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)
It is not uncommon to be frustrated by the outcome of an election or a decision in voting, law, economics, engineering, and other fields. Does this 'bad' result reflect poor data or poorly informed voters? Or does the disturbing conclusion reflect the choice of the decision/election procedure? Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow's famed theorem has been interpreted to mean 'no decision procedure is without flaws'. Similarly, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen dashes hope for individual liberties by showing their incompatibility with societal needs. (...) This highly accessible book offers a new, different interpretation and resolution of Arrow's and Sen's theorems. Using simple mathematics, it shows that these negative conclusions arise because, in each case, some of their assumptions negate other crucial assumptions. Once this is understood, not only do the conclusions become expected, but a wide class of other phenomena can also be anticipated. (shrink)
Considerable attention is currently being directed to ethics in business, government and academia in both the professional and popular media. Most of these studies propound that ethics have eroded over time, resulting in their current low state. However, few, if any, of these articles provide comparative or longitudinal data to support their arguments. In this investigation, both comparative and longitudinal data were collected between 1976 and 1986 from retail store managers and retail students concerning their current perceptions of ethical retail (...) practices. The results indicate a significant increase in the ethics of retail store managers, and a significant decrease in the ethics of retail students. (shrink)
Grafts of embryonic neural tissue into the brains of adult patients are currently being used to treat Parkinson's disease and are under serious consideration as therapy for a variety of other degenerative and traumatic disorders. This target article evaluates the use of transplants to promote recovery from brain injury and highlights the kinds of questions and problems that must be addressed before this form of therapy is routinely applied. It has been argued that neural transplantation can promote functional recovery through (...) the replacement of damaged nerve cells, the reestablishment of specific nerve pathways lost as a result of injury, the release of specific neurotransmitters, or the production of factors that promote neuronal growth. The latter two mechanisms, which need not rely on anatomical connections to the host brain, are open to examination for nonsurgical, less intrusive therapeutic use. Certain subjective judgments used to select patients who will receive grafts and in assessment of the outcome of graft therapy make it difficult to evaluate the procedure. In addition, little long-term assessment of transplant efficacy and effect has been done in nonhuman primates. Carefully controlled human studies, with multiple testing paradigms, are also needed to establish the efficacy of transplant therapy. (shrink)
Despite some clinical promise, using fetal transplants for degenerative and traumatic brain injury remains controversial and a number of issues need further attention. This response reexamines a number of questions. Issues addressed include: temporal factors relating to neural grafting, the role of behavioral experience in graft outcome, and the relationship of rebuilding of neural circuitry to functional recovery. Also discussed are organization and type of transplanted tissue, the of transplant viability, and whether transplants are really needed to obtain functional recovery (...) after brain damage. (shrink)
In this book Dr. Donald Bloesch sharply diverges from much traditional thinking on the relationship between theology and philosophy and suggests an alternative that is solidly anchored in biblical faith. Instead of seeing this relationship in terms of synthesis or correlation or even simple subordination, he calls for the conversion and transformation of philosophical meanings in the light of the biblical revelation. Philosophy can be of considerable aid to theologians, but they must take care not to let philosophical concepts (...) determine the meaning of faith. Reason can be enlisted in the service of revelation, but it cannot establish the truth of revelation. Against the irrationalism of contemporary existentialist theology and the rationalism that has pervaded both scholastic orthodoxy (Catholic and Protestant) and liberal philosophical theology, Bloesch proposes an evangelical theology of revelation that seeks to employ reason in the task of understanding the faith. The author upholds not an autonomous reason but an obedient reason, and he shows that this ideal has support in the history of theology as well as in the Bible. (shrink)
The mystery of the Jews as the chosen people of God is to be understood in light of the wider biblical view that God intends his covenant of grace for all humanity; all peoples are destined to serve the glory of God and to participate in his Kingdom.
It is well known that decision methods based on pairwise rankings can suffer from a wide range of difficulties. These problems are addressed here by treating the methods as systems, where each pair is looked upon as a subsystem with an assigned task. In this manner, the source of several difficulties is equated with the standard concern that the “whole need not be the sum of its parts.” These problems arise because the objectives assigned to subsystems need not be compatible (...) with that of the system. Knowing what causes the difficulties leads to resolutions. (shrink)