Â Â What exactly is a genetic disease?Â For a phrase one hears on a daily basis, there has been surprisingly little analysis of the underlying concept.Â Medical doctors seem perfectly willing to admit that the etiology of disease is typically complex, with a great many factors interacting to bring about a given condition.Â On such a view, descriptions of diseases like cancer as genetic seem at best highly simplistic, and at worst philosophically indefensible.Â On the other hand, there is (...) clearly some practical value to be had by classifying diseases according to their predominant cause when this can be accomplished in a theoretically satisfactory manner.Â The question therefore becomes exactly how one should go about selecting a single causal factor among many to explain the presence of disease.Â When an attempt to defend such causal selection is made at all, the standard accounts offered (Kochâ€™s postulates, Hillâ€™s epidemiological criteria, manipulability) are all clearly inadequate.Â I propose, however, an epidemiological account of disease causation which walks the fine line between practical applicability and theoretical considerations of causal complexity and attempts to compromise between patientcentered and population-centered concepts of disease.Â The epidemiological account is the most basic framework consistent with our strongly held intuitions about the causal classification of disease, yet it avoids the difficulties encountered by its competitors. (shrink)
The crystal structure of the ruthenium DNA ‘light-switch’ complex Λ-[Ru(TAP)2(11-Cl-dppz)]2+ (TAP=tetraazaphenanthrene, dppz=dipyrido[3,2-a′:2′,3′-c]phenazine) bound to the oligonucleotide duplex d(TCGGCGCCGA)2 is reported. The synthesis of the racemic ruthenium complex is described for the first time, and the racemate was used in this study. The crystal structure, at atomic resolution (1.0 Å), shows one ligand as a wedge in the minor groove, resulting in the 51° kinking of the double helix, as with the parent Λ-[Ru(TAP)2(dppz)]2+. Each complex binds to one duplex by intercalation (...) of the dppz ligand and also by semi-intercalation of one of the orthogonal TAP ligands into a second symmetrically equivalent duplex. The 11-chloro substituent binds with the major component (66%) oriented with the 11-chloro substituent on the purine side of the terminal step of the duplex. (shrink)
Political candidates often believe they must focus their campaign efforts on a small number of swing voters open for ideological change. Based on the wisdom of opinion polls, this might seem like a good idea. But do most voters really hold their political attitudes so firmly that they are unreceptive to persuasion? We tested this premise during the most recent general election in Sweden, in which a left- and a right-wing coalition were locked in a close race. We asked our (...) participants to state their voter intention, and presented them with a political survey of wedge issues between the two coalitions. Using a sleight-of-hand we then altered their replies to place them in the opposite political camp, and invited them to reason about their attitudes on the manipulated issues. Finally, we summarized their survey score, and asked for their voter intention again. The results showed that no more than 22% of the manipulated replies were detected, and that a full 92% of the participants accepted and endorsed our altered political survey score. Furthermore, the final voter intention question indicated that as many as 48% (69.2%) were willing to consider a left-right coalition shift. This can be contrasted with the established polls tracking the Swedish election, which registered maximally 10% voters open for a swing. Our results indicate that political attitudes and partisan divisions can be far more flexible than what is assumed by the polls, and that people can reason about the factual issues of the campaign with considerable openness to change. (shrink)
Every day, thousands of polls, surveys, and rating scales are employed to elicit the attitudes of humankind. Given the ubiquitous use of these instruments, it seems we ought to have firm answers to what is measured by them, but unfortunately we do not. To help remedy this situation, we present a novel approach to investigate the nature of attitudes. We created a self-transforming paper survey of moral opinions, covering both foundational principles, and current dilemmas hotly debated in the media. This (...) survey used a magic trick to expose participants to a reversal of their previously stated attitudes, allowing us to record whether they were prepared to endorse and argue for the opposite view of what they had stated only moments ago. The result showed that the majority of the reversals remained undetected, and a full 69% of the participants failed to detect at least one of two changes. In addition, participants often constructed coherent and unequivocal arguments supporting the opposite of their original position. These results suggest a dramatic potential for flexibility in our moral attitudes, and indicates a clear role for self-attribution and post-hoc rationalization in attitude formation and change. (shrink)
The emergence of private authority has become a feature of the post-Cold War world. The contributors to this volume examine the implications of this erosion of the power of the state for global governance. They analyse actors as diverse as financial institutions, multinational corporations, religious terrorists and organised criminals. The themes of the book relate directly to debates concerning globalization and the role of international law, and will be of interest to scholars and students of international relations, politics, sociology and (...) law. (shrink)
Global consumption, production, and trade of livestock products have increased rapidly in the last two decades and are expected to continue. At the same time, safety concerns regarding human and animal disease associated with livestock products are increasing. Efforts to increase public health safety standards aimed at legitimately reducing the risks of human and animal disease have focused internationally on standards to regulate the movement of livestock products. There is concern, though, that measures to regulate these standards internationally, such as (...) the WTO SPS measures that in part aim to open international markets, may marginalize small-scale poor producers. The cycle of poverty they are trying to escape through livestock production may, in fact, widen, leading to increased global poverty, malnutrition, and disease. Developing and developed nations alike should be concerned with public and private efforts to address appropriate food safety policies to reduce the likelihood of this effect. Analysis of the impact on small-scale livestock farmers is needed, as well as solutions that consider joint public and private sector initiatives. Costly farm to table tracking systems are not an option, but locally orchestrated vertically integrated systems may have merit in reducing food safety risks and in providing small-scale farmers with increased access to markets, locally and internationally. Increased scientific and technical capacity, and training of WTO officials from developing nations is also needed. (shrink)
The aim of this study was to explore neonatal nurses’and mothers of preterm infants’experiences of daily challenges. Interviews took place asking for good, bad and challenging experiences. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis and findings were clustered in two categories: good and challenging experiences, each containing three themes. The good experiences were: managing with success as a nurse, small things matter for mothers, and a good day anyhow for mothers and nurses. The challenging experiences were: mothering in public, being (...) pulled between responsibilities, and adverse things stick under the nurses’skin. The study shows that small daily clinical matters become big issues and could lead to moral distress, and that nurses integrate ethics of justice and ethics of care while mothers are concerned about health and well-being of their specific infant only. The challenge for nursing to integrate fairness and sensitive care in family-oriented neonatal care is discussed. (shrink)
The following is dedicated to promoting a version of the disability critique of negative genetic selection while navigating claims that launching such a critique threatens reproductive liberty or is unavoidably antichoice. I highlight problematic conceptual assumptions regarding genetics and choice made by proponents and opponents of selection alike and bring out the underlying ableist values of the prevailing conversation. Ableism is discrimination against persons on the basis of perceived disability. I conclude that the existing social and institutional milieu surrounding genetic (...) selection threatens persons who experience difference with stigma and its accompanying political and social disadvantages. My .. (shrink)
Gene therapy approaches have great promise in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and malignant brain tumors. Neuwelt et al. review available viral-mediated gene therapy methods and their blood-brain-barrier (BBB) disruption delivery technique, briefly mentioning nonviral mediated gene therapy methods. This commentary discussed the BBB disruption delivery technique, viral and nonviral mediated gene therapy approaches to Parkinson's disease, and the potential use of antisense oligo to suppress malignant brain tumors.
To what extent is the scientist's endeavor qua scientist influenced by his philosophic image of himself? A preliminary and partial answer to this question is suggested by a study of eight physiological thinkers of the second half of the eighteenth century, a period during which biology was much influenced by the scientific and philosophical ideas of Isaac Newton. At this time, physiologists invoked certain "principles," "properties," and "powers" which were deemed useful as explanatory devices, even though they could not themselves (...) be explained. The use of these devices in physiology was often defended in terms of their supposed similarity to devices used in mathematics and Newtonian physics. The results of this practice are considered critically, partly in the light of current studies of scientific explanation. (shrink)
A simple model is used to calculate the intensity distribution across a Kikuchi band as a function of thickness, using a two-beam Bloch wave representation of the incident and scattered electrons. It is found that the results agree approximately with the experimentally observed form and thickness dependence of this contrast.
The effect of substitutional and interstitial atoms on the absorption of high energy electrons is considered. Two mechanisms of absorption are discussed; viz. the contributions due to scattering by the additional scattering centres and due to displacements of the atoms surrounding the point defects. The absorption estimated on these two mechanisms is compared with the results of some experimental measurements on silicon doped with various impurities.