s clearly

  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. 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

  2. Never-Ending Learning for Deep Understanding of Natural Language (United States)


    fundamental to knowledge management problems. In [Wijaya13] presented a novel approach to this ontology alignment problem that employs a very large them. This report is the result of contracted fundamental research deemed exempt from public affairs security and policy review in accordance...S / ALEKSEY PANASYUK MICHAEL J. WESSING Work Unit Manager Deputy Chief, Information Intelligence Systems & Analysis Division Information

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Electromagnetic mode conversion: understanding waves that suddenly change their nature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batchelor, D B; Berry, L A; Bonoli, P T; Carter, M D; Choi, M; D'Azevedo, E; D'Ippolito, D A; Gorelenkov, N; Harvey, R W; Jaeger, E F; Myra, J R; Okuda, H; Phillips, C K; Smithe, D N; Wright, J C


    In a magnetized plasma, such as in fusion devices or the Earth's magnetosphere, several different kinds of waves can simultaneously exist, having very different physical properties. Under the right conditions one wave can quite suddenly convert to another type. Depending on the case, this can be either a great benefit or a problem for the use of waves to heat and control fusion plasmas. Understanding and accurately modeling such behavior is a major computational challenge

  10. 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.

  11. Cultural Landscapes as a Methodology for Understanding Natural Resource Management Impacts in the Western United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca S. Toupal


    Full Text Available Multicultural demands on public lands in the United States continue to challenge federal land managers to address social and cultural concerns in their planning efforts. Specifically, they lack adequate knowledge of cultural concerns, as well as a consistent strategy for acquiring that knowledge for use in decision-making. Current federal approaches to understanding such issues as access, use, and control of resources include public participation, conservation partnerships, government-to-government consultations with American Indian tribes, cultural resource inventories, and landscape analysis. Given that cultural knowledge arises from human-nature relationships and shared perceptions of natural environments, and that landscapes are the ultimate expression of such knowledge, an exploratory methodology was developed to provide a different approach to understanding cultural concerns through landscape perceptions. Using cultural landscape theories and applications from the natural and social sciences, this study examines the landscape perceptions of four groups concerned with management planning of the Baboquivari Wilderness Area in southern Arizona: the Bureau of Land Management, the landowners of the Altar Valley, recreationists, and members of the Tohono O'odham Nation. The methodology is based on a human-nature relationship rather than cultural aspects or features. It takes a holistic approach that differs from other perception studies in that it includes: emic aspects of data collection and analysis; a spatial component (triangulation of data collection through narrative and graphic descriptions; ethnographic, on-site interviews; and cultural consensus analysis and small-sample theory. The results include: verification of four cultural groups; two levels of consensus (in the population of concern, and in each group that overlap in some aspects of landscape perception; descriptions of four cultural landscapes that illustrate similarities and

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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


    interpretation would not be too bad if one were to believe that a frame "is intended to represent a ’ stereotypical situation’" ( [24], p. 48). We...natural kind-like concepts - some form of definitional structuring is necessary. The internal structure of non atomic concepts (e.g., proximate genus ...types of beer, bottles of wine, etc.; <x> need not be any sort of Onatural genus .’ For example, in Dll the definite pronoun Othem" is not meant to I

  16. 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.

  17. 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".

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Understanding the petroleum and natural gas regime in Saskatchewan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lothian, E.C.


    Some of the legal issues relating to exploring for and operating oil and gas properties in Saskatchewan were discussed. An overview of key legislation was provided. The purpose of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (OGCA) was explained, i.e., (1) to prevent waste, (2) to regulate all oil and gas operations to maximize ultimate recovery through prudent operations, (3) to allow each owner the opportunity to recover its share of oil or gas from a pool, (4) to develop, protect and conserve Saskatchewan's oil and gas resources, and (5) to protect the environment from the harmful effects of oil and gas operations. Legislation regarding vertical wells, horizontal wells, and horizontal well spacing was reviewed. Similar explanations were provided for the key features of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulations, the Freehold Oil and Gas Production Tax Act, the Mineral Taxation Act, the Land Titles Act, and the Builder's Lien Act. Registration issues for Crown and freehold lands, and non-contractual operator's duties were also reviewed. A brief reference was also made to a recent report entitled the 'Saskatchewan External Cost Review' which indicated that Saskatchewan had certain advantages for producing oil and gas compared to Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia and North Dakota. Unfortunately, the report also indicated that the external costs ( crown royalties, freehold production taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, etc.), were the highest in Saskatchewan of the four jurisdictions reviewed

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding the Physical Nature of Coronal "EIT Waves". (United States)

    Long, D M; Bloomfield, D S; Chen, P F; Downs, C; Gallagher, P T; Kwon, R-Y; Vanninathan, K; Veronig, A M; Vourlidas, A; Vršnak, B; Warmuth, A; Žic, T


    For almost 20 years the physical nature of globally propagating waves in the solar corona (commonly called "EIT waves") has been controversial and subject to debate. Additional theories have been proposed over the years to explain observations that did not agree with the originally proposed fast-mode wave interpretation. However, the incompatibility of observations made using the Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory with the fast-mode wave interpretation was challenged by differing viewpoints from the twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory spacecraft and data with higher spatial and temporal resolution from the Solar Dynamics Observatory . In this article, we reexamine the theories proposed to explain EIT waves to identify measurable properties and behaviours that can be compared to current and future observations. Most of us conclude that the so-called EIT waves are best described as fast-mode large-amplitude waves or shocks that are initially driven by the impulsive expansion of an erupting coronal mass ejection in the low corona.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Hemispheric Specialization and the Growth of Human Understanding. (United States)

    Kinsbourne, Marcel


    Connectionistic notions of hemispheric specialization and use are incompatible with the network organization of the human brain. Although brain organization has correspondence with phenomena at more complex levels of analysis, the correspondence is not categorical in nature, as has been claimed by the left-brain/right-brain theorists. (Author/GC)

  12. A conceptual framework to evaluate human-wildlife interactions within coupled human and natural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita T. Morzillo


    Full Text Available Landscape characteristics affect human-wildlife interactions. However, there is a need to better understand mechanisms that drive those interactions, particularly feedbacks that exist between wildlife-related impacts, human reaction to and behavior as a result of those impacts, and how land use and landscape characteristics may influence those components within coupled human and natural systems. Current conceptual models of human-wildlife interactions often focus on species population size as the independent variable driving those interactions. Such an approach potentially overlooks important feedbacks among and drivers of human-wildlife interactions that result from mere wildlife presence versus absence. We describe an emerging conceptual framework that focuses on wildlife as a driver of human behavior and allows us to better understand linkages between humans, wildlife, and the broader landscape. We also present results of a pilot analysis related to our own ongoing study of urban rodent control behavior to illustrate one application of this framework within a study of urban landscapes.

  13. 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.

  14. Rousseau’s View of Human Nature and Values Education


    TÜFENKÇİ, Semra; ÇETİN, Mustafa


    Rousseau considers human nature and everything arising from this nature as good as theiroriginal instances. Therefore, education should reveal the positive emotions in human nature,rather than to sculpt them. Rousseau’s thoughts in Emile, have been a great influence on theeducators, especially on the values education approaches of modern education. In this article,we examine Rousseau’s negative education approach which acknowledges that human natureis merely good; and the importance of negati...

  15. 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…

  16. 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,…

  17. Human activity understanding for robot-assisted living

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hu, N.


    This thesis investigated the problem of understanding human activities, at different levels of granularity and taking into account both the variability in activities and annotator disagreement. To be able to capture the large variations within each of the action classes, we propose a model that uses

  18. Nature, Humans, and the Coastal Zone. (United States)

    Walker, H. Jesse


    Considers the interface of humans and seacoasts over time. Explains how coastal zones are formed and human attempts to defend against sea level changes. Charts the percentage of major world cities that also are ports. Postulates how the greenhouse effect could influence sea level, examining potential human responses to changes in coastal zones.…

  19. 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…

  20. The Effect of Computer Models as Formative Assessment on Student Understanding of the Nature of Models (United States)

    Park, Mihwa; Liu, Xiufeng; Smith, Erica; Waight, Noemi


    This study reports the effect of computer models as formative assessment on high school students' understanding of the nature of models. Nine high school teachers integrated computer models and associated formative assessments into their yearlong high school chemistry course. A pre-test and post-test of students' understanding of the nature of…

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

  3. Examining fire-prone forest landscapes as coupled human and natural systems (United States)

    Thomas A. Spies; Eric M. White; Jeffrey D. Kline; A. Paige Fisher; Alan Ager; John Bailey; John Bolte; Jennifer Koch; Emily Platt; Christine S. Olsen; Derric Jacobs; Bruce Shindler; Michelle M. Steen-Adams; Roger. Hammer


    Fire-prone landscapes are not well studied as coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) and present many challenges for understanding and promoting adaptive behaviors and institutions. Here, we explore how heterogeneity, feedbacks, and external drivers in this type of natural hazard system can lead to complexity and can limit the development of more adaptive approaches...

  4. 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

  5. Climate and Human History of Nature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frølund, Sune


    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...

  6. `Human nature': Chemical engineering students' ideas about human relationships with the natural world (United States)

    Goldman, Daphne; Ben-Zvi Assaraf, Orit; 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 conducted with 247 3rd-4th year chemical engineering students in Israeli Universities. It employed the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP)-questionnaire to which students added written explanations. Quantitative analysis of NEP-scale results shows that the students demonstrated moderately ecocentric orientation. Explanations to the NEP-items reveal diverse, ambivalent ideas regarding the notions embodied in the NEP, strong scientific orientation and reliance on technology for addressing environmental challenges. Endorsing sustainability implies that today's engineers be equipped with an ecological perspective. The capacity of Higher Education to enable engineers to develop dispositions about human-nature interrelationships requires adaptation of curricula towards multidisciplinary, integrative learning addressing social-political-economic-ethical perspectives, and implementing critical-thinking within the socio-scientific issues pedagogical approach.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. A review of human factors challenges of complex adaptive systems: discovering and understanding chaos in human performance. (United States)

    Karwowski, Waldemar


    In this paper, the author explores a need for a greater understanding of the true nature of human-system interactions from the perspective of the theory of complex adaptive systems, including the essence of complexity, emergent properties of system behavior, nonlinear systems dynamics, and deterministic chaos. Human performance, more often than not, constitutes complex adaptive phenomena with emergent properties that exhibit nonlinear dynamical (chaotic) behaviors. The complexity challenges in the design and management of contemporary work systems, including service systems, are explored. Examples of selected applications of the concepts of nonlinear dynamics to the study of human physical performance are provided. Understanding and applications of the concepts of theory of complex adaptive and dynamical systems should significantly improve the effectiveness of human-centered design efforts of a large system of systems. Performance of many contemporary work systems and environments may be sensitive to the initial conditions and may exhibit dynamic nonlinear properties and chaotic system behaviors. Human-centered design of emergent human-system interactions requires application of the theories of nonlinear dynamics and complex adaptive system. The success of future human-systems integration efforts requires the fusion of paradigms, knowledge, design principles, and methodologies of human factors and ergonomics with those of the science of complex adaptive systems as well as modern systems engineering.


    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.

  1. On the normativity of human nature: some epistemological remarks. (United States)

    Corradini, Antonella


    This paper examines the role played by the concept of human nature in ethical theory. The focus is on the epistemological problems that arise from application of this notion to the foundation of ethics. From this viewpoint, two theories, the neoscholastic and the neoclassical ones, are expounded, analyzed and compared. The aim is to highlight their opposite ways of relating the "ought-to-be" (of norms) to the "is" (of human nature). The conclusion is drawn that an adequate solution of the dispute depends on a correct interpretation of Hume's law. Reflection is conducted in the last section on the implications of metaethical discourse on human nature for applied ethics.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Rationality and irrationality in understanding human behaviour. An evaluation of the methodological consequences of conceptualising irrationality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cosmin Toth


    Full Text Available Some of the most known and fertile models for understanding human behaviour are those which rest on the assumption of human rationality. These models have specific strategies for dealing with situations in which understanding human behaviour becomes difficult, i.e. cases of irrationality, and this, in turn, leads to particular methodological consequences. The aim of this article is to illustrate and systematize some of the typical theoretical approaches to the issues of rationality and irrationality and their methodological consequences, while warning, at the same time, against the risks of applying rationality models of a pronounced normative-evaluative nature. A number of important methodological consequences of applying the principle of charity to various degrees of strength are analysed and a taxonomic grid for the different ways of approaching rationality is presented.

  7. Natural hazards, disasters and human kind: Whither ecosystem management?

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mascarenhas, A.; Mudholkar, A.V.

    in the way of powerful natural forces. Abandoning vulnerable geomorphic features, managed retreat, or safer setback with intervening forested landforms are feasible long-term options. The incalculable human misery that ultimately follows ia an ideal...

  8. 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...

  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. 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.

  11. "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…


    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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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,...

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.


    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

  1. 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.

  2. Sustainability or collapse: What can we learn from integrating the history of humans and the rest of nature?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costanza, R.; Graumlich, L.; Steffen, W.; Crumley, C.; Dearing, J.; Hibbard, K.; Leemans, R.; Redman, C.; Schimel, D.


    Understanding the history of how humans have interacted with the rest of nature can help clarify the options for managing our increasingly interconnected global system. Simple, deterministic relationships between environmental stress and social change are inadequate. Extreme drought, for instance,

  3. Humans make efficient use of natural image statistics when performing spatial interpolation. (United States)

    D'Antona, Anthony D; Perry, Jeffrey S; Geisler, Wilson S


    Visual systems learn through evolution and experience over the lifespan to exploit the statistical structure of natural images when performing visual tasks. Understanding which aspects of this statistical structure are incorporated into the human nervous system is a fundamental goal in vision science. To address this goal, we measured human ability to estimate the intensity of missing image pixels in natural images. Human estimation accuracy is compared with various simple heuristics (e.g., local mean) and with optimal observers that have nearly complete knowledge of the local statistical structure of natural images. Human estimates are more accurate than those of simple heuristics, and they match the performance of an optimal observer that knows the local statistical structure of relative intensities (contrasts). This optimal observer predicts the detailed pattern of human estimation errors and hence the results place strong constraints on the underlying neural mechanisms. However, humans do not reach the performance of an optimal observer that knows the local statistical structure of the absolute intensities, which reflect both local relative intensities and local mean intensity. As predicted from a statistical analysis of natural images, human estimation accuracy is negligibly improved by expanding the context from a local patch to the whole image. Our results demonstrate that the human visual system exploits efficiently the statistical structure of natural images.

  4. 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...

  5. 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,…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. Opposing discourses? Do the two cultural paradigms - natural science and humanities - exist in our school?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyen, Marianne; Mumiah, Rasmusen

    the humanities and natural sciences influence the newly educated teachers’ understanding of the teaching profession. From earlier research on teachers in natural science subjects it became clear that teachers from the two major areas are in conflict. Mutual understanding is lacking; the organization...... of the consequences was that teacher students today must choose between to teach either language and literature or maths and therefore, and as a consequence, early in their studies choose between the main areas of culture and nature. Starting from this basis, we want to see if, and in which ways, perspectives from...... of the school day gives priority to cultural subjects; the physical design of the school implies that natural science subjects are of a special kind. and consequently teachers within cultural subjects appear to regard natural science subjects as peripheral educationally to pupils development. Our starting point...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Conceptual Change in Understanding the Nature of Science Learning: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (United States)

    DiBenedetto, Christina M.

    This study is the first of its kind to explore the thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and values of secondary educators as they experience conceptual change in their understanding of the nature of science learning vis a vis the Framework for K-12 Science Education published by the National Research Council. The study takes aim at the existing gap between the vision for science learning as an active process of inquiry and current pedagogical practices in K-12 science classrooms. For students to understand and explain everyday science ideas and succeed in science studies and careers, the means by which they learn science must change. Focusing on this change, the study explores the significance of educator attitudes, beliefs and values to science learning through interpretive phenomenological analysis around the central question, "In what ways do educators understand and articulate attitudes and beliefs toward the nature of science learning?" The study further explores the questions, "How do educators experience changes in their understanding of the nature of science learning?" and "How do educators believe these changes influence their pedagogical practice?" Study findings converge on four conceptions that science learning: is the action of inquiry; is a visible process initiated by both teacher and learner; values student voice and changing conceptions is science learning. These findings have implications for the primacy of educator beliefs, attitudes and values in reform efforts, science teacher leadership and the explicit instruction of both Nature of Science and conceptual change in educator preparation programs. This study supports the understanding that the nature of science learning is cognitive and affective conceptual change. Keywords: conceptual change, educator attitudes and beliefs, framework for K-12 science education, interpretive phenomenological analysis, nature of science learning, next generation science standards, science professional development

  14. 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.

  15. Research and Development in Natural Language Understanding as Part of the Strategic Computing Program. (United States)


    facilities. BBN is developing a series of increasingly sophisticated natural language understanding systems which will serve as an integrated interface...Haas, A.R. A Syntactic Theory of Belief and Action. Artificial Intelligence. 1986. Forthcoming. [6] Hinrichs, E. Temporale Anaphora im Englischen

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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…


    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Integrated modeling of natural and human systems - problems and initiatives (United States)

    Kessler, H.; Giles, J.; Gunnink, J.; Hughes, A.; Moore, R. V.; Peach, D.


    Governments and their executive agencies across the world are facing increasing pressure to make decisions about the management of resources in light of population growth and environmental change. In the UK and the Netherlands, for example, groundwater is becoming a scarce resource for large parts of its most densely populated areas. At the same time river and groundwater flooding resulting from high rainfall events are increasing in scale and frequency and sea level rise is threatening the defences of coastal cities. There is also a need for affordable housing, improved transport infrastructure and waste disposal as well as sources of renewable energy and sustainable food production. These challenges can only be resolved if solutions are based on sound scientific evidence. Although we have knowledge and understanding of many individual processes in the natural sciences it is clear that a single science discipline is unable to answer the questions and their inter-relationships. Modern science increasingly employs computer models to simulate the natural, economic and human system. Management and planning requires scenario modelling, forecasts and “predictions”. Although the outputs are often impressive in terms of apparent accuracy and visualisation, they are inherently not suited to simulate the response to feedbacks from other models of the earth system, such as the impact of human actions. Geological Survey Organisations (GSO) are increasingly employing advances in Information Technology to visualise and improve their understanding of geological systems. Instead of 2 dimensional paper maps and reports many GSOs now produce 3 dimensional geological framework models and groundwater flow models as their standard output. Additionally the British Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of the Netherlands have developed standard routines to link geological data to groundwater models, but these models are only aimed at solving one specific part of the earth

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Understanding human genetic variation in the era of high-throughput sequencing


    Knight, Julian C.


    The EMBO/EMBL symposium ‘Human Variation: Cause and Consequence' highlighted advances in understanding the molecular basis of human genetic variation and its myriad implications for biology, human origins and disease.

  19. PGG.Population: a database for understanding the genomic diversity and genetic ancestry of human populations. (United States)

    Zhang, Chao; Gao, Yang; Liu, Jiaojiao; Xue, Zhe; Lu, Yan; Deng, Lian; Tian, Lei; Feng, Qidi; Xu, Shuhua


    There are a growing number of studies focusing on delineating genetic variations that are associated with complex human traits and diseases due to recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies. However, identifying and prioritizing disease-associated causal variants relies on understanding the distribution of genetic variations within and among populations. The PGG.Population database documents 7122 genomes representing 356 global populations from 107 countries and provides essential information for researchers to understand human genomic diversity and genetic ancestry. These data and information can facilitate the design of research studies and the interpretation of results of both evolutionary and medical studies involving human populations. The database is carefully maintained and constantly updated when new data are available. We included miscellaneous functions and a user-friendly graphical interface for visualization of genomic diversity, population relationships (genetic affinity), ancestral makeup, footprints of natural selection, and population history etc. Moreover, PGG.Population provides a useful feature for users to analyze data and visualize results in a dynamic style via online illustration. The long-term ambition of the PGG.Population, together with the joint efforts from other researchers who contribute their data to our database, is to create a comprehensive depository of geographic and ethnic variation of human genome, as well as a platform bringing influence on future practitioners of medicine and clinical investigators. PGG.Population is available at © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  20. History as narrative: the nature and quality of historical understanding for students with LD. (United States)

    Espin, Christine A; Cevasco, Jazmin; van den Broek, Paul; Baker, Scott; Gersten, Russell


    In this study, we examine the nature and quality of students' comprehension of history. Specifically, we explore whether cognitive-psychological theories developed to capture the comprehension of narrative text can be used to capture the comprehension of history. Participants were 36 students with learning disabilities who had taken part in an earlier study designed to investigate the effects of an interactive instructional intervention in history. The results of the original study supported the effectiveness of the intervention in terms of amount recalled. The results of the present study reveal that historical understanding can be characterized as the construction of meaning through the creation of a causal network of events. The study of history within a causal network framework has implications for understanding the nature and quality of students' learning of history, and for potentially identifying sources of failure in learning.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Radiation measurement practice for understanding statistical fluctuation of radiation count using natural radiation sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawano, Takao


    It is known that radiation is detected at random and the radiation counts fluctuate statistically. In the present study, a radiation measurement experiment was performed to understand the randomness and statistical fluctuation of radiation counts. In the measurement, three natural radiation sources were used. The sources were fabricated from potassium chloride chemicals, chemical fertilizers and kelps. These materials contain naturally occurring potassium-40 that is a radionuclide. From high schools, junior high schools and elementary schools, nine teachers participated to the radiation measurement experiment. Each participant measured the 1-min integration counts of radiation five times using GM survey meters, and 45 sets of data were obtained for the respective natural radiation sources. It was found that the frequency of occurrence of radiation counts was distributed according to a Gaussian distribution curve, although the obtained 45 data sets of radiation counts superficially looked to be fluctuating meaninglessly. (author)

  4. 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.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Boehm


    Full Text Available The recent push for natural user interfaces (NUI in the entertainment and gaming industry has ushered in a new era of low cost three-dimensional sensors. While the basic idea of using a three-dimensional sensor for human gesture recognition dates some years back it is not until recently that such sensors became available on the mass market. The current market leader is PrimeSense who provide their technology for the Microsoft Xbox Kinect. Since these sensors are developed to detect and observe human users they should be ideally suited to measure the human body. We describe the technology of a line of NUI sensors and assess their performance in terms of repeatability and accuracy. We demonstrate the implementation of a prototype scanner integrating several NUI sensors to achieve full body coverage. We present the results of the obtained surface model of a human body.

  6. Natural User Interface Sensors for Human Body Measurement (United States)

    Boehm, J.


    The recent push for natural user interfaces (NUI) in the entertainment and gaming industry has ushered in a new era of low cost three-dimensional sensors. While the basic idea of using a three-dimensional sensor for human gesture recognition dates some years back it is not until recently that such sensors became available on the mass market. The current market leader is PrimeSense who provide their technology for the Microsoft Xbox Kinect. Since these sensors are developed to detect and observe human users they should be ideally suited to measure the human body. We describe the technology of a line of NUI sensors and assess their performance in terms of repeatability and accuracy. We demonstrate the implementation of a prototype scanner integrating several NUI sensors to achieve full body coverage. We present the results of the obtained surface model of a human body.

  7. 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...... 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...... 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Limits to human enhancement: nature, disease, therapy or betterment? (United States)

    Hofmann, Bjørn


    New technologies facilitate the enhancement of a wide range of human dispositions, capacities, or abilities. While it is argued that we need to set limits to human enhancement, it is unclear where we should find resources to set such limits. Traditional routes for setting limits, such as referring to nature, the therapy-enhancement distinction, and the health-disease distinction, turn out to have some shortcomings. However, upon closer scrutiny the concept of enhancement is based on vague conceptions of what is to be enhanced. Explaining why it is better to become older, stronger, and more intelligent presupposes a clear conception of goodness, which is seldom provided. In particular, the qualitative better is frequently confused with the quantitative more. We may therefore not need "external" measures for setting its limits - they are available in the concept of enhancement itself. While there may be shortcomings in traditional sources of limit setting to human enhancement, such as nature, therapy, and disease, such approaches may not be necessary. The specification-of-betterment problem inherent in the conception of human enhancement itself provides means to restrict its unwarranted proliferation. We only need to demand clear, sustainable, obtainable goals for enhancement that are based on evidence, and not on lofty speculations, hypes, analogies, or weak associations. Human enhancements that specify what will become better, and provide adequate evidence, are good and should be pursued. Others should not be accepted.

  11. Biology, politics, and the emerging science of human nature. (United States)

    Fowler, James H; Schreiber, Darren


    In the past 50 years, biologists have learned a tremendous amount about human brain function and its genetic basis. At the same time, political scientists have been intensively studying the effect of the social and institutional environment on mass political attitudes and behaviors. However, these separate fields of inquiry are subject to inherent limitations that may only be resolved through collaboration across disciplines. We describe recent advances and argue that biologists and political scientists must work together to advance a new science of human nature.

  12. 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

  13. Understanding variation in human fertility: what can we learn from evolutionary demography? (United States)

    Sear, Rebecca; Lawson, David W; Kaplan, Hillard; Shenk, Mary K


    Decades of research on human fertility has presented a clear picture of how fertility varies, including its dramatic decline over the last two centuries in most parts of the world. Why fertility varies, both between and within populations, is not nearly so well understood. Fertility is a complex phenomenon, partly physiologically and partly behaviourally determined, thus an interdisciplinary approach is required to understand it. Evolutionary demographers have focused on human fertility since the 1980s. The first wave of evolutionary demographic research made major theoretical and empirical advances, investigating variation in fertility primarily in terms of fitness maximization. Research focused particularly on variation within high-fertility populations and small-scale subsistence societies and also yielded a number of hypotheses for why fitness maximization seems to break down as fertility declines during the demographic transition. A second wave of evolutionary demography research on fertility is now underway, paying much more attention to the cultural and psychological mechanisms underpinning fertility. It is also engaging with the complex, multi-causal nature of fertility variation, and with understanding fertility in complex modern and transitioning societies. Here, we summarize the history of evolutionary demographic work on human fertility, describe the current state of the field, and suggest future directions. © 2016 The Author(s).


    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.

  15. 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…

  16. [Towards understanding human ecology in nursing practice: a concept analysis]. (United States)

    Huynh, Truc; Alderson, Marie


    Human ecology is an umbrella concept encompassing several social, physical, and cultural elements existing in the individual's external environment. The pragmatic utility method was used to analyze the "human ecology" concept in order to ascertain the conceptual fit with nursing epistemology and to promote its use by nurses in clinical practice. Relevant articles for the review were retrieved from the MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and CSA databases using the terms "human ecology," "environment," "nursing," and "ecology." Data analysis revealed that human ecology is perceived as a theoretical perspective designating a complex, multilayered, and multidimensional system, one that comprises individuals and their reciprocal interactions with their global environments and the subsequent impact of these interactions upon their health. Human ecology preconditions include the individuals, their environments, and their transactions. Attributes of this concept encompass the characteristics of an open system (e.g., interdependence, reciprocal).

  17. 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.

  18. Understanding Collective Learning and Human Agency in Diverse ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    May 7, 2018 ... knowledge about the type of learning that creates such change, how such learning emerges, or how it ... social inequalities and damaged people–nature relations. The Think ..... interpersonal relationality and more. The Think ...

  19. 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.

  20. Students' understandings of nature of science and their arguments in the context of four socio-scientific issues (United States)

    Khishfe, Rola; Alshaya, Fahad S.; BouJaoude, Saouma; Mansour, Nasser; Alrudiyan, Khalid I.


    The purpose of this study was to examine students understandings about nature of science (NOS) and their arguments in context of controversial socio-scientific issue (SSI). A total of 74 11th graders in six schools in Saudi Arabia participated in the study. The instrument used was a questionnaire consisting of four scenarios addressing SSI about global warming, genetically modified food, acid rain, and human cloning. The scenarios were followed by questions relating to argumentation and NOS. Quantitative and qualitative measures were employed to analyze the data related to participants understandings of three NOS aspects (subjective, tentative, and empirical) and their arguments components (argument, counterargument, and rebuttal). Results showed no significant correlations between argument components and the NOS aspects. On the other hand, qualitative data showed that participants who generated well-developed arguments across the four SSI also exhibited more informed understandings of the NOS aspects, especially for female participants. Further, the chi-square analyses did not show significant differences in participants arguments and NOS understandings across the four scenarios. Again, the qualitative data from questionnaires showed differences in participants responses to the different scenarios. The results were interpreted along contextual factors, emotional factors, and cultural factors. Implications for the teaching of NOS and arguments were discussed.

  1. Understanding the nature of science and scientific progress: A theory-building approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Chuy


    Full Text Available 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 support for creating and improving theories. One class followed a Knowledge Building approach and used Knowledge Forum®, which together emphasize theory improvement and sustained creative work with ideas. The other class followed an inquiry approach mediated through collaborative project-based activities. Apart from this, the two classes were demographically similar and both fell within the broad category of constructivist, inquiry-based approaches and employed a range of modes and media for investigative research and reports. An augmented version of Carey and Smith’s Nature of Science Interview showed that the Knowledge Building approach resulted in deeper understanding of the nature of theoretical progress, the connections between theories and facts, and the role of ideas in scientific inquiry.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Understanding 3D human torso shape via manifold clustering (United States)

    Li, Sheng; Li, Peng; Fu, Yun


    Discovering the variations in human torso shape plays a key role in many design-oriented applications, such as suit designing. With recent advances in 3D surface imaging technologies, people can obtain 3D human torso data that provide more information than traditional measurements. However, how to find different human shapes from 3D torso data is still an open problem. In this paper, we propose to use spectral clustering approach on torso manifold to address this problem. We first represent high-dimensional torso data in a low-dimensional space using manifold learning algorithm. Then the spectral clustering method is performed to get several disjoint clusters. Experimental results show that the clusters discovered by our approach can describe the discrepancies in both genders and human shapes, and our approach achieves better performance than the compared clustering method.

  5. 3D Data Acquisition Platform for Human Activity Understanding (United States)


    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...applications of human activity analysis, and computational optimization of large-scale 3D data. The support for the acquisition of such research

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Neuro-Impressions: Interpreting the Nature of Human Creativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd Lael Siler


    Full Text Available Understanding the creative process is essential for realizing human potential. Over the past four decades, the author has explored this subject through his brain-inspired drawings, paintings, symbolic sculptures, and experimental art installations that present myriad impressions of human creativity. These impressionistic artworks interpret rather than illustrate the complexities of the creative process. They draw insights from empirical studies that correlate how human beings create, learn, remember, innovate, and communicate. In addition to offering fresh aesthetic experiences, this metaphorical art raises fundamental questions concerning the deep connections between the brain and its creations. The author describes his artworks as embodiments of everyday observations about the neuropsychology of creativity, and its all-purpose applications for stimulating and accelerating innovation.

  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. 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.

  11. Understanding Collective Learning and Human Agency in Diverse ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    May 7, 2018 ... made between students' lives, their African identities and local natural places. Introduction to the Think Piece Collection: 'Collective Learning and Change ... is increasingly recognised in the social-ecological and global change sciences. For example, ..... processes that allow for the change agent to act.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. The nature of science and the preservice elementary teacher: Changes in understanding and practice (United States)

    Rivas, Michael Gerald

    This action research project studies preservice elementary teachers in a science methods course. The purpose of this research project was to enhance preservice teachers' understanding of specific nature of science (NOS) tenets so as to promote equity and access within the elementary science classroom. In particular, I chose five NOS tenets that were listed in the first chapter of the AAAS (1989) document titled, "The Nature of Science," and connected them to equitable educational goals and practices. The theoretical framework guiding this study came from bodies of scholarship relating to the NOS, social constructivism, and action research. This study addressed the following three questions: (1) What opportunities were provided the preservice teachers so that they could enhance their understandings of the NOS? (2) What were the changes in preservice teachers' understanding of the NOS as a result? (3) How did the prospective teachers' understandings of the NOS translate into their classroom practice? The analysis revealed that the science methods course's operational curriculum consisted of implicit and explicit teaching of the NOS, as well as intended and untended NOS tenets. The prospective teachers initially held a limited view of the NOS, but by the end of the course their view had been enhanced. In addition, the participants made direct connections between their new understandings of the NOS and equity and access in the science classroom. In their teaching, the preservice teachers as a group implicitly taught all five of the NOS tenets. In fact, a majority taught three of the five intended tenets. Explicitly, only one tenet was taught, but it was taught with a direct connection to making the science classroom more inclusive. The findings of this study indicate that preservice teachers can have their views of the NOS enhanced even though they may have experienced years of deficient science instruction. They pointed out that this enhanced view of the NOS can be

  15. 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

  16. Towards a mechanistic understanding of the human subcortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Forstmann, B.U.; de Hollander, G.; van Maanen, L.; Alkemade, A.; Keuken, M.C.

    The human subcortex is a densely populated part of the brain, of which only 7% of the individual structures are depicted in standard MRI atlases. In vivo MRI of the subcortex is challenging owing to its anatomical complexity and its deep location in the brain. The technical advances that are needed

  17. Towards a mechanistic understanding of the human subcortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Forstmann, B. U.; de Hollander, Gilles; van Maanen, Leendert; Alkemade, Anneke; Keuken, Max C


    The human subcortex is a densely populated part of the brain, of which only 7% of the individual structures are depicted in standard MRI atlases. In vivo MRI of the subcortex is challenging owing to its anatomical complexity and its deep location in the brain. The technical advances that are needed

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Understanding human factors in cyber security as a dynamic system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Young, H.J.; Vliet, A.J. van; Ven, J.G.S. van de; Jol, S.C.; Broekman, C.C.M.T.


    The perspective of human factors is largely missing from the wider cyber security dialogue and its scope is often limited. We propose a framework in which we consider cyber security as a state of a system. System change is brought on by an entity’s behavior. Interventions are ways of changing

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Contemporary assumptions on human nature and work and approach to human potential managing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vujić Dobrila


    Full Text Available A general problem of this research is to identify if there is a relationship between the assumption on human nature and work (Mcgregor, Argyris, Schein, Steers and Porter and a general organizational model preference, as well as a mechanism of human resource management? This research was carried out in 2005/2006. The sample consisted of 317 subjects (197 managers, 105 highly educated subordinates and 15 entrepreneurs in 7 big enterprises in a group of small business enterprises differentiating in terms of the entrepreneur’s structure and a type of activity. A general hypothesis "that assumptions on human nature and work are statistically significant in connection to the preference approach (models, of work motivation commitment", has been confirmed. A specific hypothesis have been also confirmed: ·The assumptions on a human as a rational economic being are statistically significant in correlation with only two mechanisms of traditional models, the mechanism of method work control and the working discipline mechanism. ·Statistically significant assumptions on a human as a social being are correlated with all mechanisms of engaging employees, which belong to the model of the human relations, except the mechanism introducing the adequate type of prizes for all employees independently of working results. ·The assumptions on a human as a creative being are statistically significant, positively correlating with preference of two mechanisms belonging to the human resource model by investing into education and training and making conditions for the application of knowledge and skills. The young with assumptions on a human as a creative being prefer much broader repertoire of mechanisms belonging to the human resources model from the remaining category of subjects in the pattern. The connection between the assumption on human nature and preference models of engaging appears especially in the sub-pattern of managers, in the category of young subjects

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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 the acceptance of this theory. Its second objective was to study the relationship among these variables. Three instruments were used to quantify these variables: the Views of the Nature of Science Version D (VNOS D+), the Assessing Contextual Reasoning about Natural Selection (ACORN), and the Measure of Acceptance of Theory of Evolution (MATE). The results indicate that the PDP had a positive impact on teachers, significantly improving their understanding of the NOS and natural selection, as well as their acceptance of the TE. Furthermore, a positive correlation between the understanding of the NOS obtained by teachers in the first part of the PDP and the understanding and acceptance of evolution that these teachers showed at the end of the programme was determined. However, no relationship between an understanding of the NOS and gains in the understanding and acceptance of evolution was found.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Understanding the Vital Human Quest for Self-Esteem. (United States)

    Greenberg, Jeff


    Authors have long noted the human penchant for self-esteem. Experimental research has revealed that this desire for self-esteem has wide-ranging effects on cognition, emotion, and behavior. Terror management theory explains that this desire for self-esteem results from a fundamental need for psychological security, which is engendered by humans' awareness of their own vulnerability and mortality. A large body of evidence has supported this explanation. Specifically, substantial lines of research have shown that self-esteem buffers anxiety and reduces defenses against death and that reminders of mortality increase efforts to defend and bolster self-esteem. Complementary findings have helped clarify the role of culture in self-esteem striving and the ways in which people can vary in their level, stability, and sources of self-esteem. I conclude by briefly considering how this contemporary knowledge regarding the quest for self-esteem informs current events and daily life. © 2008 Association for Psychological Science.

  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. Understanding human resource management practices in Botswana's public health sector. (United States)

    Seitio-Kgokgwe, Onalenna Stannie; Gauld, Robin; Hill, Philip C; Barnett, Pauline


    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess the management of the public sector health workforce in Botswana. Using institutional frameworks it aims to document and analyse human resource management (HRM) practices, and make recommendations to improve employee and health system outcomes. Design/methodology/approach The paper draws from a large study that used a mixed methods approach to assess performance of Botswana's Ministry of Health (MOH). It uses data collected through document analysis and in-depth interviews of 54 key informants comprising policy makers, senior staff of the MOH and its stakeholder organizations. Findings Public health sector HRM in Botswana has experienced inadequate planning, poor deployment and underutilization of staff. Lack of comprehensive retention strategies and poor working conditions contributed to the failure to attract and retain skilled personnel. Relationships with both formal and informal environments affected HRM performance. Research limitations/implications While document review was a major source of data for this paper, the weaknesses in the human resource information system limited availability of data. Practical implications This paper presents an argument for the need for consideration of formal and informal environments in developing effective HRM strategies. Originality/value This research provides a rare system-wide approach to health HRM in a Sub-Saharan African country. It contributes to the literature and evidence needed to guide HRM policy decisions and practices.

  20. 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.

  1. 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".

  2. Giant Cell Fibroma of Tongue: Understanding the Nature of an Unusual Histopathological Entity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanjari Ghate Sonalika


    Full Text Available Giant cell fibroma (GCF is a rare case with unique histopathology. It belongs to the broad category of fibrous hyperplastic lesions of the oral cavity. It is often mistaken with fibroma and papilloma due to its clinical resemblance. Only its peculiar histopathological features help us to distinguish it from them. The origin of the giant cell is still controversial. Data available is very sparse to predict the exact behavior. Hence, we report a case of GCF of tongue in a 19-year-old male. Special emphasis is given to understand the basic process of development of the lesion, nature of giant cells, and also the need for formation of these peculiar cells. Briefly, the differential diagnosis for GCF is tabulated.

  3. Drought in a human-modified world : Reframing drought definitions, understanding, and analysis approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Loon, Anne F.; Stahl, Kerstin; Di Baldassarre, Giuliano; Clark, Julian; Rangecroft, Sally; Wanders, Niko|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/364253940; Gleeson, Tom; Van Dijk, Albert I.J.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304847356; Tallaksen, Lena M.; Hannaford, Jamie; Uijlenhoet, Remko; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Hannah, David M.; Sheffield, Justin; Svoboda, Mark; Verbeiren, Boud; wagener, thorsten; van Lanen, Henny A.J.


    In the current human-modified world, or Anthropocene, the state of water stores and fluxes has become dependent on human as well as natural processes. Water deficits (or droughts) are the result of a complex interaction between meteorological anomalies, land surface processes, and human inflows,

  4. Drought in a human-modified world: reframing drought definitions, understanding, and analysis approaches (United States)

    Van Loon, Anne F.; Stahl, Kerstin; Di Baldassarre, Giuliano; Clark, Julian; Rangecroft, Sally; Wanders, Niko; Gleeson, Tom; Van Dijk, Albert I. J. M.; Tallaksen, Lena M.; Hannaford, Jamie; Uijlenhoet, Remko; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Hannah, David M.; Sheffield, Justin; Svoboda, Mark; Verbeiren, Boud; Wagener, Thorsten; Van Lanen, Henny A. J.


    In the current human-modified world, or Anthropocene, the state of water stores and fluxes has become dependent on human as well as natural processes. Water deficits (or droughts) are the result of a complex interaction between meteorological anomalies, land surface processes, and human inflows, outflows, and storage changes. Our current inability to adequately analyse and manage drought in many places points to gaps in our understanding and to inadequate data and tools. The Anthropocene requires a new framework for drought definitions and research. Drought definitions need to be revisited to explicitly include human processes driving and modifying soil moisture drought and hydrological drought development. We give recommendations for robust drought definitions to clarify timescales of drought and prevent confusion with related terms such as water scarcity and overexploitation. Additionally, our understanding and analysis of drought need to move from single driver to multiple drivers and from uni-directional to multi-directional. We identify research gaps and propose analysis approaches on (1) drivers, (2) modifiers, (3) impacts, (4) feedbacks, and (5) changing the baseline of drought in the Anthropocene. The most pressing research questions are related to the attribution of drought to its causes, to linking drought impacts to drought characteristics, and to societal adaptation and responses to drought. Example questions include (i) What are the dominant drivers of drought in different parts of the world? (ii) How do human modifications of drought enhance or alleviate drought severity? (iii) How do impacts of drought depend on the physical characteristics of drought vs. the vulnerability of people or the environment? (iv) To what extent are physical and human drought processes coupled, and can feedback loops be identified and altered to lessen or mitigate drought? (v) How should we adapt our drought analysis to accommodate changes in the normal situation (i.e. what

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. On Libertarianism and the Proprietary Understanding of Human Rights (O libertarizmu in lastninskem pojmovanju človekovih pravic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luka Mišič


    Full Text Available The article deals with the theory of libertarianism which is clearly distinguished from the theory of liberalism and tries to answer the question of what exactly is “a libertarian understanding” of human rights. The author, already in the article’s title, offers an answer in a form of the “proprietary” understanding and through the text confronts the reader with the reasoning behind such an understanding. He points out several elements of the substantive and formal transformation of the traditional notion of human rights and basic freedoms needed for the notion to be coherent with the theory of libertarianism. The author understands the traditional function of human rights as a protective mechanism for the individual against the state and presents the libertarian understanding of the notion as a result of the libertarian understanding of one’s personal freedom that is based on the principle of self-ownership and the nonaggression principle by which every encroachment with one’s property (extending to his own body and will has to derive from a consensus among (two parties. Thereby human rights need to put on a new role in which they are completely dependent on the right to property (being the only natural and superior right and function in a negative, relative and value-neutral manner.

  8. 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

  9. 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 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.

  10. Enhancing nature of science understanding, reflective judgment, and argumentation through socioscientific issues (United States)

    Callahan, Brendan E.

    There is a distinct divide between theory and practice in American science education. Research indicates that a constructivist philosophy, in which students construct their own knowledge, is conductive to learning, while in many cases teachers continue to present science in a more traditional manner. This study sought to explore possible relationships between a socioscientific issues based curriculum and three outcome variables: nature of science understanding, reflective judgment, and argumentation skill. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to examine both whole class differences as well as individual differences between the beginning and end of a semester of high school Biology I. Results indicated that the socioscientific issues based curriculum did not produce statistically significant changes over the course of one semester. However, the treatment group scored better on all three instruments than the comparison group. The small sample size may have contributed to the inability to find statistical significance in this study. The qualitative interviews did indicate that some students provided more sophisticated views on nature of science and reflective judgment, and were able to provide slightly more complex argumentation structures. Theoretical implications regarding the use of explicit use of socioscientific issues in the classroom are presented.

  11. How things fall apart: understanding the nature of internalizing through its relationship with impairment. (United States)

    Markon, Kristian E


    The literature suggests that internalizing psychopathology relates to impairment incrementally and gradually. However, the form of this relationship has not been characterized. This form is critical to understanding internalizing psychopathology, as it is possible that internalizing may accelerate in effect at some level of severity, defining a natural boundary of abnormality. Here, a novel method-semiparametric structural equation modeling-was used to model the relationship between internalizing and impairment in a sample of 8,580 individuals from the 2000 British Office for National Statistics Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity, a large, population-representative study of psychopathology. This method allows one to model relationships between latent internalizing and impairment without assuming any particular form a priori and to compare models in which the relationship is constant and linear. Results suggest that the relationship between internalizing and impairment is in fact linear and constant across the entire range of internalizing variation and that it is impossible to nonarbitrarily define a specific level of internalizing beyond which consequences suddenly become catastrophic in nature. Results demonstrate the phenomenological continuity of internalizing psychopathology, highlight the importance of impairment as well as symptoms, and have clear implications for defining mental disorder. Copyright 2010 APA, all rights reserved

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Can animal models contribute to understanding tinnitus heterogeneity in humans?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jos J Eggermont


    Full Text Available The brain activity of humans with tinnitus of various etiologies is typically studied with EEG/MEG and fMRI-based imaging techniques. Consequently, they measure population responses and mostly from the neocortex. The latter also underlies changes in neural networks that may be attributed to tinnitus. However, factors not strictly related to tinnitus such as hearing loss and hyperacusis, as well as other co-occurring disorders play a prominent role in these changes. Different types of tinnitus can often not be resolved with these brain-imaging techniques. In animal models of putative behavioral signs of tinnitus, neural activity ranging from auditory nerve to auditory cortex, is studied largely by single unit recordings, augmented by local field potentials (LFPs, and the neural correlates of tinnitus are mainly based on spontaneous neural activity, such as spontaneous firing rates (SFR and pair-wise spontaneous spike-firing correlations. Neural correlates of hyperacusis rely on measurement of stimulus-evoked activity and are measured as increased driven firing rates and LFP amplitudes. Connectivity studies would rely on correlated neural activity between pairs of neurons or LFP amplitudes, but are only recently explored. In animal models of tinnitus only two etiologies are extensively studied; tinnitus evoked by salicylate application and by noise exposure. It appears that they have quite different neural biomarkers. The unanswered question then is: does this different etiology also result in different tinnitus?



    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 ...

  16. Using the Bongwana natural CO2 release to understand leakage processes and develop monitoring (United States)

    Jones, David; Johnson, Gareth; Hicks, Nigel; Bond, Clare; Gilfillan, Stuart; Kremer, Yannick; Lister, Bob; Nkwane, Mzikayise; Maupa, Thulani; Munyangane, Portia; Robey, Kate; Saunders, Ian; Shipton, Zoe; Pearce, Jonathan; Haszeldine, Stuart


    Natural CO2 leakage along the Bongwana Fault in South Africa is being studied to help understand processes of CO2 leakage and develop monitoring protocols. The Bongwana Fault crops out over approximately 80 km in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. In outcrop the fault is expressed as a broad fracture corridor in Dwyka Tillite, with fractures oriented approximately N-S. Natural emissions of CO2 occur at various points along the fault, manifest as travertine cones and terraces, bubbling in the rivers and as gas fluxes through soil. Exposed rock outcrop shows evidence for Fe-staining around fractures and is locally extensively kaolinitised. The gas has also been released through a shallow water well, and was exploited commercially in the past. Preliminary studies have been carried out to better document the surface emissions using near surface gas monitoring, understand the origin of the gas through major gas composition and stable and noble gas isotopes and improve understanding of the structural controls on gas leakage through mapping. In addition the impact of the leaking CO2 on local water sources (surface and ground) is being investigated, along with the seismic activity of the fault. The investigation will help to build technical capacity in South Africa and to develop monitoring techniques and plans for a future CO2 storage pilot there. Early results suggest that CO2 leakage is confined to a relatively small number of spatially-restricted locations along the weakly seismically active fault. Fracture permeability appears to be the main method by which the CO2 migrates to the surface. The bulk of the CO2 is of deep origin with a minor contribution from near surface biogenic processes as determined by major gas composition. Water chemistry, including pH, DO and TDS is notably different between CO2-rich and CO2-poor sites. Soil gas content and flux effectively delineates the fault trace in active leakage sites. The fault provides an effective testing ground for

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Natural levels of {sup 210}Po in human urine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diaz-Frances, I.; Manjon, G.; Mantero, J.; Diaz, J. [Departament of Applied Phisic II, University of Seville, P.O. Box 41012 Seville (Spain); Garcia-Tenorio, R. [Departament of Applied Phisic II, University of Seville, P.O. Box 41012 Seville (Spain); National Accelerator Centre, P.O. Box 41092 Seville (Spain)


    Since the secret agent Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in 2006 by a {sup 210}Po lethal dose, presumably ingested, there is renovated interest on the toxicity of this radionuclide in humans. {sup 210}Po is a radioactive isotope naturally found in nature, mainly incorporated by humans via food and water ingestion, as well as inhaled through its progenitor, the {sup 222}Rn. The total amount of natural {sup 210}Po in the human body can vary from person to person depending on their lifestyle: dietary habits, drinking water source, place of residence (associated with exposure to {sup 222}Rn), etc- and therefore in the concentrations of this element to be found in urine. To analyze the influence of dietary habits on the amount of {sup 210}Po excreted in urine, two volunteers in Seville had a well-defined and time-varying diet for a month, following a daily collection of their urine and determination of the concentrations therein of this radionuclide. The results obtained and the conclusions derived from them form the core of this communication. {sup 210}Po determinations were performed daily in 200 ml aliquots of urine using the technique of high resolution alpha spectrometry. This has involved the application of a single radiochemical method for the concentration and isolation {sup 210}Po, followed by its auto-deposition on copper planchets for proper measure. Daily {sup 210}Po activity concentrations in voluntary urine analyzed during the month of study show high variability with a difference of up to an order of magnitude between maximum and minimum values obtained, and a clear dependence on the diet type followed in the various stages of the experiment. The lowest concentrations obtained are associated with a diet rich in carbohydrates and proteins 'terrestrial' (pork, beef,...), while the highest concentrations were obtained in the final phase of the experiment when the diet was enriched with presence of marine products in fair correspondence with the

  20. [Biological and neural bases of partner preferences in rodents: models to understand human pair bonds]. (United States)

    Coria-Avila, G A; Hernández-Aguilar, M E; Toledo-Cárdenas, R; García-Hernández, L I; Manzo, J; Pacheco, P; Miquel, M; Pfaus, J G

    To analyse the biological and neural bases of partner preference formation in rodents as models to understand human pair bonding. Rodents are social individuals, capable of forming short- or long-lasting partner preferences that develop slowly by stimuli like cohabitation, or rapidly by stimuli like sex and stress. Dopamine, corticosteroids, oxytocin, vasopressin, and opioids form the neurochemical substrate for pair bonding in areas like the nucleus accumbens, the prefrontal cortex, the piriform cortex, the medial preoptic area, the ventral tegmental area and the medial amygdala, among others. Additional areas may participate depending on the nature of the conditioned stimuli by which and individual recognizes a preferred partner. Animal models help us understand that the capacity of an individual to display long-lasting and selective preferences depends on neural bases, selected throughout evolution. The challenge in neuroscience is to use this knowledge to create new solutions for mental problems associated with the incapacity of an individual to display a social bond, keep one, or cope with the disruption of a consolidated one.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Research on operation and maintenance support system adaptive to human recognition and understanding in human-centered plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Numano, Masayoshi; Matsuoka, Takeshi; Mitomo, N.


    As a human-centered plant, advanced nuclear power plant needs appropriate role sharing between human and mobile intelligent agents. Human-machine cooperation for plant operation and maintenance activities is also required with an advanced interface. Plant's maintenance is programmed using mobile robots working under the radiation environments instead of human beings. Operation and maintenance support system adaptive to human recognition and understanding should be developed to establish adequate human and machine interface so as to induce human capabilities to the full and enable human to take responsibility for plan's operation. Plant's operation and maintenance can be cooperative activities between human and intelligent automonous agents having surveillance and control functions. Infrastructure of multi-agent simulation system for the support system has been investigated and developed based on work plans derived from the scheduler. (T. Tanaka)

  6. Reflex epileptic mechanisms in humans: Lessons about natural ictogenesis. (United States)

    Wolf, Peter


    The definition of reflex epileptic seizures is that specific seizure types can be triggered by certain sensory or cognitive stimuli. Simple triggers are sensory (most often visual, more rarely tactile or proprioceptive; simple audiogenic triggers in humans are practically nonexistent) and act within seconds, whereas complex triggers like praxis, reading and talking, and music are mostly cognitive and work within minutes. The constant relation between a qualitatively, often even quantitatively, well-defined stimulus and a specific epileptic response provides unique possibilities to investigate seizure generation in natural human epilepsies. For several reflex epileptic mechanisms (REMs), this has been done. Reflex epileptic mechanisms have been reported less often in focal lesional epilepsies than in idiopathic "generalized" epilepsies (IGEs) which are primarily genetically determined. The key syndrome of IGE is juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), where more than half of the patients present reflex epileptic traits (photosensitivity, eye closure sensitivity, praxis induction, and language-induced orofacial reflex myocloni). Findings with multimodal investigations of cerebral function concur to indicate that ictogenic mechanisms in IGEs largely (ab)use preexisting functional anatomic networks (CNS subsystems) normally serving highly complex physiological functions (e.g., deliberate complex actions and linguistic communication) which supports the concept of system epilepsy. Whereas REMs in IGEs, thus, are primarily function-related, in focal epilepsies, they are primarily localization-related. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Genetic and Reflex Epilepsies, Audiogenic Seizures and Strains: From Experimental Models to the Clinic". Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The Liberal Eugenics: A Look from the Composition the Future of Human Nature by Jürgen Habermas


    Freitas, Riva Sobrado De; Zilio, Daniela


    This article intends to analyze the liberal eugenics from the understanding of Jürgen Habermas in the composition The Future of Human Nature, mainly with respect to the possibilities that the subject exposed to genetic manipulation procedures may have hurt its right to self-understanding and, consequently, its personal dignity. The purpose consists in investigating the idea introduced by the author about the liberal eugenics and its possible consequences in relation to the rights of the subje...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Understanding the fluid nature of personhood - the ring theory of personhood. (United States)

    Radha Krishna, Lalit Kumar; Alsuwaigh, Rayan


    Familial determination, replete with its frequent usurping of patient autonomy, propagation of collusion, and circumnavigation of direct patient involvement in their own care deliberations, continues to impact clinical practice in many Asian nations. Suggestions that underpinning this practice, in Confucian-inspired societies, is the adherence of the populace to the familial centric ideas of personhood espoused by Confucian ethics, provide a novel means of understanding and improving patient-centred care at the end of life. Clinical experience in Confucian-inspired Singapore, however, suggests that personhood is conceived in broader terms. This diverging view inspired a study of local conceptions of personhood and scrutiny of the influence of the family upon it. From the data gathered, a culturally appropriate, clinically relevant and ethically sensitive concept of personhood was proposed: the Ring Theory of Personhood (Ring Theory) that better captures the nuances of local conceptions of personhood. The Ring Theory highlights the fact that, far from being solely dependent upon familial centric ideals, local conceptions of personhood are dynamic, context dependent, evolving ideas delineated by four dimensions. Using the Ring Theory, the nature of familial influences upon the four dimensions of personhood - the Innate, Individual, Relational and Societal - are examined to reveal that, contrary to perceived knowledge, conceptions of personhood within Confucian societies are not the prime reason for the continued presence of this decision-making model but remain present within local thinking and practices as a sociocultural residue and primarily because of inertia in updating ideas. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. 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

  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. Bringing Context to the Oil Sands Debate: understanding the role of nature versus man (United States)

    Fennell, J.; Gibson, J. J.; Birks, S. J.; YI, Y.; Jasechko, S.; Moncur, M. C.


    development. Mineralization of water samples from these natural discharge zones ranged up to 64,000 mg/L TDS. Elevated levels of ammonia (up to 4.5 mg/L) were also detected, as well as certain trace elements (e.g., arsenic), dissolved organics (e.g., phenols and naphthenic acids), and certain polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Geophysical anomalies identified near active oil sands developments yielded similar results. The data generated by this, and other, studies was used to create geochemical fingerprints to identify likely sources and associated risk to aquatic receptors. In the end this multi-disciplined investigation, employing physical and chemical sciences in a forensic manner, identified the significant role that nature plays in contaminant loading to the Athabasca River. This paper will highlight key geochemical findings (consistent with the physical setting) leading to a refined understanding of risks related to oil sands development, and the importance of a holistic approach when assessing and attributing environmental effects.

  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. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Uterine Natural Killer Cells: Functional Distinctions and Influence on Pregnancy in Humans and Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Colucci


    Full Text Available Our understanding of development and function of natural killer (NK cells has progressed significantly in recent years. However, exactly how uterine NK (uNK cells develop and function is still unclear. To help investigators that are beginning to study tissue NK cells, we summarize in this review our current knowledge of the development and function of uNK cells, and what is yet to be elucidated. We compare and contrast the biology of human and mouse uNK cells in the broader context of the biology of innate lymphoid cells and with reference to peripheral NK cells. We also review how uNK cells may regulate trophoblast invasion and uterine spiral arterial remodeling in human and murine pregnancy.

  3. 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.

  4. Motion Segments Decomposition of RGB-D Sequences for Human Behavior Understanding


    Devanne , Maxime; Berretti , Stefano; Pala , Pietro; Wannous , Hazem; Daoudi , Mohamed; Bimbo , Alberto ,


    International audience; In this paper, we propose a framework for analyzing and understanding human behavior from depth videos. The proposed solution first employs shape analysis of the human pose across time to decompose the full motion into short temporal segments representing elementary motions. Then, each segment is characterized by human motion and depth appearance around hand joints to describe the change in pose of the body and the interaction with objects. Finally , the sequence of te...

  5. Fostering Students’ and Teachers’ Understanding of the Nature of Science: Where We Need the Broadest of Broader Impacts (United States)

    Laursen, S. L.; Dauber, R.; Molnar, P. H.; Smith, L. K.


    Making wise decisions about daunting societal and environmental problems requires understanding of both scientific concepts and the limits of scientific knowledge. While K-12 school standards now include topics on scientific inquiry and the nature of science, few science teachers have personal knowledge of these ideas through conducting science research first-hand. In their own education, most have experienced primarily fact-packed lecture courses rather than deep engagement with gathering, interpreting and communicating about scientific evidence. Teachers are thus at a disadvantage in teaching about the nature of science. Moreover, few curriculum materials directly address these ideas. Instead, instructors at all levels tend to rely on students gleaning ideas from their lab work, without ever making them explicit. The result is a poor understanding of the nature of science among many students and citizens. Thus the nature of science is an important and fruitful area for “broader impacts” efforts by NSF-funded projects across the entire spectrum of science. To address this gap, we have created a 20-minute educational documentary film focused on the nature and processes of science. The film is a broader impacts effort for a large, NSF-funded, multidisciplinary, collaborative research project to study the uplift of the Tibetan plateau and its impact on atmospheric and climate processes. The film, Upward and Outward: Scientific Inquiry on the Tibetan Plateau, focuses on the process of science, as seen through the lens of a specific project. Viewers follow an international team of scientists as they work in the laboratory and in the field, build new instruments and computer models, travel to exotic locales, argue about their findings, and enjoy collaboration and conversation. By gaining an insider’s glimpse into both the intellectual process of scientific inquiry and the everyday social and professional activities of science, students learn how science is a human

  6. Modelling Engagement in Multi-Party Conversations : Data-Driven Approaches to Understanding Human-Human Communication Patterns for Use in Human-Robot Interactions


    Oertel, Catharine


    The aim of this thesis is to study human-human interaction in order to provide virtual agents and robots with the capability to engage into multi-party-conversations in a human-like-manner. The focus lies with the modelling of conversational dynamics and the appropriate realization of multi-modal feedback behaviour. For such an undertaking, it is important to understand how human-human communication unfolds in varying contexts and constellations over time. To this end, multi-modal human-human...

  7. 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

  8. Understanding Older Adult's Perceptions of Factors that Support Trust in Human and Robot Care Providers. (United States)

    Stuck, Rachel E; Rogers, Wendy A


    As the population of older adults increase so will the need for care providers, both human and robot. Trust is a key aspect to establish and maintain a successful older adult-care provider relationship. However, due to trust volatility it is essential to understand it within specific contexts. This proposed mixed methods study will explore what dimensions of trust emerge as important within the human-human and human-robot dyads in older adults and care providers. First, this study will help identify key qualities that support trust in a care provider relationship. By understanding what older adults perceive as needing to trust humans and robots for various care tasks, we can begin to provide recommendations based on user expectations for design to support trust.

  9. 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.

  10. Understanding the nature of luminous red galaxies (LRGs): connecting LRGs to central and satellite subhaloes (United States)

    Masaki, Shogo; Hikage, Chiaki; Takada, Masahiro; Spergel, David N.; Sugiyama, Naoshi


    measurements as well as for understanding the nature of LRGs such as their formation and assembly histories.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Research on dragons: a teaching sequence to promote the understanding of Nature of Science at Secondary School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romero Ariza, Marta


    Full Text Available This paper presents a teaching sequence explicitly designed to improve the understanding of Nature of Science and support Secondary School students to acquire adequate understanding about scientific hypothesis, theories and laws. The instructional intervention engages students in an inquiry process where they have to formulate hypothesis, analyse data and draw conclusions based on evidence. It is a student-centred methodology where teachers act as facilitators and guides, promoting the development of scientific competences and the meaningful understanding of the terms hypothesis, law and theory.

  17. [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).

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Biology and natural history of human papillomavirus infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernandes JV


    Full Text Available José Veríssimo Fernandes,1 Josélio Maria Galvão de Araújo,1 Thales Allyrio Araújo de Medeiros Fernandes21Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Infectious Diseases and Cancer, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil; 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Rio Grande do Norte State, Mossoró, BrazilAbstract: Human papillomavirus (HPV is one of the most common causes of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. It has been proposed that the great majority of women and men have been infected with HPV at least once during their lifetime. HPV infection is associated with a variety of clinical conditions, ranging from benign lesions to cervical cancer. In most cases, the infection is transient, where most of the individuals are healing, eliminating the virus without the presence of any clinical manifestation. Actually, more than 120 HPV types have been cataloged, of which approximately 40 can infect the mucosa of the anogenital tract and are collectively known as mucosal HPV, which are classified based on their oncogenic potential as either low- or high-risk HPV types. The low-risk HPV type causes benign hyperproliferative lesions or genital warts, with a very limited tendency for malignant progression, while the high-risk HPV type is strongly associated with premalignant and malignant cervical lesions. The HPV cycle initiates when the virus gains access to undifferentiated cells of the basement membrane of the squamous columnar junction epithelium of the ectocervix, after these regions are exposed to mechanical or chemical trauma. The basal cells in the transformation zone retain the ability to differentiate, a property required for virion production. Cervical infection with high-risk HPV typically lasts from 12 to 18 months and in most cases is cleared spontaneously. However, in some women the immune response is insufficient to eliminate the virus, resulting in a persistent, long-term infection that may progress to a

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. ActivityNet: A Large-Scale Video Benchmark for Human Activity Understanding

    KAUST Repository

    Heilbron, Fabian Caba; Castillo, Victor; Ghanem, Bernard; Niebles, Juan Carlos


    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Understanding social complexity within the wildland urban interface: A new species of human habitation? Environmental Management (United States)

    Travis B. Paveglio; Pamela J. Jakes; Matthew S. Carroll; Daniel R. Williams


    The lack of knowledge regarding social diversity in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) or an in-depth understanding of the ways people living there interact to address common problems is concerning, perhaps even dangerous, given that community action is necessary for successful wildland fire preparedness and natural resource management activities. In this article, we...

  10. Understanding arsenic metabolism through spectroscopic determination of arsenic in human urine


    Brima, Eid I.; Jenkins, Richard O.; Haris, Parvez I.


    In this review we discuss a range of spectroscopic techniques that are currently used for analysis of arsenic in human urine for understanding arsenic metabolism and toxicity, especially in relation to genetics/ethnicity, ingestion studies and exposure to arsenic through drinking water and diet. Spectroscopic techniques used for analysis of arsenic in human urine include inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS), hydride ...



    Hussain AL SHAROUFI


    This study tries to show the importance of pragmatics in understanding human communication in an institutional setting. Speakers and listeners are actively involved in a negotiating process that leads to creating a cycle of actively changing contexts in which speech acts win their legitimacy of being real doers of action in real-time situations. Particular cultural repertoires in human societies facilitate language with a wealth of contextual resources that can help anchor meaning by favourin...

  12. Organizing to Understand: How to Operate Effectively in the Human Domain (United States)


    was both entering and creating when it overthrew Saddam Hussein and dismantled the Iraqi government and security forces. The research examines the...sponsored initiative to help tactical and operational level commanders understand the human terrain, the “social, ethnographic , cultural, economic, an intelligence function within TRADOC “as the primary and enduring social science-based human domain research , analysis, and training capability

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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.

  19. 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 using the Components Mechanisms Phenomena (CMP) framework for conceptual representation. We coded and analysed the repertory grid personal constructs of 67 high-school biology students at 4 points throughout the study. Our data analysis builds on the assumption that systems understanding entails a perception of all the system categories, including structures within the system (its Components), specific processes and interactions at the macro and micro levels (Mechanisms), and the Phenomena that present the macro scale of processes and patterns within a system. Our findings suggest that as the learning process progressed, the systems understanding of our students became more advanced, moving forward within each of the major CMP categories. Moreover, there was an increase in the mechanism complexity presented by the students, manifested by more students describing mechanisms at the molecular level. Thus, the 'mechanism' category and the micro level are critical components that enable students to understand system-level phenomena such as homeostasis.

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Human nature in orthodox tradition with reference to irfan tradition in Islam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simanić Matej


    Full Text Available In Christian theology, like in all religious sciences, the question of human nature is unavoidable. In this article, we shall consider the problem with a special overview of its place in ascetic practices. As a necessary part of the orthodox Christian life - purification, enlightenment and theosis - we shall dedicate special attention to the question of conscience, which has a lot of significance for determining the meaning of spiritual life in terms of theological theory. As a consequence of neglecting of personal spiritual life, a vast majority of theologians develop a false understanding that ascetic practice of the struggle with bodily passions is similar to neoplatonic negative relationship to the body itself. Because of that in this article we try to consider explanations of the terms passion and world in the works of Isaac the Syrian. In irfan we also find a number of parallels in terms of the already mentioned questions.

  4. 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)

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Intergenerational Learning at a Nature Center: Families Using Prior Experiences and Participation Frameworks to Understand Raptors (United States)

    Zimmerman, Heather Toomey; McClain, Lucy Richardson


    Using a sociocultural framework to approach intergenerational learning, this inquiry examines learning processes used by families during visits to one nature center. Data were collected from videotaped observations of families participating in an environmental education program and a follow-up task to draw the habitat of raptors. Based on a…

  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. Using Big Data to Understand the Human Condition: The Kavli HUMAN Project. (United States)

    Azmak, Okan; Bayer, Hannah; Caplin, Andrew; Chun, Miyoung; Glimcher, Paul; Koonin, Steven; Patrinos, Aristides


    Until now, most large-scale studies of humans have either focused on very specific domains of inquiry or have relied on between-subjects approaches. While these previous studies have been invaluable for revealing important biological factors in cardiac health or social factors in retirement choices, no single repository contains anything like a complete record of the health, education, genetics, environmental, and lifestyle profiles of a large group of individuals at the within-subject level. This seems critical today because emerging evidence about the dynamic interplay between biology, behavior, and the environment point to a pressing need for just the kind of large-scale, long-term synoptic dataset that does not yet exist at the within-subject level. At the same time that the need for such a dataset is becoming clear, there is also growing evidence that just such a synoptic dataset may now be obtainable-at least at moderate scale-using contemporary big data approaches. To this end, we introduce the Kavli HUMAN Project (KHP), an effort to aggregate data from 2,500 New York City households in all five boroughs (roughly 10,000 individuals) whose biology and behavior will be measured using an unprecedented array of modalities over 20 years. It will also richly measure environmental conditions and events that KHP members experience using a geographic information system database of unparalleled scale, currently under construction in New York. In this manner, KHP will offer both synoptic and granular views of how human health and behavior coevolve over the life cycle and why they evolve differently for different people. In turn, we argue that this will allow for new discovery-based scientific approaches, rooted in big data analytics, to improving the health and quality of human life, particularly in urban contexts.

  13. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan

    Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya (PAK) ... understood in terms of laws, and that human action be comprehended in terms of ..... The fusion of individual and societal interests should therefore be ...

  15. 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.

  16. Human Longevity : nature vs nurture-fact or fiction.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carnes, B. A.; Jay Olshansky, S.; Gavrilov, L.; Gavrilova, N.; Grahn, D.; Center for Mechanistic Biology and Biotechnology; Univ. of Chicago


    Genetic effects may have a greater influence on human longevity than biomedical intervention. An alternative perspective examines the heritability effects of genetic damage caused by free radicals within somatic cells, or genetic damage that accumulates over a lifetime.

  17. 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.

  18. Understanding the natural progression in %FEV1 decline in patients with cystic fibrosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taylor-Robinson, David; Whitehead, Margaret; Diderichsen, Finn


    BACKGROUND: Forced expiratory volume in 1 s as a percentage of predicted (%FEV(1)) is a key outcome in cystic fibrosis (CF) and other lung diseases. As people with CF survive for longer periods, new methods are required to understand the way %FEV(1) changes over time. An up to date approach...

  19. 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.

  20. Is the phototransformation of pharmaceuticals a natural purification process that decreases ecological and human health risks?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Xiao-Huan; Lin, Angela Yu-Chen


    Sunlight photodegradation has long been considered a significant process in lowering the concentrations of pharmaceuticals in surface waters and thus decreasing the ecological risk. For the first time, this study identified the significance of investigating the environmental photodegradation of a pharmaceutical residue mixture (rather than a single compound) and the associated toxicity of transformation byproducts in environmental waters, including rivers, hospital wastewaters, and effluents from wastewater treatment plants and pharmaceutical production facilities. Pharmaceuticals undergo phototransformation rather than mineralization (11–23% in 34 h). Pharmaceutical mixtures could possibly act as dissolved organic matter for each individual compound and subsequently affect the photolysis rates. The increased toxicity of irradiated pharmaceutical mixtures challenges the validity of the current understanding of sunlight photolysis. The implications of this work suggest that current knowledge concerning the occurrence, natural attenuation, ecotoxicity, and human health risks of pharmaceuticals is far from complete; photolysis is not necessarily a purification process. -- Highlights: • Pharmaceutical mixtures could possibly act as DOMs for each other. • Pharmaceuticals underwent merely phototransformation rather than mineralization. • Increased toxicity from photo byproducts associated with the pharmaceutical mixture. • Phototransformation does not necessary mitigate the risk to human and the ecosystem. -- Transformation byproducts associated with a pharmaceutical mixture could be more toxic, and phototransformation does not necessary mitigate the risk to humans and the ecosystem

  1. 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

  2. Pathways of Understanding: the Interactions of Humanity and Global Environmental Change (United States)

    Jacobson, Harold K.; Katzenberger, John; Lousma, Jack; Mooney, Harold A.; Moss, Richard H.; Kuhn, William; Luterbacher, Urs; Wiegandt, Ellen


    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.

  3. Integrating Multi-Purpose Natural Language Understanding, Robot's Memory, and Symbolic Planning for Task Execution in Humanoid Robots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wächter, Mirko; Ovchinnikova, Ekaterina; Wittenbeck, Valerij


    We propose an approach for instructing a robot using natural language to solve complex tasks in a dynamic environment. In this study, we elaborate on a framework that allows a humanoid robot to understand natural language, derive symbolic representations of its sensorimotor experience, generate....... The framework is implemented within the robot development environment ArmarX. We evaluate the framework on the humanoid robot ARMAR-III in the context of two experiments: a demonstration of the real execution of a complex task in the kitchen environment on ARMAR-III and an experiment with untrained users...

  4. Natural and anthropogenic radiation exposure of humans in Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koelzer, Winfried


    The contribution on natural and anthropogenic radiation exposure in Germany covers the following issues: (1) natural radiation exposure: external radiation exposure - cosmic and terrestric radiation, internal radiation exposure - primordial and cosmogenic radionuclides; radiation exposure due to sola neutrinos and geo-neutrinos. (2) Anthropogenic radiation exposure: radiation exposure in medicine, radioactivity in industrial products, radiation exposure during flights, radiation exposure due to nuclear facilities, radiation exposure due to fossil energy carriers in power generation, radiation exposure due to nuclear explosions, radiation exposure due to nuclear accidents. (3) Occupational radiation exposure in Germany: radiation monitoring with personal dosimeters in medicine and industry, dose surveillance of the aviation personal, working places with increases radiation exposure by natural radiation sources.

  5. Explaining the Timing of Natural Scene Understanding with a Computational Model of Perceptual Categorization (United States)

    Sofer, Imri; Crouzet, Sébastien M.; Serre, Thomas


    Observers can rapidly perform a variety of visual tasks such as categorizing a scene as open, as outdoor, or as a beach. Although we know that different tasks are typically associated with systematic differences in behavioral responses, to date, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we implemented a single integrated paradigm that links perceptual processes with categorization processes. Using a large image database of natural scenes, we trained machine-learning classifiers to derive quantitative measures of task-specific perceptual discriminability based on the distance between individual images and different categorization boundaries. We showed that the resulting discriminability measure accurately predicts variations in behavioral responses across categorization tasks and stimulus sets. We further used the model to design an experiment, which challenged previous interpretations of the so-called “superordinate advantage.” Overall, our study suggests that observed differences in behavioral responses across rapid categorization tasks reflect natural variations in perceptual discriminability. PMID:26335683

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding the triple nature of the chemical bond on submicroscopic level


    Klun, Tina


    The master’s thesis addresses three definitions of chemical bond with particular emphasis on the sub-microscopic level in a comprehensive manner. Slovenian pupils are taught about chemical bond for the first time in the eighth grade of primary school as part of learning about the connection between particles. Due to the abstract nature of the notion chemical bond, it is essential that pupils are encouraged to learn about the topic on the macroscopic, sub microscopic and symbolic level as this...

  8. Understanding Public Support for Indigenous Natural Resource Management in Northern Australia


    Kerstin K. Zander


    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 re...

  9. 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... are most severe natural calamities that affect Indian coasts which causes a huge loss of lives and wealth. To predict such events, the knowledge of past events during the historic as well as pre-historic periods is very much required. The recent study...

  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. The Nature-Nurture Debates: 25 Years of Challenges in Understanding the Psychology of Gender. (United States)

    Eagly, Alice H; Wood, Wendy


    Nature-nurture debates continue to be highly contentious in the psychology of gender despite the common recognition that both types of causal explanations are important. In this article, we provide a historical analysis of the vicissitudes of nature and nurture explanations of sex differences and similarities during the quarter century since the founding of the Association for Psychological Science. We consider how the increasing use of meta-analysis helped to clarify sex difference findings if not the causal explanations for these effects. To illustrate these developments, this article describes socialization and preferences for mates as two important areas of gender research. We also highlight developing research trends that address the interactive processes by which nature and nurture work together in producing sex differences and similarities. Such theorizing holds the promise of better science as well as a more coherent account of the psychology of women and men that should prove to be more influential with the broader public. © The Author(s) 2013.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

  15. 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...... of inquiry. This perspective underscores the crucial role that instruments play in design, and the ways in which they scaffold design creativity and exploration. In particular, it highlights that instruments not only augment our capabilities for carrying out intended actions, they also guide our perception...... and understanding of design problems and solutions. I present and discuss a framework consisting of five qualities of instruments of inquiry, which make them valuable in designerly inquiry: perception, conception, externalisation, knowing-through-action, and mediation....

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Rangeland Ecosystem Services: Nature's Supply and Humans' Demand (United States)

    Ecosystem services are the benefits that society receives from nature and they include the regulation of climate, the pollination of crops, the provisioning of intellectual inspiration and recreational environment, as well as many essential goods such as food, fiber, and wood. Rangeland ecosystem se...

  19. Allowing for Psychosis to be Approachable and Understandable as a Human Experience: A Role for the Humanities in Psychotherapy Supervision. (United States)

    Leonhardt, Bethany L; Hamm, Jay A; Fogley, Rebecca L; Buck, Kelly D; Roe, David; Lysaker, Paul H


    Psychiatry and related mental health fields, in particular psychotherapy, have a long history of close ties with the humanities. That bond has weakened, however, over the last few decades as medicalized views of mental health and treatment have emerged. In this paper, we explore the potential of the reintroduction of the humanities, specifically novels and related literary genre, into the supervision of student clinicians working with clients who have psychosis. We believe that incorporation of novels and related literary genre into supervision can lead to unique and deepened understanding of the experience of psychosis, and can create an opportunity for a working therapeutic alliance. The potential mechanisms that create these unique opportunities to understand psychopathology are explored, and considerations for the implications for treatment, training, and future research are presented.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Primate vocal communication: a useful tool for understanding human speech and language evolution? (United States)

    Fedurek, Pawel; Slocombe, Katie E


    Language is a uniquely human trait, and questions of how and why it evolved have been intriguing scientists for years. Nonhuman primates (primates) are our closest living relatives, and their behavior can be used to estimate the capacities of our extinct ancestors. As humans and many primate species rely on vocalizations as their primary mode of communication, the vocal behavior of primates has been an obvious target for studies investigating the evolutionary roots of human speech and language. By studying the similarities and differences between human and primate vocalizations, comparative research has the potential to clarify the evolutionary processes that shaped human speech and language. This review examines some of the seminal and recent studies that contribute to our knowledge regarding the link between primate calls and human language and speech. We focus on three main aspects of primate vocal behavior: functional reference, call combinations, and vocal learning. Studies in these areas indicate that despite important differences, primate vocal communication exhibits some key features characterizing human language. They also indicate, however, that some critical aspects of speech, such as vocal plasticity, are not shared with our primate cousins. We conclude that comparative research on primate vocal behavior is a very promising tool for deepening our understanding of the evolution of human speech and language, but much is still to be done as many aspects of monkey and ape vocalizations remain largely unexplored.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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 of rou...

  7. Preferred step frequency minimizes veering during natural human walking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uematsu, Azusa; Inoue, Koh; Hobara, Hiroaki; Kobayashi, Hirofumi; Iwamoto, Yuki; Hortobagyi, Tibor; Suzuki, Shuji


    In the absence of visual information, humans cannot maintain a straight walking path. We examined the hypothesis that step frequency during walking affects the magnitude of veering in healthy adults. Subject walked at a preferred (1.77 +/- 0.18 Hz), low (0.8 x preferred, 1.41 +/- 0.15 Hz), and high

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Understanding the Effectiveness of Natural Compound Mixtures in Cancer through Their Molecular Mode of Action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thazin Nwe Aung


    Full Text Available Many approaches to cancer management are often ineffective due to adverse reactions, drug resistance, or inadequate target specificity of single anti-cancer agents. In contrast, a combinatorial approach with the application of two or more anti-cancer agents at their respective effective dosages can achieve a synergistic effect that boosts cytotoxicity to cancer cells. In cancer, aberrant apoptotic pathways allow cells that should be killed to survive with genetic abnormalities, leading to cancer progression. Mutations in apoptotic mechanism arising during the treatment of cancer through cancer progression can consequently lead to chemoresistance. Natural compound mixtures that are believed to have multiple specific targets with minimal acceptable side-effects are now of interest to many researchers due to their cytotoxic and chemosensitizing activities. Synergistic interactions within a drug mixture enhance the search for potential molecular targets in cancer cells. Nonetheless, biased/flawed scientific evidence from natural products can suggest false positive therapeutic benefits during drug screening. In this review, we have taken these factors into consideration when discussing the evidence for these compounds and their synergistic therapeutic benefits in cancer. While there is limited evidence for clinical efficacy for these mixtures, in vitro data suggest that these preparations merit further investigation, both in vitro and in vivo.

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The Voluntariat: A Freirean framework to understand the nature of undergraduate international (medical experiences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seemi Qaiser


    Full Text Available Despite literature documenting limited and asymmetrical benefits along with ethical issues, short-term international volunteering is increasingly popular among North American university students as a perceived advantage when applying to professional healthcare schools or the job market. Academic institutions are also encouraging students to pursue international experiences in order to cultivate values as global citizens. These experiences are most typically limited to economically privileged students. Furthermore, international activities in developing countries often lack a pedagogy of social justice and may confirm a simplistic understanding of development. Brazilian educator Paulo Freire’s “liberation pedagogy” provides a framework for understanding the limitations of international volunteering, whereby the presence of privileged volunteers implementing Western models of development may hinder aspects of local movements. Regardless, university students face intense competition in accessing opportunities, such as medical school, and pay large sums to participate in volunteering to strengthen their academic credentials. We propose that these students form “the voluntariat.” They simultaneously play two roles by, first, contributing to the conditions that oppress the very communities in which they volunteer and, second, by playing a role as objects of oppression by the liberal institutions of learning and employment to which they are attempting to gain access.

  19. The Voluntariat: A Frieirean framework to understand the nature of undergraduate international (medical) experiences. (United States)

    Qaiser, Seemi; Dimaras, Helen; Hamel, Paul


    Despite literature documenting limited and asymmetrical benefits along with ethical issues, short-term international volunteering is increasingly popular among North American university students as a perceived advantage when applying to professional healthcare schools or the job market. Academic institutions are also encouraging students to pursue international experiences in order to cultivate values as global citizens. These experiences are most typically limited to economically privileged students. Furthermore, international activities in developing countries often lack a pedagogy of social justice and may confirm a simplistic understanding of development. Brazilian educator Paulo Freire's "liberation pedagogy" provides a framework for understanding the limitations of international volunteering, whereby the presence of privileged volunteers implementing Western models of development may hinder aspects of local movements. Regardless, university students face intense competition in accessing opportunities, such as medical school, and pay large sums to participate in volunteering to strengthen their academic credentials. We propose that these students form "the voluntariat." They simultaneously play two roles by, first, contributing to the conditions that oppress the very communities in which they volunteer and, second, by playing a role as objects of oppression by the liberal institutions of learning and employment to which they are attempting to gain access.

  20. Progress in understanding human ovarian folliculogenesis and its implications in assisted reproduction. (United States)

    Yang, Dong Zi; Yang, Wan; Li, Yu; He, Zuanyu


    To highlight recent progress in understanding the pattern of follicular wave emergence of human menstrual cycle, providing a brief overview of the new options for human ovarian stimulation and oocyte retrieval by making full use of follicular physiological waves of the patients either with normal or abnormal ovarian reserve. Literature review and editorial commentary. There has been increasing evidence to suggest that multiple (two or three) antral follicular waves are recruited during human menstrual cycle. The treatment regimens designed based on the theory of follicular waves, to promote increased success with assisted reproduction technology (ART) and fertility preservation have been reported. These new options for human ovarian stimulation and oocyte retrieval by making full use of follicular waves of the patients either with normal or abnormal ovarian reserve lead to new thinking about the standard protocols in ART and challenge the traditional theory that a single wave of antral follicles grows only during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. The understanding of human ovarian folliculogenesis may have profound implications in ART and fertility preservation. Further studies are needed to evaluate the optimal regimens in ART based on the theory of follicular waves and to identify non-invasive markers for predicting the outcome and the potential utilities of follicles obtained from anovulatory follicular waves in ART.

  1. 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 (Hdecreasing with scale) - not climate - "that you expect". The conventional framework that treats the background 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

  2. A conceptual connectivity framework for understanding geomorphic change in human-impacted fluvial systems (United States)

    Pöppl, Ronald; Keesstra, Saskia; Maroulis, Jerry


    Human-induced landscape change is difficult to predict due to the complexity inherent in both geomorphic and social systems as well as due to emerging coupling relationships between them. To better understand system complexity and system response to change, connectivity has become an important research paradigm within various disciplines including geomorphology, hydrology and ecology. With the proposed conceptual connectivity framework on geomorphic change in human-impacted fluvial systems a cautionary note is flagged regarding the need (i) to include and to systematically conceptualise the role of different types of human agency in altering connectivity relationships in geomorphic systems and (ii) to integrate notions of human-environment interactions to connectivity concepts in geomorphology to better explain causes and trajectories of landscape change. Underpinned by case study examples, the presented conceptual framework is able to explain how geomorphic response of fluvial systems to human disturbance is determined by system-specific boundary conditions (incl. system history, related legacy effects and lag times), vegetation dynamics and human-induced functional relationships (i.e. feedback mechanisms) between the different spatial dimensions of connectivity. It is further demonstrated how changes in social systems can trigger a process-response feedback loop between social and geomorphic systems that further governs the trajectory of landscape change in coupled human-geomorphic systems.

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Risk communication of terrorist acts, natural disasters, and criminal violence: comparing the processes of understanding and responding. (United States)

    Heilbrun, Kirk; Wolbransky, Melinda; Shah, Sanjay; Kelly, Rebecca


    Risk communication is an important vehicle for the scientific understanding of the perception of and response to various kinds of threats. The present study provides apparently the first empirical attempt to compare perceptions, decision-making, and anticipated action in response to threats of three kinds: natural disaster, violent crime, and terrorism. A total of 258 college undergraduates were surveyed using a vignette-based, 2 × 2 × 3 between-subjects design that systematically manipulated threat imminence (high vs. low), risk level (high vs. low), and nature of the threat (natural disaster vs. crime vs. terrorism). There were substantial differences in participants' perceptions and reported actions in response to natural disaster, relative to the other domains of risk, under conditions of high risk. The risk of natural disaster was more likely to lead participants to report that they would change their daily activities and to relocate. It was also more likely than terrorism to lead to action securing the home. It appears that the mechanisms for perception, decision-making, and action in response to threats cannot be generalized in a straightforward way across these domains of threat. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Understanding Factors That Influence Stakeholder Trust of Natural Resource Science and Institutions (United States)

    Gray, Steven; Shwom, Rachael; Jordan, Rebecca


    Building trust between resource users and natural resource institutions is essential when creating conservation policies that rely on stakeholders to be effective. Trust can enable the public and agencies to engage in cooperative behaviors toward shared goals and address shared problems. Despite the increasing attention that trust has received recently in the environmental management literature, the influence that individual cognitive and behavioral factors may play in influencing levels of trust in resource management institutions, and their associated scientific assessments, remains unclear. This paper uses the case of fisheries management in the northeast to explore the relationships between an individual's knowledge of the resource, perceptions of resource health, and participatory experience on levels of trust. Using survey data collected from 244 avid recreational anglers in the Northeast U.S., we test these relationships using structural equation modeling. Results indicate that participation in fisheries management is associated with increased trust across all aspects of fisheries management. In addition, higher ratings of resource health by anglers are associated with higher levels of trust of state and regional institutions, but not federal institutions or scientific methods.

  14. On understanding the nature of interpersonal conflict between coaches and athletes. (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Svenja; Jowett, Sophia; Harwood, Chris G


    Conflict is a part of coach-athlete relationships and should be carefully considered as it can have effects on the quality of coaching and the level of performance. Despite its practical relevance, there is a dearth of research around coach-athlete conflict. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore the characteristics and topics of conflict, as well as coaches and athletes' emotional, cognitive and behavioural experiences during conflict. A total of 22 independent coaches and athletes participated in semi-structured interviews evolving around the nature of interpersonal conflict. After all interviews were transcribed, a deductive-inductive content analysis was conducted. This was guided by the interview schedule as well as the by the conceptual framework of conflict in sport relationships (Wachsmuth, Jowett, & Harwood, 2017). Data were divided into five main categories: Conflict characteristics and conflict topics, as well as conflict cognitions, emotions, and behaviours. Findings highlighted the variety of ways in which participants understood and interpreted interpersonal conflict and how their impressions of conflict influenced its evolving process. Considering the participants' cognitive, emotional and behavioural expressions of conflict, it became apparent that conflict can be described through uncertain, escalating and problem-orientated responses. Practical applications concerning (mal-) adaptive responses to conflict are discussed. (199/200).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Natural Selection Reduced Diversity on Human Y Chromosomes (United States)

    Wilson Sayres, Melissa A.; Lohmueller, Kirk E.; Nielsen, Rasmus


    The human Y chromosome exhibits surprisingly low levels of genetic diversity. This could result from neutral processes if the effective population size of males is reduced relative to females due to a higher variance in the number of offspring from males than from females. Alternatively, selection acting on new mutations, and affecting linked neutral sites, could reduce variability on the Y chromosome. Here, using genome-wide analyses of X, Y, autosomal and mitochondrial DNA, in combination with extensive population genetic simulations, we show that low observed Y chromosome variability is not consistent with a purely neutral model. Instead, we show that models of purifying selection are consistent with observed Y diversity. Further, the number of sites estimated to be under purifying selection greatly exceeds the number of Y-linked coding sites, suggesting the importance of the highly repetitive ampliconic regions. While we show that purifying selection removing deleterious mutations can explain the low diversity on the Y chromosome, we cannot exclude the possibility that positive selection acting on beneficial mutations could have also reduced diversity in linked neutral regions, and may have contributed to lowering human Y chromosome diversity. Because the functional significance of the ampliconic regions is poorly understood, our findings should motivate future research in this area. PMID:24415951

  1. 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 ...

  2. Development of an Intelligent Digital Watershed to understand water-human interaction for a sustainable Agroeconomy in Midwest USA (United States)

    Mishra, S. K.; Rapolu, U.; Ding, D.; Muste, M.; Bennett, D.; Schnoor, J. L.


    Human activity is intricately linked to the quality and quantity of water resources. Although many studies have examined water-human interaction, the complexity of such coupled systems is not well understood largely because of gaps in our knowledge of water-cycle processes which are heavily influenced by socio-economic drivers. Considerable research has been performed to develop an understanding of the impact of local land use decisions on field and catchment processes at an annual basis. Still less is known about the impact of economic and environmental outcomes on decision-making processes at the local and national level. Traditional geographic information management systems lack the ability to support the modeling and analysis of complex spatial processes. New frameworks are needed to track, query, and analyze the massive amounts of data generated by ensembles of simulations produced by multiple models that couple socioeconomic and natural system processes. On this context, we propose to develop an Intelligent Digital Watershed (IDW) which fuses emerging concepts of Digital Watershed (DW). DW is a comprehensive characterization of the eco hydrologic systems based on the best available digital data generated by measurements and simulations models. Prototype IDW in the form of a cyber infrastructure based engineered system will facilitate novel insights into human/environment interactions through multi-disciplinary research focused on watershed-related processes at multiple spatio-temporal scales. In ongoing effort, the prototype IDW is applied to Clear Creek watershed, an agricultural dominating catchment in Iowa, to understand water-human processes relevant to management decisions by farmers regarding agro ecosystems. This paper would also lay out the database design that stores metadata about simulation scenarios, scenario inputs and outputs, and connections among these elements- essentially the database. The paper describes the cyber infrastructure and

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding the natural history of focal nodular hyperplasia in the liver with MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halankar, Jaydeep A; Kim, Tae Kyoung; Jang, Hyun-Jung; Khalili, Korosh; Masoom, Haider A


    To determine the incidence of natural growth or regression of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) in the liver. We retrospectively included 120 consecutive patients who were diagnosed to have FNH on MRI. The mean follow-up duration was 19 months (range: 6–64 months). There were 25 men and 95 women (age range: 18–80 years; mean: 45 years). There were 167 FNH lesions in the 120 patients. MRI images were retrospectively reviewed for interval growth or regression of FNH. The maximum size of the lesions was measured on axial arterial-phase images of the initial and the last MRI examinations. An interval increase or decrease in diameter of over 10% of the initial diameter was considered as positive growth or regression, respectively. The use of Oral contraceptives was also documented. Interval growth was seen in 25/167 nodules (15%) over 7-48 months (mean: 21 months), with increase in size of 0.2-1.7 cm (mean: 0.6 cm) and percentage change of 10.5-340% (mean: 64%). Interval regression was seen in 13/167 (8%) of nodules over 7-63 months (mean: 22 months), with decrease in size of 0.2-0.9 cm (mean: 0.5 cm) and percentage change of 10.4-60% (mean: 24%).Five of 17 (29%) female patients with growing FNH and 25/78 (32%) female patients with non-growing FNH had a history of intake of oral contraceptives (P=0.83). Although FNH is benign and of no clinical significance, a substantial percentage of FNH shows interval growth or regression on long-term follow-up with MRI

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Improved understanding of tributyltin sorption on natural and biochar-amended sediments. (United States)

    Xiao, Xiaoyu; Sheng, G Daniel; Qiu, Yuping


    A poor understanding of tributyltin (TBT) sorption on sediments has hindered an accurate evaluation of its environmental fate. The present study determined TBT sorption by a freshwater sediment (BH) and a coastal marine sediment (TZ) as influenced by pH, salinity, and biochar (BC) amendment into TZ. The isotherms were essentially linear, with K(OC) values in the range of 10(4) to 10(5) L/kg. Tributyltin sorption at pH 3.56 and 8.00 occurred mainly via partitioning. It reached maxima at pH equal to its pK(a) (=6.25) because of added ion exchange. A salinity increase from 5 to 35 practical salinity units enhanced TBT sorption at pH 3.56 and 8.00 on TZ by approximately 30% and on BH by approximately 80%, ascribed to the salting-out effect that reduced the solubilities of tributyltin hydroxide (TBTOH) and tributyltin chloride (TBTCl). At pH 6.25, the same salinity increase reduced TBT sorption on TZ by approximately 20% but enhanced TBT sorption on BH by approximately 35%. This was attributed to the enhancing role of salting out and the reducing role of metal competition for ion exchange. Tributyltin was two orders of magnitude more effectively sorbed by BC than by total organic carbon of TZ, mainly because of the high level of surface area of the BC. Although BC affinity for TBT may be significantly diminished when present in TZ, it was considered to be the primary contributor to TBT sorption from water. Biochar may thus be used to immobilize TBT in sediment for potential remediation. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  11. 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.

  12. Interactional nursing - a practice-theory in the dynamic field between the natural, human and social sciences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheel, Merry Elisabeth; Pedersen, Birthe D.; Rosenkrands, Vibeke


    Nursing is often described from the point of view of either the natural or the human sciences. In contrast to this, the value foundation in Interactional nursing practice is understood from the point of view of the natural sciences as well as that of the human and social sciences. This article...... presents many-faceted practice-theory of nursing, which is situated in the dynamic field between these three sciences. The focus of the theory is on interaction and practice resulting in a caring practice. Here practice is based on Taylor's and MacIntyre's interpretation of this concept. Action in nursing...... is based on Habermas' three varied modes of action seen in the light of an understanding of the world as a system world and a life world. Nursing as an interactional practice-theory is presented with examples of interpretative nursing science, seen in the ethical action-oriented, socio-cultural framework...

  13. 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.

  14. A natural anticancer agent thaspine targets human topoisomerase IB. (United States)

    Castelli, Silvia; Katkar, Prafulla; Vassallo, Oscar; Falconi, Mattia; Linder, Stig; Desideri, Alessandro


    The different steps of the topoisomerase I catalytic cycle have been analyzed in the presence of the plant alkaloid thaspine (1- (2-(Dimethylamino)ethyl)-3,8-dimethoxychromeno[5,4,3-cde]chromene-5,10-dione), known to induce apoptosis in colon carcinoma cells. The experiments indicate that thaspine inhibits both the cleavage and the religation steps of the enzyme reaction. The inhibition is reversible and the effect is enhanced upon pre-incubation. Molecular docking simulations of thaspine over topoisomerase I, in the presence or absence of the DNA substrate, show that thaspine, when interacting with the enzyme alone in the closed or in the open state, can bind in proximity of the active residues preventing the cleavage reaction, whilst when docked with the enzyme-DNA cleavable complex intercalates between the DNA bases in a way similar to that found for camptothecin, explaining its religation inhibition. These results unequivocally demonstrate that thaspine targets human topoisomerase I .

  15. 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.

  16. Biomechanics of the natural, arthritic, and replaced human ankle joint (United States)


    The human ankle joint complex plays a fundamental role in gait and other activities of daily living. At the same time, it is a very complicated anatomical system but the large literature of experimental and modelling studies has not fully described the coupled joint motion, position and orientation of the joint axis of rotation, stress and strain in the ligaments and their role in guiding and stabilizing joint motion, conformity and congruence of the articular surfaces, patterns of contact at the articular surfaces, patterns of rolling and sliding at the joint surfaces, and muscle lever arm lengths. The present review article addresses these issues as described in the literature, reporting the most recent relevant findings. PMID:24499639

  17. 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:

  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. Human Nature, Flourishing, and Happiness: Toward a Synthesis of Aristotelianism, Austrian Economics, Positive Psychology, and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward W. Younkins


    Full Text Available This article presents a skeleton of a potential paradigm of human flourishing and happiness in a free society. It is an exploratory attempt to construct an understanding from various disciplines and to integrate them into a clear, consistent, coherent, and systematic whole. Holding that there are essential interconnections among objective ideas, the article specifically emphasizes the compatibility of Aristotelianism, Austrian Economics, Positive Psychology, and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism arguing that particular ideas from these areas can be integrated into a paradigm of human flourishing and happiness based on the nature of man and the world. Such a paradigm will help people to understand the world and to survive and flourish in it. It is hoped that the paradigm will grow and evolve as scholars engage, question, critique, interpret, and extend its ideas. Our goal is to have a paradigm that accords with reality and there is always more to learn from reality.

  20. Paradigms for Assessing Hedonic Processing and Motivation in Humans: Relevance to Understanding Negative Symptoms in Psychopathology. (United States)

    Barch, Deanna M; Gold, James M; Kring, Ann M


    Clinicians and researchers have long known that one of the debilitating aspects of psychotic disorders is the presence of "negative symptoms," which involve impairments in hedonic and motivational function, and/or alterations in expressive affect. We have a number of excellent clinical tools available for assessing the presence and severity of negative symptoms. However, to better understand the mechanisms that may give rise to negative symptoms, we need tools and methods that can help distinguish among different potential contributing causes, as a means to develop more targeted intervention pathways. Using such paradigms is particularly important if we wish to understand whether the causes are the same or different across disorders that may share surface features of negative symptoms. This approach is in line with the goals of the Research Diagnostic Criteria Initiative, which advocates understanding the nature of core dimensions of brain-behavior relationships transdiagnostically. Here we highlight some of the emerging measures and paradigms that may help us to parse the nature and causes of negative symptoms, illustrating both the research approaches from which they emerge and the types of constructs that they can help elucidate. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:

  1. Empowering and Assisting Natural Empowering and Assisting Natural Human Mobility: The Simbiosis Walker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anselmo Frizera-Neto


    Full Text Available This paper presents the complete development of the Simbiosis Smart Walker. The device is equipped with a set of sensor subsystems to acquire user-machine interaction forces and the temporal evolution of user's feet during gait. The authors present an adaptive filtering technique used for the identification and separation of different components found on the human-machine interaction forces. This technique allowed isolating the components related with the navigational commands and developing a Fuzzy logic controller to guide the device. The Smart Walker was clinically validated at the Spinal Cord Injury Hospital of Toledo - Spain, presenting great acceptability by spinal chord injury patients and clinical staff.

  2. Interactions between human mesenchymal stem cells and natural killer cells. (United States)

    Sotiropoulou, Panagiota A; Perez, Sonia A; Gritzapis, Angelos D; Baxevanis, Constantin N; Papamichail, Michael


    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent progenitor cells representing an attractive therapeutic tool for regenerative medicine. They possess unique immunomodulatory properties, being capable of suppressing T-cell responses and modifying dendritic cell differentiation, maturation, and function, whereas they are not inherently immunogenic, failing to induce alloreactivity to T cells and freshly isolated natural killer (NK) cells. To clarify the generation of host immune responses to implanted MSCs in tissue engineering and their potential use as immunosuppressive elements, the effect of MSCs on NK cells was investigated. We demonstrate that at low NK-to-MSC ratios, MSCs alter the phenotype of NK cells and suppress proliferation, cytokine secretion, and cyto-toxicity against HLA-class I- expressing targets. Some of these effects require cell-to-cell contact, whereas others are mediated by soluble factors, including transforming growth factor-beta1 and prostaglandin E2, suggesting the existence of diverse mechanisms for MSC-mediated NK-cell suppression. On the other hand, MSCs are susceptible to lysis by activated NK cells. Overall, these data improve our knowledge of interactions between MSCs and NK cells and consequently of their effect on innate immune responses and their contribution to the regulation of adaptive immunity, graft rejection, and cancer immunotherapy.

  3. On deciphering the book of nature: human communication in psychotherapy. (United States)

    Goodheart, W B


    The tools of contemporary applied mathematics reveal important hidden regularities amidst the ongoing interactive feedback phenomena occurring in interactional or dynamical systems in nature where everything affects everything else. Badalamenti and Langs investigate each therapy session as a continuous sequential emergence of interrelated communicative events (or communicative states) which meet the criteria of a dynamical system. Applying mathematical modeling the authors demonstrate how otherwise hidden regularities occurring between patients and therapists become accessible to us that are unavailable to our unaided powers of observation, intuition, and thought. This is a systems or population investigation of clinical interaction that begins in a qualitative or domain mode, but which opens immediately toward statistical and formal modes of discussion. It can lead to statements of properties and laws that meet the criteria of scientific dialogue and validity. It provides the clinician with guidelines for making interpretations and for assessing their immediate subsequent effect. It is distinguished from the essentialist approach at the foundation of traditional clinical thought which provides no access to such feedback phenomena and their properties. Communicative Psychoanalysts have adopted the systems perspective and are evolving a clinical language and treatment based upon its principles and discoveries.

  4. Hybrid natural orifice transluminal endoscopic cholecystectomy: prospective human series. (United States)

    Cuadrado-Garcia, Angel; Noguera, Jose F; Olea-Martinez, Jose M; Morales, Rafael; Dolz, Carlos; Lozano, Luis; Vicens, Jose-Carlos; Pujol, Juan José


    Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) makes it possible to perform intraperitoneal surgical procedures with a minimal number of access points in the abdominal wall. Currently, it is not possible to perform these interventions without the help of abdominal wall entryways, so these procedures are hybrids fusing minilaparoscopy and transluminal endoscopic surgery. This report presents a prospective clinical series of 25 patients who underwent transvaginal hybrid cholecystectomy for cholelithiasis. The study comprised a clinical series of 25 consecutive nonrandomized women who underwent a fusion transvaginal NOTES and minilaparoscopy procedure with two trocars for cholelithiasis: one 5-mm umbilical trocar and one 3-mm trocar in the upper left quadrant. The study had no control group. The scheduled surgical intervention was performed for all 25 women. No intraoperative complications occurred. One patient had mild hematuria that resolved in less than 12 h, but no other complications occurred during an average follow-up period of 140 days. Of the 25 women, 20 were discharged in 24 h, and 5 were discharged less than 12 h after the procedure. Hybrid transvaginal cholecystectomy, combining NOTES and minilaparoscopy, is a good surgical model for minimally invasive surgery. It can be performed in surgical settings where laparoscopy is practiced regularly using the instruments normally used for endoscopy and laparoscopic surgery. Due to the reproducibility of the intervention and the ease of vaginal closure, hybrid transvaginal cholecystectomy will permit further development of NOTES in the future.

  5. Advancing the integration of spatial data to map human and natural drivers on coral reefs (United States)

    Gove, Jamison M.; Walecka, Hilary R.; Donovan, Mary K.; Williams, Gareth J.; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Crowder, Larry B.; Erickson, Ashley; Falinski, Kim; Friedlander, Alan M.; Kappel, Carrie V.; Kittinger, John N.; McCoy, Kaylyn; Norström, Albert; Nyström, Magnus; Oleson, Kirsten L. L.; Stamoulis, Kostantinos A.; White, Crow; Selkoe, Kimberly A.


    A major challenge for coral reef conservation and management is understanding how a wide range of interacting human and natural drivers cumulatively impact and shape these ecosystems. Despite the importance of understanding these interactions, a methodological framework to synthesize spatially explicit data of such drivers is lacking. To fill this gap, we established a transferable data synthesis methodology to integrate spatial data on environmental and anthropogenic drivers of coral reefs, and applied this methodology to a case study location–the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). Environmental drivers were derived from time series (2002–2013) of climatological ranges and anomalies of remotely sensed sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a, irradiance, and wave power. Anthropogenic drivers were characterized using empirically derived and modeled datasets of spatial fisheries catch, sedimentation, nutrient input, new development, habitat modification, and invasive species. Within our case study system, resulting driver maps showed high spatial heterogeneity across the MHI, with anthropogenic drivers generally greatest and most widespread on O‘ahu, where 70% of the state’s population resides, while sedimentation and nutrients were dominant in less populated islands. Together, the spatial integration of environmental and anthropogenic driver data described here provides a first-ever synthetic approach to visualize how the drivers of coral reef state vary in space and demonstrates a methodological framework for implementation of this approach in other regions of the world. By quantifying and synthesizing spatial drivers of change on coral reefs, we provide an avenue for further research to understand how drivers determine reef diversity and resilience, which can ultimately inform policies to protect coral reefs. PMID:29494613

  6. The Paradox of Freedom: John Dewey on Human Nature, Culture, and Education (United States)

    Keall, Cherilyn


    In this paper, I argue that John Dewey's view of human nature entails that culture is a necessary but not sufficient condition for freedom. A surprising corollary of this argument is that, if left to run its natural course, culture in fact tends not to enable but rather to preclude freedom. Hence, there are specific cultural practices--habits…

  7. Can we adequately represent the spatial interplay between humans and nature? (United States)

    One of the challenges remaining before ecosystem services assessments can become part of mainstream decision making is how to spatially represent the interplay of nature as a whole and humans. Nature’s ecosystems act as natural capital by producing things (i.e. stocks and ...

  8. From Environmental Connectedness to Sustainable Futures: Topophilia and Human Affiliation with Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Beery


    Full Text Available Human affiliation with nonhuman nature is an important dimension of environmental concern and support for pro-environmental attitudes. A significant theory of human connectedness with nature, the Biophilia Hypothesis, suggests that there exists a genetically based inclination for human affiliation with the biological world. Both support and challenge to the Biophilia Hypothesis are abundant in the literature of environmental psychology. One response that both challenges and builds upon the Biophilia Hypothesis is the Topophilia Hypothesis. The Topophilia Hypothesis has extended the ideas of biophilia to incorporate a broader conception of nonhuman nature and a co-evolutionary theory of genetic response and cultural learning. While the Topophilia Hypothesis is a new idea, it is built upon long-standing scholarship from humanistic geography and theories in human evolution. The Topophilia Hypothesis expands previous theory and provides a multidisciplinary consideration of how biological selection and cultural learning may have interacted during human evolution to promote adaptive mechanisms for human affiliation with nonhuman nature via specific place attachment. Support for this possible co-evolutionary foundation for place-based human affiliation with nonhuman nature is explored from multiple vantage points. We raise the question of whether this affiliation may have implications for multifunctional landscape management. Ultimately, we propose that nurturing potential topophilic tendencies may be a useful method to promote sustainable efforts at the local level with implications for the global.

  9. Mutagenic potential assessment associated with human exposure to natural radioactivity. (United States)

    Marcon, Alexandre Endres; Navoni, Julio Alejandro; de Oliveira Galvão, Marcos Felipe; Garcia, Anuska Conde Fagundes Soares; do Amaral, Viviane Souza; Petta, Reinaldo Antônio; Campos, Thomas Ferreira da Costa; Panosso, Renata; Quinelato, Antônio Luiz; de Medeiros, Sílvia Regina Batistuzzo


    Lucrécia city, known to harbor a high cancer rate, is located in a semiarid region characterized by the presence of mineral reservoirs, facing a high exposure to metal and natural radioactivity. The present study aimed to assess the environmental scenario at a semiarid region located in Northeastern Brazil. Metal concentration, alpha and beta radiation, and cyanobacteria content in tap water along with indoor radon and gamma emitters (U, K and Th) concentrations were measured. In addition, mutagenic and nuclear instability effects were assessed using buccal micronucleus cytome assay. The study included five samplings corresponding to a period between 2007 and 2009. Drinking water from Lucrécia city presented levels of Mn, Ni and Cr along with cyanobacteria in concentrations one to four times higher than regulatory guidelines considered. Furthermore, high levels of all the tested radionuclides were found. A high percentage of the houses included in this study presented indoor radon concentrations over 100 Bq m -3 . The mean annual effective dose from Lucrécia houses was six times higher than observed in a control region. The levels of exposure in most of the Lucrécia houses were classified as middle to high. A significant mutagenic effect, represented as an increase of micronuclei (MN) frequency and nuclear abnormalities as nuclear buds (NB), binucleated cells (BN), and pyknotic cells (PYC) were found. The results obtained highlight the role of high background radioactivity on the observed mutagenic effect and could help to explain the exacerbated cancer rate reported in this locality. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Mother Nature versus human nature: public compliance with evacuation and quarantine. (United States)

    Manuell, Mary-Elise; Cukor, Jeffrey


    Effectively controlling the spread of contagious illnesses has become a critical focus of disaster planning. It is likely that quarantine will be a key part of the overall public health strategy utilised during a pandemic, an act of bioterrorism or other emergencies involving contagious agents. While the United States lacks recent experience of large-scale quarantines, it has considerable accumulated experience of large-scale evacuations. Risk perception, life circumstance, work-related issues, and the opinions of influential family, friends and credible public spokespersons all play a role in determining compliance with an evacuation order. Although the comparison is not reported elsewhere to our knowledge, this review of the principal factors affecting compliance with evacuations demonstrates many similarities with those likely to occur during a quarantine. Accurate identification and understanding of barriers to compliance allows for improved planning to protect the public more effectively. © 2011 The Author(s). Disasters © Overseas Development Institute, 2011.

  11. Cultural influences on children's understanding of the human body and the concept of life. (United States)

    Panagiotaki, Georgia; Nobes, Gavin


    This study aimed to identify the age by which children begin to demonstrate a biological understanding of the human body and the idea that the purpose of body functioning is to maintain life. The study also explored the influence of education, culturally specific experiences and religion on knowledge acquisition in this domain. Children aged between 4 and 7 years from three different cultural backgrounds (White British, British Muslim, and Pakistani Muslim) were interviewed about the human body and its functioning. At least half of the 4- to 5-year-olds in each cultural group, and almost all 6- to 7-year-olds, referred to the maintenance of life when explaining organs' functions and so were classified as 'life theorizers'. Pakistani Muslim children gave fewer biological responses to questions about organs' functions and the purpose of eating and breathing, but referred to life more than their British counterparts. Irrespective of cultural group, older children understood organ location and function better than younger children. These findings support Jaakkola and Slaughter's (2002, Br. J. Dev. Psychol., 20, 325) view that children's understanding of the body as a 'life machine' emerges around the ages of 4-5 years. They also suggest that, despite many similarities in children's ideas cross-culturally, different educational input and culturally specific experiences influence aspects of their biological understanding. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.

  12. Understanding and Resolving Failures in Human-Robot Interaction: Literature Review and Model Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanee Honig


    Full Text Available While substantial effort has been invested in making robots more reliable, experience demonstrates that robots operating in unstructured environments are often challenged by frequent failures. Despite this, robots have not yet reached a level of design that allows effective management of faulty or unexpected behavior by untrained users. To understand why this may be the case, an in-depth literature review was done to explore when people perceive and resolve robot failures, how robots communicate failure, how failures influence people's perceptions and feelings toward robots, and how these effects can be mitigated. Fifty-two studies were identified relating to communicating failures and their causes, the influence of failures on human-robot interaction (HRI, and mitigating failures. Since little research has been done on these topics within the HRI community, insights from the fields of human computer interaction (HCI, human factors engineering, cognitive engineering and experimental psychology are presented and discussed. Based on the literature, we developed a model of information processing for robotic failures (Robot Failure Human Information Processing, RF-HIP, that guides the discussion of our findings. The model describes the way people perceive, process, and act on failures in human robot interaction. The model includes three main parts: (1 communicating failures, (2 perception and comprehension of failures, and (3 solving failures. Each part contains several stages, all influenced by contextual considerations and mitigation strategies. Several gaps in the literature have become evident as a result of this evaluation. More focus has been given to technical failures than interaction failures. Few studies focused on human errors, on communicating failures, or the cognitive, psychological, and social determinants that impact the design of mitigation strategies. By providing the stages of human information processing, RF-HIP can be used as a

  13. Naturally occurring products of proglucagon 111-160 in the porcine and human small intestine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buhl, T; Thim, L; Kofod, Hans


    to release proglucagon 111-123 (designated spacer peptide 2), which, like proglucagon 126-158 must be considered a potential hormonal entity. By isocratic high pressure liquid chromatography human spacer peptide 2 was indistinguishable from synthetic proglucagon 111-122 amide, suggesting...... that this is the structure of the naturally occurring human peptide....

  14. Confucius' Analysis of the Human Nature of Irrationality and His Quest for Moral Education (United States)

    Jiawei, Xing


    This study uses mainly Confucian classic Lunyu to explore Confucius' insightful thinking about humans' strong innate nature of irrationality out of their physical needs. Irrationality causes interpersonal disturbances and chaos, and as such moral education is indispensable. Confucius advocated humanity, the principles of conscientiousness and…

  15. Science and Ecological Economics: Integrating of the Study of Humans and the Rest of Nature (United States)

    Costanza, Robert


    Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field that seeks to integrate the study of humans and the rest of nature as the basis for the creation of a sustainable and desirable future. It seeks to dissolve the barriers between the traditional disciplines and achieve a true "consilience" of all the sciences and humanities. This consilient,…

  16. Neutral Theory: From Complex Population History to Natural Selection and Sociocultural Phenomena in Human Populations. (United States)

    Austerlitz, Frédéric; Heyer, Evelyne


    Here, we present a synthetic view on how Kimura's Neutral theory has helped us gaining insight on the different evolutionary forces that shape human evolution. We put this perspective in the frame of recent emerging challenges: the use of whole genome data for reconstructing population histories, natural selection on complex polygenic traits, and integrating cultural processes in human evolution.

  17. Integrating social science into empirical models of coupled human and natural systems (United States)

    Jeffrey D. Kline; Eric M. White; A Paige Fischer; Michelle M. Steen-Adams; Susan Charnley; Christine S. Olsen; Thomas A. Spies; John D. Bailey


    Coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) research highlights reciprocal interactions (or feedbacks) between biophysical and socioeconomic variables to explain system dynamics and resilience. Empirical models often are used to test hypotheses and apply theory that represent human behavior. Parameterizing reciprocal interactions presents two challenges for social...

  18. Understanding the Basis of Auriculocondylar Syndrome: Insights From Human and Mouse Genetic Studies (United States)

    Clouthier, David E.; Passos Bueno, Maria Rita; Tavares, Andre L.P.; Lyonnet, Stanislas; Amiel, Jeanne; Gordon, Christopher T.


    Among human birth defect syndromes, malformations affecting the face are perhaps the most striking due to cultural and psychological expectations of facial shape. One such syndrome is auriculocondylar syndrome (ACS), in which patients present with defects in ear and mandible development. Affected structures arise from cranial neural crest cells, a population of cells in the embryo that reside in the pharyngeal arches and give rise to most of the bone, cartilage and connective tissue of the face. Recent studies have found that most cases of ACS arise from defects in signaling molecules associated with the endothelin signaling pathway. Disruption of this signaling pathway in both mouse and zebrafish results in loss of identity of neural crest cells of the mandibular portion of the first pharyngeal arch and the subsequent repatterning of these cells, leading to homeosis of lower jaw structures into more maxillary-like structures. These findings illustrate the importance of endothelin signaling in normal human craniofacial development and illustrate how clinical and basic science approaches can coalesce to improve our understanding of the genetic basis of human birth syndromes. Further, understanding the genetic basis for ACS that lies outside of known endothelin signaling components may help elucidate unknown aspects critical to the establishment of neural crest cell patterning during facial morphogenesis. PMID:24123988

  19. Human behavior understanding for assisted living by means of hierarchical context free grammars (United States)

    Rosani, A.; Conci, N.; De Natale, F. G. B.


    Human behavior understanding has attracted the attention of researchers in various fields over the last years. Recognizing behaviors with sufficient accuracy from sensors analysis is still an unsolved problem, because of many reasons, including the low accuracy of the data, differences in the human behaviors as well as the gap between low-level sensors data and high-level scene semantics. In this context, an application that is attracting the interest of both public and industrial entities is the possibility to allow elderly or physically impaired people conducting a normal life at home. Ambient intelligence (AmI) technologies, intended as the possibility of automatically detecting and reacting to the status of the environment and of the persons, is probably the major enabling factor for the achievement of such an ambitious objective. AmI technologies require suitable networks of sensors and actuators, as well as adequate processing and communication technologies. In this paper we propose a solution based on context free grammars for human behavior understanding with an application to assisted living. First, the grammars of the different actions performed by a person in his/her daily life are discovered. Then, a longterm analysis of the behavior is used to generate a control grammar, taking care of the context when an action is performed, and adding semantics. The proposed framework is tested on a dataset acquired in a real environment and compared with state of the art methods already available for the problem considered.

  20. Ozone in the atmosphere. Basic principles, natural and human impacts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fabian, Peter [Technical Univ. Munich (Germany). Immission Research; Dameris, Martin [German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen-Wessling (Germany). Inst. of Atmospheric Physics


    Comprehensive coverage of ozone both in the upper and the lower atmosphere. Essential overview of atmospheric ozone research written by two experienced and acknowledged experts. Numerous qualified references to the scientific literature. Peter Fabian and Martin Dameris provide a concise yet comprehensive overview of established scientific knowledge about ozone in the atmosphere. They present both ozone changes and trends in the stratosphere, as well as the effects of overabundance in the troposphere including the phenomenon of photosmog. Aspects such as photochemistry, atmospheric dynamics and global ozone distribution as well as various techniques for ozone measurement are treated. The authors outline the various causes for ozone depletion, the effects of ozone pollution and the relation to climate change. The book provides a handy reference guide for researchers active in atmospheric ozone research and a useful introduction for advanced students specializing in this field. Non-specialists interested in this field will also profit from reading the book. Peter Fabian can look back on a life-long active career in ozone research, having first gained international recognition for his measurements of the global distribution of halogenated hydrocarbons. He also pioneered photosmog investigations in the metropolitan areas of Munich, Berlin, Athens and Santiago de Chile, and his KROFEX facility provided controlled ozone fumigation of adult tree canopies for biologists to investigate the effects of ozone increases on forests. Besides having published a broad range of scientific articles, he has also been the author or editor of numerous books. From 2002 to 2005 he served the European Geosciences Union (EGU) as their first and Founding President. Martin Dameris is a prominent atmospheric modeler whose interests include the impacts of all kinds of natural and man-made disturbances on the atmospheric system. His scientific work focuses on the connections between ozone and