This commentary examines the implications of the Depue & Collins model for the etiology and treatment of depression, specifically, whether it can account for findings concerning neurobiological, behavioral, and phenomenological facets of depression. Drawing upon the construct of self-regulation, I explore the fit of the model to current knowledge about depression, conceptualized as a dysfunction within a hypothetical brain/behavior system for maximizing positive outcomes.
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
One of the fundamental components of the concept of economic rationality is that preference orderings are “complete,” i.e., that all alternative actions an economic agent can take are comparable. The idea that all actions can be ranked may be called the single utility assumption. The attractiveness of this assumption is considerable. It would be hard to fathom what choice among alternatives means if the available alternatives cannot be ranked by the chooser in some way. In addition, the efficiency criterion makes (...) sense only if one can infer that an individual's choice reflects the best, in expected welfare terms, among all choices that individual could have made. The possibility that a rearrangement of resources could make someone “better off” without making others “worse off” can be understood only if the post-rearrangement world is comparable with the pre-rearrange-ment world. (shrink)
In the January 6, 1991, issue of the Washington Post Magazine, reporter Walt Harrington wrote a profile of Bryan Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson is a 31-year-old working-class African-American from Delaware who graduated from Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government. Like the typical graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Stevenson had the opportunity to join the worlds of six-figure corporate law or high-visibility politics. Rather than follow his colleagues, however, Mr. Stevenson works seven-day, eighty-hour weeks as director of the (...) Alabama Capital Representation Center. He appeals death sentences, handling twenty-four death-row cases himself, supervises five other lawyers who cover about thirty cases, and raises federal government and foundation funding. He does this living a Spartan existence on a salary of $24,000, refusing even the $50,000 directorship salary offered to him. (shrink)