Although epistasis is at the center of the Fisher-Wright debate, biologists not involved in the controversy are often unaware that there are actually two different formal definitions of epistasis. We compare concepts of genetic independence in the two theoretical traditions of evolutionary genetics, population genetics and quantitative genetics, and show how independence of gene action (represented by the multiplicative model of population genetics) can be different from the absence of gene interaction (represented by the linear additive model of quantitative genetics). (...) The two formulations converge with weak selection but not with strong selection or, for multiple loci, when the aggregated interaction terms are not negligible. As a result of the different formulations of gene interaction, the presence or absence of linkage disequilibrium,/D/, does not necessarily indicate the presence or absence of fitness epistasis. Indeed, linkage disequilibrium is generated in ‘additive’ models in quantitative genetics whenever two (or more) loci experience simultaneous selection. As a research strategy, it is often practical, for theoretical or experimental reasons, to minimize gene interaction by assuming independence of gene action in regard to fitness, or by assuming linear additive effects of multiple loci on a phenotype. However, minimizing the role of epistasis in theoretical investigations hinders our understanding of the origins of diversity and the evolution of complex phenotypes. (shrink)
While the human papillomavirus vaccine is medically indicated to reduce the risk of genital warts and certain types of cancer, rates of HPV vaccination repeatedly fall short of public health goals. Individual-level factors contributing to low vaccination rates are well documented. However, system-level barriers, particularly the need for parental consent, have been less explored. To date, there is no legal or ethical consensus in the USA regarding whether adolescents might permissibly self-consent to the HPV vaccine. Consequently, there is considerable variability (...) in medical practice at the provider and state level. In this essay, we explore the ethical acceptability of vaccinating adolescents for HPV without parental consent. We argue that the same ethical considerations that justify permitting minors to consent to treatment for sexual and reproductive health care—namely, public health benefit and adolescents’ developing autonomy—similarly justify permitting minors to consent to HPV vaccination. Based on this analysis, we conclude that allowing adolescents to self-consent to the HPV vaccine is ethically justifiable and should be reflected in US state policies. (shrink)
Manipulation of physical models such as tangrams and tiles is a popular approach to teaching early mathematics concepts. This pedagogical approach is extended by new computational media, where mathematical entities such as equations and vectors can be virtually manipulated. The cognitive and neural mechanisms supporting such manipulation-based learning—particularly how actions generate new internal structures that support problem-solving—are not understood. We develop a model of the way manipulations generate internal traces embedding actions, and how these action-traces recombine during problem-solving. This model (...) is based on a study of two groups of sixth-grade students solving area problems. Before problem-solving, one group manipulated a tangram, the other group answered a descriptive test. Eye-movement trajectories during problem-solving were different between the groups. A second study showed that this difference required the tangram's geometrical structure, just manipulation was not enough. We propose a theoretical model accounting for these results, and discuss its implications. (shrink)
In this paper, we study the performance of baseline hidden Markov model (HMM) for segmentation of speech signals. It is applied on single-speaker segmentation task, using Hindi speech database. The automatic phoneme segmentation framework evolved imitates the human phoneme segmentation process. A set of 44 Hindi phonemes were chosen for the segmentation experiment, wherein we used continuous density hidden Markov model (CDHMM) with a mixture of Gaussian distribution. The left-to-right topology with no skip states has been selected as it is (...) effective in speech recognition due to its consistency with the natural way of articulating the spoken words. This system accepts speech utterances along with their orthographic “transcriptions” and generates segmentation information of the speech. This corpus was used to develop context-independent hidden Markov models (HMMs) for each of the Hindi phonemes. The system was trained using numerous sentences that are relevant to provide information to the passengers of the Metro Rail. The system was validated against a few manually segmented speech utterances. The evaluation of the experiments shows that the best performance is obtained by using a combination of two Gaussians mixtures and five HMM states. A category-wise phoneme error analysis has been performed, and the performance of the phonetic segmentation has been reported. The modeling of HMMs has been implemented using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 (C++), and the system is designed to work on Windows operating system. The goal of this study is automatic segmentation of speech at phonetic level. (shrink)
The prime objective of this paper is to conduct phoneme categorization experiments for Indian languages. In this direction a major effort has been made to categorize Hindi phonemes using a time delay neural network (TDNN), and compare the recognition scores with other languages. A total of six neural nets aimed at the major coarse of phonetic classes in Hindi were trained. Evaluation of each net on 350 training tokens and 40 test tokens revealed a 99% recognition rate for vowel classes, (...) 87% for unvoiced stops, 82% for voiced stops, 94.7% for semi vowels, 98.1% for nasals and 96.4% for fricatives. A new feature vector normalisation technique has been proposed to improve the recognition scores. (shrink)
Most writers on resource management presume that local populations, if they act in their self-interest, seldom conserve or protect natural resources without external intervention or privatization. Using the example of forest management by villagers in the Indian Himalayas, this paper argues that rural populations can often use resources sustainably and successfully, even under assumptions of self-interested rationality. Under a set of specified social and environmental conditions, conditions that prevail in large areas of the Himalayas and may also exist in other (...) mountain regions, community institutions are more efficient in managing resources than either private individuals or the central government. In advancing this argument, the paper undermines the often dogmatic belief in the universal superiority of private forms of ownership and management. (shrink)
Stone, J. Thoughts on supposed "Death of law".--Krishna Iyer, V. R. Jurisprudence and jurisconscience.--Sharma, G. S. Law and social change in India.--Sharma, S. D. The concept of justice in Manu.--Chand, H. Legal values for a developing country.--Ramarao, T. S. The new international law relating to the rights and duties of States.--Sinha, B. S. Custom and customary law in Indian jurisprudence.--Mazumdar, D. L. Techno-economic structure of our industrial society.--Subrahamanian, N. Law and social change.