New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
This is a review of Patrick Meier’s 2015 book, Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data Is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Response. The book explores the role of technologies such as high-resolution satellite imagery, online social media, drones, and artificial intelligence in humanitarian responses during disasters such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In this analysis, the book is examined using a humanitarian health ethics perspective.
Using data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey, this paper analyzes the effect of Medicaid eligibility expansions from 1985 to 1996 on the health insurance coverage of women giving birth. We find that the eligibility expansions reduced the proportion of pregnant women who were uninsured by approximately 10%, although the magnitude of this decrease is sensitive to specification. The decrease in the proportion of uninsured pregnant women came at the expense of a substantial reduction in private insurance coverage (crowd-out) of (...) at least 55%. Substantial crowd-out and the relatively small change in the proportion uninsured suggest that Medicaid eligibility expansions may have had small effects on infant and maternal health. (shrink)
Readers are invited to contact Greg S. Loeben in writing at Midwestern University, Glendale Campus, Bioethics Program, 19555 N. 59th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85308 regarding books they would like to see reviewed or books they are interested in reviewing.