A phylogeny that allows for lateral gene transfer (LGT) can be thought of as a strictly branching tree (all of whose branches are vertical) to which lateral branches have been added. Given that the goal of phylogenetics is to depict evolutionary history, we should look for the best supported phylogenetic network and not restrict ourselves to considering trees. However, the obvious extensions of popular tree-based methods such as maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood face a serious problem—if we (...) judge networks by fit to data alone, networks that have lateral branches will always fit the data at least as well as any network that restricts itself to vertical branches. This is analogous to the well-studied problem of overfitting data in the curve-fitting problem. Analogous problems often have analogous solutions and we propose to treat network inference as a case of model selection and use the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). Strictly tree-like networks are more parsimonious than those that postulate lateral as well as vertical branches. This leads to the conclusion that we should not always infer LGT events whenever it would improve our fit-to-data, but should do so only when the improved fit is larger than the penalty for adding extra lateral branches. (shrink)
One of intuitions driving the acceptance of a neat structured tree of life is the assumption that organisms and the lineages they form have somewhat stable spatial and temporal boundaries. The phenomenon of symbiosis shows us that such ‘fixist’ assumptions does not correspond to how the natural world actually works. The implications of lateral gene transfer (LGT) have been discussed elsewhere; I wish to stress a related point. I will focus on lateral function transfer (LFT) and (...) will argue, using examples of what many would call ‘superorganisms’, that the emergence of symbiotic individuals revives the importance of functional and adaptationist thinking in how we conceptualize the lineages of biological individuals. The consequence of the argument is that, if we really want to hold onto tree of life thinking, we had better accept that new saplings appear and disappear all the time. (shrink)
The recent conception of biodiversity proposed by James Maclaurin and Sterelny was developed mostly with macrobiological life in mind. They suggest that we measure biodiversity by dividing life into natural units (typically species) and quantifying the differences among units using phenetic rather than phylogenetic measures of distance. They identify problems in implementing quantitative phylogenetic notions of difference for non-prokaryotic species. I suggest that if we focus on microbiological life forms that engage in frequent, promiscuous lateral gene transfer (LGT), (...) and their associated reticulated phylogenies, we need to rethink the notion of species as the natural unit, and we discover additional problems with phylogenetic notions of distance. These problems suggest that a phenetic approach based on morphospaces has just as much appeal, if not more, for microbes as they do for multi-cellular life. Facts about LGT, however, offer no new insight into the additional challenge of reconciling units and differences into a single measure of biodiversity. (shrink)
Flexible, adaptive behavior is thought to rely on abstract rule representations within lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), yet it remains unclear how these representations provide such flexibility. We recently demonstrated that humans can learn complex novel tasks in seconds. Here we hypothesized that this impressive mental flexibility may be possible due to rapid transfer of practiced rule representations within LPFC to novel task contexts. We tested this hypothesis using functional MRI and multivariate pattern analysis, classifying LPFC activity patterns across (...) 64 tasks. Classifiers trained to identify abstract rules based on practiced task activity patterns successfully generalized to novel tasks. This suggests humans can transfer practiced rule representations within LPFC to rapidly learn new tasks, facilitating cognitive performance in novel circumstances. (shrink)
Our understanding of what microbes are and how they evolve has undergone many radical shifts since the late nineteenth century, when many still believed that bacteria could be spontaneously generated and most thought microbial “species” (if any) to be unstable and interchangeable in form and function (pleomorphic). By the late twentieth century, an ontology based on single cells and definable species with predictable properties, evolving like species of animals or plants, was widely accepted. Now, however, genomic and metagenomic data show (...) that lateral gene transfer compromises this picture of stability and predictability, and refocuses our attention on multilineage communities. Treating such communities as unstable but identifiable evolving “individuals” makes us again pleomorphists, of a sort. (shrink)
Since intelligent design (ID) advocates claimed the ubiquitous mouse trap as an example of systems that cannot have evolved, mouse trap history is doubly relevant to studying material culture. On the one hand, debunking ID claims about mouse traps and, by implication, also about other irreducibly complex systems has a high educational value. On the other hand, a case study of mouse trap history may contribute insights to the academic discussion about material culture evolution. Michael Behe argued that mouse traps (...) cannot trap mice with any part missing; therefore, they cannot have a precursor with one part less, therefore, cannot have a continuous history, and therefore, cannot have evolved. The patented and seminal precursor of current flat snap traps, however, had one part less, because spring and striker were formed of one wire. Secondly, historical records that reach back into the Bronze Age suggest that its history continued for a very long time. Thirdly, all prerequisites for evolution (variation, transmission, and selection) abound in mouse trap populations. Hence, Behe’s triple-jump conclusion about mouse traps is false each step. There is no, in principle, impossibility for mouse traps to evolve. An evolutionary account of mouse trap history also has academic merits beyond its educational value. Three important conclusions can be drawn: (1) reticulate phylogenies of artifact systems may be resolvable as overlapping, but branching, phylogenies of parts; (2) homologous ideas may be realized by analogous material, that is, phylogenies of information do not necessarily coincide with those of material parts; (3) recombination of parts between different artifact systems increases the cumulative nature of cultural evolution. (shrink)
The ‘Tree of Life’ is intended to represent the pattern of evolutionary processes that result in bifurcating species lineages. Often justified in reference to Darwin’s discussions of trees, the Tree of Life has run up against numerous challenges especially in regard to prokaryote evolution. This special issue examines scientific, historical and philosophical aspects of debates about the Tree of Life, with the aim of turning these criticisms towards a reconstruction of prokaryote phylogeny and even some aspects of the standard evolutionary (...) understanding of eukaryotes. These discussions have arisen out of a multidisciplinary collaboration of people with an interest in the Tree of Life, and we suggest that this sort of focused engagement enables a practical understanding of the relationships between biology, philosophy and history. (shrink)
The topic of women and globalization raises fundamental questions on the impact of globalization on women, ethnic minorities and other socio-demographically under-represented actors in global organizations. This article seeks to integrate theories of procedural justice, psychological contracts, motivation and psychological ownership in knowledge transfer in global organizations, and the implications for women, and other under-represented actors. Our analysis concurs with current research on the need for a relativist perspective in business ethics research and one that encompasses the critical processes (...) of exchange from a cognitive perspective. Our contribution is to show that globalization is a complex process, that has different impacts on actors, an impact that can vary widely depending on, whether the actors are in a dominant situation, or as in the case of women and ethnic minorities, in a relatively socio-demographic and geo-politically under represented situation. (shrink)
Modal arguments for incompatibility of freedom and determinism are typically based on the “transfer principle” for inability to act otherwise (Beta). The principle of agglomerativity (closure under conjunction introduction) is derivable from Beta. The most convincing counterexample to Beta is based on the denial of Agglomeration. The defender of the modal argument has two ways to block counterexamples to Beta: (i) use a notion of inability to act otherwise which is immune to the counterexample to agglomerativity; (ii) replace Beta (...) with a logically stronger principle Beta 2. I argue that the second strategy fails because the strengthened principle and Agglomeration together entail Beta. So this strategy makes sense only if Beta 2 is applied without Agglomeration. But if Beta 2 is used without Agglomeration, then the incompatibilist will undercut the rationale for the premise of his argument. I illustrate this point with the analysis of Warfield (1996) and his use of Beta 2 in the so called direct argument for incompatibilism. (shrink)
The pursuit of economic opportunity has frequently put transnational manufacturing enterprises in the spotlight, accused of contributing to, if not causing, economic hardship, social deprivation, unsustainable growth, labour exploitation, resource plundering and ecological degradation in home and host countries. A substantial part of international trade now consists of intra-firm sales, or commercial transactions between units of the same business corporation, within or beyond the national borders of the parent company. Known as transfer pricing and viewed as a legitimate business (...) opportunity by transnational corporations, it is often used to misrepresent financial success and evade taxation. This has recently instigated many fiscal agencies and governments to take more draconian measures than ever before to protect national financial interests. However, while the fiscal legality of transfer pricing practices is now carefully scrutinized, the heightened interest in its tax aspects has neglected the considerable ethical issues it entails. Unethical transfer pricing behaviour consumes scarce resources, causes costs but does not create value. This paper identifies and discusses some of these ethical issues and assesses their implications for the internalisation of trade, the design of transfer pricing systems, and international tax rules. Opportunities for future research are also outlined. (shrink)
We examine whether the current regulatory regime instituted in South Korea and the United States would have prevented Hwang’s potential transgressions in oocyte procurement for somatic cell nuclear transfer, we compare the general aspects and oversight framework of the Bioethics and Biosafety Act in South Korea and the US National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, and apply the relevant provisions and recommendations to each transgression. We conclude that the Act would institute centralized oversight under governmental auspices (...) while the Guidelines recommend politically-independent, decentralized oversight bodies including a special review body for human embryonic stem cell research at an institutional level and that the Guidelines would have provided more vigorous protection for the women who had undergone oocyte procurement for Hwang’s research than the Act. We also suggest additional regulations to protect those who provide oocytes for research in South Korea. (shrink)
Because our actions change, our responsibility is modified; because our responsibility is modified, we need to question the ethics of the action. Our action is situated right there between announcing a diagnosis, the theoretical and practical result of identification, the determining and naming of a fact and voicing the disease which is a human action where medical and technical expertise comes up against a life and its story. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a degenerative disease (...) of the motor neurons leading to paralysis. In the absence of any curative treatment, the natural course always results in death. Since 1989, progress in the management of this disease in France has been exponential, resulting in the creation of 17 expert centres throughout the country in 2003. Guidelines have been drawn up through consensus conferences and coordination meetings. For the delicate stage of the announcement, three requirements have been adopted: the quality of receptiveness of the medical practitioner and his team, their ability to listen and to adapt to the particularities of the patient in their care; their commitment with regard to legal obligations as to how and to whom to transmit information; and the need for a multidisciplined approach to be able to rapidly support the patient and his family. Questioning in the field of applied ethics has led us to examine whether having a benevolent and non-harmful attitude towards these patients, respecting their autonomy and legal rights are parameters required in this specialized practice. Through a transversal thematic analysis of the experiences of the medical practitioners at the Centres, we would like to explore a hypothesis of the remarkable epistemological progression of the neurologist in this form of care in the pure Hippocratic tradition. Through the compassionate experience of the other by these committed doctors and their teams, we will try to outline the view of anthropological phenomenology with regard to the ALS patient, their awareness of the future paralysis of the body that is being announced, their awareness of the temporality and will characteristic of the ALS patient and of his finality that they will be accompanying. (shrink)
In 1978, 16 months after Mao Zedong's death, China's new leader, Deng Xiaoping, introduced market reforms and an "opening" to the West that allowed the US company Hewlett-Packard (HP) to enter China in 1981. Shortly thereafter, HP began a partnership with the Chinese company Legend Computer (now Lenovo), through which HP transferred its technology in four main areas: (1) product technology, (2) business model, (3) management practices, and (4) strategic planning processes. This technology transfer seems to be a "just (...) exchange" in that HP received access to China's market while China received key managerial, marketing, and product technologies. Although multinationals are often criticized for their dealings with developing nations, the HP–Legend case provides an illustration of how a company from an industrialized nation can deal justly with a developing nation and assist in advancing its development. The transfer of technology from HP to Legend was facilitated by several factors, including HP's historical willingness to help startups, its strategic posture, a favorable local environment, Legend's recognition of its own needs, its willingness to learn from a foreign company, and the incentives to share technology that the Chinese government provided. (shrink)
This papers gives a survey of recent results about simulations of one class of modal logics by another class and of the transfer of properties of modal logics under extensions of the underlying modal language. We discuss: the transfer from normal polymodal logics to their fusions, the transfer from normal modal logics to their extensions by adding the universal modality, and the transfer from normal monomodal logics to minimal tense extensions. Likewise, we discuss simulations of normal (...) polymodal logics by normal monomodal logics, of nominals and the difference operator by normal operators, of monotonic monomodal logics by normal bimodal logics, of polyadic normal modal logics by polymodal normal modal logics, and of intuitionistic modal logics by normal bimodal logics. (shrink)
One of the central factors influencing the process and the outcome of technology transfer is the nature of the technology being transferred. This paper identifies and discusses the main characteristics of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology from the point of view of international technology transfer. It attempts to indicate the peculiarities of AI in this context and move towards a framework to assist recipient decision makers in optimising the formulation of their policies on AI technology transfer.
Minds are said to be systematic: the capacity to entertain certain thoughts confers to other related thoughts. Although an important property of human cognition, its implication for cognitive architecture has been less than clear. In part, the uncertainty is due to lack of precise accounts on the degree to which cognition is systematic. However, a recent study on learning transfer provides one clear example. This study is used here to compare transfer in humans and feedforward networks. Simulations and (...) analysis show, that while feedforward networks with shared weights are capable of exhibiting transfer, they cannot support the same degree of transfer as humans. One interpretation of these results is that common connectionist models lack explicit internal representations permitting rapid learning. (shrink)
Technology transfer (TT) is a highly complex problem in development cooperation. Case studies that ITB has conducted in various projects focusing on automobile and steel production as well as in the machine tool sector indicate that the multi-dimensionality of know-how transfer is often and greatly underestimated during the planning and implementation of TTs from one industrial “culture” to another. Greater insight and knowledge of the problems associated with know-how transfer in TT projects can only be obtained from (...) case studies in which this generalised finding is subject to detailed investigation. To illustrate this, we report on the planning and implementation of two joint ventures in Iran, namely a Soviet and an Italian steel works. (shrink)
The encoding of auditory spatial acuity (measured as the precision to distinguish between two spatially distinct stimuli) by neural circuits in both auditory cortices is a matter of ongoing research. Here, the event-related potential mismatch negativity (MMN), a sensitive indicator of preattentive auditory change detection, was used to tap into the underlying mechanism of cortical representation of auditory spatial information. We characterized the MMN response affected by the degree of spatial deviance in lateral acoustic space using a passive oddball (...) paradigm. Two stimulation conditions specifically focusing on the investigation of the mid- and far-lateral acoustic spcace were considered: (i) 65° left standard position with deviant positions at 70°, 75°, and 80°; and (ii) 95° left standard position with deviant positions at 90°, 85°, and 80°. Additonally, behavioral data on the minimum audible angle (MAA) were acquired for the respective standard positions (65°, 95° left) to quantify spatial discrimination in separating disctinct sound sources. The two measurements disclosed the linkage between the (preattentive) MMN response and the (attentive) behavioral threshold. At 65° spatial deviations as small as 5° reliably elicited MMNs. Thereby, the MMN amplitudes monotonously increased as a function of spatial deviation. At 95°, spatial deviations of 15° were necessary to elicit a valid MMN. The behavioral data, however, yielded no difference in mean MAA thresholds for position 65° and 95°. The different effects of laterality on MMN responses and MAA thresholds suggest a role of spatial selective attention mechanisms particulary relevant in active discrimination of neighbouring sound sources, especially in the lateral acoustic space. (shrink)
The object of this study is the legal framework for the sale or purchase of company shares when the goal of the transaction is the sale of a business. The impact of such transactions on Lithuanian economic development underlines the importance of this study. The recent wave of mergers and acquisitions in Lithuania is likely to substantially increase the number of related legal disputes as well. Legislation on the purchase and sale of company shares and the resulting transfer of (...) business has been enacted in Lithuania only recently. The regulation of such cases remains rather unclear, few cases have been brought to court, and the topic has been barely addressed by legal scholarship in Lithuania to date. It is unclear whether the fact that the real purpose of the transaction is not a simple reassignment of company shares, but business transfer, results in any differences in the interpretation and application of the law. An especially delicate question, raised in Lithuania and other European countries, is whether the buyer may submit a warranty claim to the seller regarding the business acquired. (shrink)
The validity (probability) of non-competition covenants which are typical for business transfer transactions is one of those issues on which discussions go in the international business transfer theory and practice. On one hand, such covenants help ensure the business interests of the buyer, on the other hand, by their nature, they can mean a restriction of competition, which is prohibited by law. This article, based on the analysis of the European Union, the Lithuanian and foreign legislation, case-law and (...) doctrine, is designed for a disclosure of the concept of non-competition covenants, which are concluded by the parties in the context of a business transfer as well as for the identification of the conditions of the validity (admissibility) of those covenants. (shrink)
Expert systems are being developed in a multitude of domains worldwide. The usage of expert systems within organizations is growing; however, many expert systems projects still fail due to poor ‘institutionalization’ practices. This paper addresses various strategies for providing the transfer of expert systems technology within organizations. Specifically, this paper will address expert system technology transfer strategies using examples from United States and Mexican organizations.
The necessity and opportunity for face-to-face contact with other colleagues is being increasingly reduced as a result of factory automation (FA) or office automation (OA). This means that human functions which are a result of human contact and relationships are substituted for by the function of machine systems. This “transfer of relations” from the human “system” to the machine system causes isolation of the individual in the process of work. This chapter considers some reasons for “isolation” with particular reference (...) to the computerisation of production systems. The paper addresses the serious consequences for the environmental situation in Japan and the fabric of Japanese society. (shrink)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal and progressive neurodegenerative disease. Despite much research having been conducted about psychological issues involved in living with ALS, anger and resentment have yet to be investigated. Moreover, the construct of “hope” has received little attention, so far. An online survey was created to investigate hate, resentment and hope issues in people with ALS, in relation to the willingness to adopt a strict nutrient dense diet if it were shown to increase longevity. Results (...) indicate that there is a high level of hope in the sample. People who have lived with ALS for more time expressed a higher level of hope to live 10 years or more. Those who are married were more likely to have hope of living 10 years or longer and more likely to have lower levels of hate against ALS. Dietary self-care choices appear to be related to hope issues. Resentment and hate tended to be higher in people who have had ALS for less time, and in women. Despite some methodological limitations, the results suggest that hope, hate and resentment could be important issues to explore in future studies. (shrink)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a fatal and progressive disease, characterized by progressive muscles weakness, with consequent loss of physical capacities. Psychologists can play an important role in ALS care, by providing clinical activities in every step of the disease, including support and counseling activities directed to patients, their caregivers and to physicians.
This paper discusses the social effects resulting from the transfer of knowledge and skill both in the spheres of production and machine design. Relevant design determinants and their impact on technological developments are discussed within the theoretical framework of industrial cultures. Two types of skill transfer are analysed in connection with different production philosophies — one more Tayloristic, the other more workshop-oriented. Finally, the paper discusses the relation of both philosophies to the requirements of future production concepts.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the support of attentional and memory processes in controlling a P300-based brain-computer interface (BCI) in people suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Eight people with ALS performed two behavioural tasks: i) a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task, screening the temporal filtering capacity and the speed of the update of the attentive filter, and ii) a change detection task, screening the memory capacity and the spatial filtering capacity. The participants were also (...) asked to perform a P300-based BCI spelling task. By using correlation and regression analyses, we found that only the temporal filtering capacity in the RSVP task was a predictor of both the P300-based BCI accuracy and of the amplitude of the P300 elicited performing the BCI task. We concluded that the ability to keep the attentional filter active during the selection of a target influences performance in BCI control. (shrink)
Our historical study of Canada’s main research university illuminates the overlooked influence of national identities and interests as forces shaping the institutionalization of technology transfer. Through the use of archival sources we trace the rise and influence of Canadian technological nationalism—a response to Canada’s perceived dependency on the United States’ science and technology. Technological nationalism provided a symbol for producing a shared understanding of the desirability and appropriateness of technology transfer that legitimated the commercial activities of university scientists.
Some spatio-temporal structures are easier to transfer implicitly in sequential learning. In this study, we investigated whether the consistent reversal of triads of learned components would support the implicit transfer of their temporal structure in visuomotor sequence learning. A triad comprised three sequential button presses () and seven consecutive triads comprised a sequence. Participants learned sequences by trial and error, until they could complete it 20 times without error. Then, they learned another sequence, in which each triad was (...) reversed (), partially reversed (), or switched so as not to overlap with the other conditions ( or ). Even when the participants did not notice the alternation rule, the consistent reversal of the temporal structure of each triad led to better implicit transfer; this was confirmed in a subsequent experiment. These results suggest that the implicit transfer of the temporal structure of a learned sequence can be influenced by both the structure and consistency of the change. (shrink)
It is widely held in translation studies that translation proper is not merely a process of linguistic transfer but also of cultural transfer. But how cultural transfer is effected or whether it can be effected is not at all clear. The study begins with a critical analysis of the problems relating to law translation in general and translating the common law into Chinese in particular. It then examines the nature of cultural transfer in law translation with (...) special reference to the translation of common law terminology. The study purports to set out the framework for legal translation as cultural transfer, in particular, for translating the common law into Chinese in Hong Kong. It argues that successful transfer of the legal culture of foreign laws always requires the adjustment of translating language and the employment of metalanguage. (shrink)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disease with a lifetime risk of approximately 1 in 2000. Presently diagnosis of ALS relies on clinical assessments for upper motor neuron and lower motor neuron deficits in multiple body segments together with a history of progression of symptoms. In addition, is it common to evaluate lower motor neuron pathology in ALS by electromyography. However, upper motor neuron pathology is solely assessed on clinical grounds hindering diagnosis. In the past decade magnetic resonance (...) methods have been shown to be sensitive to the ALS disease process, namely: resting state connectivity measured with functional MRI, cortical thickness measured by high resolution imaging, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics such as fractional anisotropy (FA) and radial diffusivity (RD), and more recently magnet resonance spectroscopy measures of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) concentration. In this present work we utilize independent component analysis (ICA) to derive brain networks based on resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging and use those derived networks to build a disease state classify using machine learning (support-vector machine). We show that it is possible to achieve over 71% accuracy for disease state classification. These results are promising for the development of a clinically relevant disease state classifier. Future inclusion of other MR modalities such as high resolution derived cortical thickness, DTI metric and MRS should improve this overall accuracy. (shrink)
Background: ALS is a neurodegenerative disease of the entire motor system that most frequently ends with respiratory arrest in few years. Its diagnosis and the rapid progression of the motor dysfunctions produce a continued emotional impact. Studies on this impact are helpful to plan adequate psychotherapeutic strategies. Objective: To assess and analyze: 1st: How the patients with ALS perceive their emotional health. 2nd: The emotional impact of their physical disabilities. 3rd: The physical disabilities with highest emotional impact. 4th: The feelings (...) with highest emotional impact. Methods: Up to 110 Spanish patients with ALS were assessed less than one year from diagnosis, then twice more at 6 month intervals, using the ALS Quality of Life Assessment Questionnaire (ALSAQ-40) validated for use in Spanish. Descriptive analysis and correlation between variables were obtained. Results: Worries about the future, of lack of freedom and of being a burden were prevalent feelings. On average depression was felt only ‘sometimes’. Only 25% of the variations in the emotional state were explained by changes in the physical state at first evaluation, and 16% at the last one. Emotional functioning correlated significantly with the physical disabilities at first and second evaluation, less so at third. Communication disabilities always had the highest impact. Depression at first evaluation and hopelessness at the next two evaluations had the highest emotional impact. Hopelessness did not correlate with any physical disability at the third evaluation. On the whole, emotional dysfunction was self perceived as intermediate (between none and worst), and remained stable at one year follow up, in both bulbar and spinal onset patients. Conclusions: Physical dysfunctions per se have a limited role in patients´ emotional distress. Communication disabilities, as well as feelings of depression at early stages of illness, and of hopelessness later on, had the most impact. (shrink)
Confronted with problems or situations that do not yield toknown theories and world views, scientists and students are alike. Theyare rarely able to directly build a model or a theory thereof. Rather,they must find ways to make sense of the circumstances using theircurrent knowledge and adjusting what is recognized in the process. Thisway of thinking, using past ways of perceiving the physical world tobuild new ones does not follow a logical path and cannot be described astheory revision. Likewise, in many (...) situations it is awkward, indeedoften impossible, to resort to analogical reasoning to account for it.This paper presents a new mechanism, called `tunnel effect', that mayexplain, in part, how scientists and students reason while constructinga new conceptual domain. `Tunnel effect' is also contrasted withanalogical reasoning. (shrink)