Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...) them. However, such ‘minimum information’ MI checklists are usually developed independently by groups working within representatives of particular biologically- or technologically-delineated domains. Consequently, an overview of the full range of checklists can be difficult to establish without intensive searching, and even tracking thetheir individual evolution of single checklists may be a non-trivial exercise. Checklists are also inevitably partially redundant when measured one against another, and where they overlap is far from straightforward. Furthermore, conflicts in scope and arbitrary decisions on wording and sub-structuring make integration difficult. This presents inhibit their use in combination. Overall, these issues present significant difficulties for the users of checklists, especially those in areas such as systems biology, who routinely combine information from multiple biological domains and technology platforms. To address all of the above, we present MIBBI (Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations); a web-based communal resource for such checklists, designed to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for those exploring the range of extant checklist projects, and to foster collaborative, integrative development and ultimately promote gradual integration of checklists. (shrink)
We summarize the ethnographic literature illustrating that “abnormal birth” circumstances and “ill omens” operate as cues to terminate parental investment. A review of the medical literature provides evidence to support our assertion that ill omens serve as markers of biological conditions that will threaten the survival of infants. Daly and Wilson (1984) tested the prediction that children of demonstrably poor phenotypic quality will be common victims of infanticide. We take this hypothesis one stage further and argue that some children will (...) be poor vehicles for parental investment yet are not of demonstrably poor quality at birth. We conclude that when people dispose of infants due to “superstitious beliefs” they are pursuing an adaptive strategy in eliminating infants who are poor vehicles for parental investment. (shrink)
For decades, aged care facility residents at risk of pressure ulcers have been repositioned at two-hour intervals, twenty-four-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Yet, PUs still develop. We used a cross-sectional survey of eighty randomly selected medical records of residents aged ≥ 65 years from eight Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities to determine the number of residents at risk of PUs, the use of two-hourly repositioning, and the presence of PUs in the last week of life. Despite 91 per cent of residents identified as (...) being at risk of PUs and repositioned two-hourly 24/7, 34 per cent died with one or more PUs. Behaviours of concern were noted in 72 per cent of residents of whom 38 per cent were restrained. Dementia was diagnosed in 70 per cent of residents. The prevalence of behaviours of concern displayed by residents with dementia was significantly greater than by residents without dementia. The rate of restraining residents with dementia was similar to the rate in residents without dementia. Two-hourly repositioning failed to prevent PUs in a third of at-risk residents and may breach the rights of all residents who were repositioned two-hourly. Repositioning and restraining may be unlawful. Rather than only repositioning residents two-hourly, we recommend every resident be provided with an alternating pressure air mattress. (shrink)
ABSTRACTFacial stimuli are widely used in behavioural and brain science research to investigate emotional facial processing. However, some studies have demonstrated that dynamic expressions elicit stronger emotional responses compared to static images. To address the need for more ecologically valid and powerful facial emotional stimuli, we created Dynamic FACES, a database of morphed videos from younger, middle-aged, and older adults displaying naturalistic emotional facial expressions. To assess adult age differences in emotion identification of dynamic stimuli and to provide normative ratings (...) for this modified set of stimuli, healthy adults categorised for each video the emotional expression displayed, rated the expression distinctiveness, estimated the age of the face model, and rated the naturalness of the expression. We found few age differences in emotion identification when using dynamic stimuli. On... (shrink)
Calorie labeling on menus is one of the more recent public health responses to calls for increased access to nutrition information. The goal is to encourage consumers to make more healthy food choices. In this commentary on ‘Equity in Public Health Ethics: The Case of Menu Labelling Policy at the Local Level’, I focus first on research supporting health equity-directed goals for menu labeling policies; then I turn to the issue of challenges and opportunities for menu labeling as a part (...) of local food policy and food activism. I argue that, while there is some evidence that changes in menu labeling may help to promote health equity, other moves are needed at all levels of political organization. In particular, effecting shifts in attitudes and consumption will require changing our relationships with the food sources in our neighborhoods, and changing those food sources themselves. Leveraging our knowledge of behavioral economics and social marketing, using social networks and developing programs to transform eating patterns; all of these require participation and coordination among many stakeholders. Menu labeling is one tool, but many others are needed to effect change in communities. (shrink)
Previous research indicates that birth order is a strong predictor of familial sentiments, with middleborns less family-oriented than first- or last-borns. In this research, effects of sex and birth order on the actual frequency of contact with maternal and paternal kin were examined in two studies. In Study 1, one hundred and forty undergraduates completed a questionnaire relating to the amount of time they spent in contact with specific relatives, while in Study 2, one hundred and twelve undergraduates completed the (...) same questionnaire with the addition of two questions relating to the subjects’ parents’ birth orders. Subjects were more likely to have frequent contact with maternal, as opposed to paternal, kin and women experienced more frequent contact than men with relatives in general. The birth order of subjects did not appear to have a significant influence on contact but the birth order of the subjects’ parents did, with the offspring of middleborn mothers having relatively little contact with maternal grandparents and the offspring of middleborn fathers having relatively little contact with paternal grandparents. These sex and birth order differences are discussed in relation to possible differences in how women and men use kinship ties and in terms of how birth order may influence parental solicitude. (shrink)
Teacher-student discourse is increasingly mediated through, by and with information and communication technologies: in-class discussions have found new, textually-rich venues online; chalk and whiteboard lectures are rapidly giving way to PowerPoint presentations. Yet, what does this mean experientially for teachers? This paper reports on a phenomenological study investigating teachers’ lived experiences of PowerPoint in post-secondary classrooms. As teachers become more informed about the affordances of information and communication technology like PowerPoint and consequently take up and use these tools in their (...) classrooms, their teaching practices, relations with students, and ways of interpreting the world are simultaneously in-formed – conformed, deformed and reformed – by the given technology-in-use. The paper is framed in light of Martin Heidegger’s “Building Dwelling Thinking” (1951) and “The Thing” (1949). In these writings, Heidegger shows how a thing opens a new world to us, revealing novel structures of experience and meaning, and inviting us to a different style of being, thinking and doing. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , May 2010, Volume 10, Edition 1. (shrink)
Perhaps the most salient feature of Rawls's theory of justice which at once attracts supporters and repels critics is its apparent egalitarian conclusion as to how economic goods are to be distributed. Indeed, many of Rawls's sympathizers may find this result intuitively appealing, and regard it as Rawls's enduring contribution to the topic of economic justice, despite technical deficiencies in Rawls's contractarian, decision-theoretic argument for it which occupy the bulk of the critical literature. Rawls himself, having proposed a “coherence” theory (...) of justification in metaethics, must regard the claim that his distributive criterion “is a strongly egalitarian conception” as independently a part of the overarching moral argument. The alleged egalitarian impact of Rawls's theory is crucial again in normative ethics where Rawls is thought to have developed a major counter-theory to utilitarianism, one of the most popular criticisms of which has been its alleged inadequacy in handling questions of distributive justice. Utilitarians can argue, however, as Brandt recently has, that the diminishing marginal utility of money, along with ignorance of income-welfare curves, would require a utility-maximizing distribution to be substantially egalitarian. The challenge is therefore for Rawls to show that his theory yields an ethically preferable degree of equality. (shrink)
As part of a larger study eliciting Canadian producer and non-producer views about animal welfare, open-ended, semi-structured interviews were used to explore opinions about animal welfare of 20 Canadian pig producers, most of whom were involved in confinement-based systems. With the exception of the one organic producer, who emphasized the importance of a “natural” life, participants attached overriding importance to biological health and functioning. They saw their efforts as providing pigs with dry, thermally regulated, indoor environments where animals received abundant (...) feed, careful monitoring and where prospective disease outbreaks could be minimized and controlled. Emphasis was also placed on low-stress handling and agreeable working conditions which were believed to promote good animal care. The fact that pigs tend to respond to such conditions with steady growth reinforced the belief that good welfare was provided. Participants supported the use of sow gestation stalls, but with some reservations, and expressed concern about welfare problems that could occur if sows were grouped. Invasive procedures (castration, tail-docking, teeth clipping) were recognized as painful but were accepted because they were seen as: (1) necessary for sales or management; (2) satisfactory trade-offs to prevent worse welfare problems such as injury or infection; or (3) sufficiently short-term to be relatively unimportant. Participants were adamantly opposed to animal neglect and some welcomed actions of animal protectionists that expose poor care. Producers also welcomed natural-science-based approaches to improving animal welfare. The findings contribute to a broader effort to identify overlapping values among different stakeholder groups as a basis for formulating mutually agreeable, farm animal care and handling polices. (shrink)
Obesity is a public health problem influenced by behavioral patterns that span an ecological spectrum of individual-level factors, social network factors and environmental factors. Both individual and environmental approaches necessarily include significant influences from social networks, but how and under what conditions social networks influence behavior change is often not clearly mapped out either in the obesity literature or in many intervention designs. In this paper, we provide an analysis of recent empirical work in obesity research that explicates social network (...) influences on eating behaviors. We argue that a relational rather than individualistic view of personhood should help us better understand the content and context of social network relations that inform health behavior choices. We introduce the concept of ‘identity-constitutive affiliations’ as the glue that binds these social relationships together. Finally, we outline the implications for public health ethics in the development of effective interventions to address overweight and obesity, leveraging the content and context of social network ties to reinforce healthy (or alter unhealthy) eating. More complex treatment of positive and negative behaviors stemming from social network connections should lead to more comprehensive theoretical models of health behavior change and more effective public health interventions. (shrink)
Kitsch-or tacky, simplistic art and art forms-is used by various political actors to shape and limit what we know about ourselves, what we know about our past and our future, as well as what our present-day public policy options might be. Using a plethora of historic and contemporary examples (such as Forrest Gump and Boys Town ), the author maps out how kitsch is employed in various political and educational sites to shape public opinion and understandings. Bibliography. Index.
Arguments for and against direct-to-consumer drug advertising (DTCA) center on two issues: (1) the epistemic effects on patients through access to information provided by the ads; and (2) the effects of such information on patients’ abilities to make good choices in the healthcare marketplace. Advocates argue that DTCA provides useful information for patients as consumers, including information connecting symptoms to particular medical conditions, information about new drug therapies for those conditions. Opponents of DTCA point out substantial omissions in information provided (...) by the ads and argue that the framing of the ads may mislead patients about the indications, uses, and effectiveness of the drugs advertised. They also suggest that DTCA has a number of potentially negative effects on the doctor–patient relationship. The standard arguments appear to assume a simplistic correlation—more information means more agency for patients. However, empirical studies on medical decision making suggest that this relationship is much more complex and nuanced. I examine recent research on ways in which patients are vulnerable with respect to DTCA. In order to address the complex issues of information acquisition and consumer decision-making in the health care marketplace, the focus should not be simply on what information patients need in order to make medical decisions, but also on the conditions under which patients actually are able to make medical decisions requiring complex medication information. This requires examining both the cognitive limitations of patients with respect to drug information and investigating patients’ preferences and needs in a variety of medical contexts. (shrink)
Obesity is defined and identified in a number of ways, depending on whether it is in a medical, social, public health, or other context. After a brief primer on obesity, its causes and effects (and in particular its gender-based effects), this entry will examine weight stigmatization in more detail, giving an overview of some of the major results of studies across social science and public health fields. Next will be a discussion of two main approaches from which to understand and (...) address effects of weight stigmatization. Two common approaches – those pursued by public health ethicists and by various feminist scholars – overlap in some ways but differ substantively about the nature and medical status of obesity. Finally, this entry summarizes responses to issues of obesity and gender from the standpoints of both ethical approaches. There is a growing consensus across disparate groups about how to understand obesity as a social phenomenon, how to address it, and even how to reconceive health and fitness in ways that underplay the importance of body weight. (shrink)
Barsalou's interesting model might benefit from defining simulation and clarifying the implications of prior critiques for simulations (and not just for perceptual symbols). Contrary to claims, simulators (or frames) appear, in the limit, to be amodal. In addition, the account of abstract terms seems extremely limited.
In the field of medieval studies, principia or inaugural sermons, sermons delivered at the ceremony which inaugurated a new master of theology, have recently received focused attention.1 The new masters at the University of Paris preached these sermons in two parts. The first part typically offered a praise of Scripture and is known as a commendatio or commendation. When the master later resumed his preaching in a second part known as a resumptio or resumption, he often divided the canon of (...) Scripture. Together these two parts form a sermon united at least by the occasion, if not also by topic, and known as a principium.One newly discovered and edited inaugural sermon is Omnium artifex docuit me sapientia, delivered... (shrink)
Throughout the world, research ethics committees are relied on to prevent unethical research and protect research subjects. Given that reliance, the composition of committees and the manner in which decisions are arrived at by committee members is of critical importance. There have been Instances in which an inadequate review process has resulted in serious harm to research subjects. Deficient committee review was identified as one of the factors In a study in New Zealand which resulted in the suffering and death (...) of many women diagnosed with carcinoma in situ. (shrink)