Certain Features (certain + feature)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

An enigmatic gnathostome vertebrate skull from the Middle Devonian of Bolivia

Alan Pradel
Abstract A new taxon, Ramirosuarezia boliviana n. gen., n. sp. is erected for a single, articulated jawed fish (gnathostome) skull from the Middle Devonian (Eifelian) Icla Formation of Bolivia. The specimen displays an elasmobranch-like braincase, but lacks unambiguous elasmobranch and even chondrichthyan characters, although its peculiar tooth-bearing ,labial' elements evoke certain stem-holocephalans. Its endoskeletal elements seem lined with either perichondral bone or non-prismatic calcified cartilage, but show no evidence of endochondral bone. Although devoid of large dermal bones and scales, R. boliviana shares with certain ,ostracoderms', placoderms and holocephalans the lack of an otico-occipital fissure, but lacks a hypophysial fenestra. Certain features (elongated braincase, ,labial elements', sharp denticles and teeth) are also suggestive of the equally enigmatic coeval stensioellids, once regarded as either primitive placoderms or stem holocephalans. The jaws are armed with platelets that bear blunt to pointed and sharp teeth, in which synchrotron radiation microtomography yields evidence of a large pulp cavity, a possibly osteichthyan-like character. No character clearly supports affinities of R. boliviana to any of the currently known major gnathostome groups. Tenuous hints suggest a relationship to the enigmatic fossil Zamponiopteron, from the Eifelian of Bolivia, known by peculiar calcified ,fin plates' and isolated shoulder girdles. [source]

Preservice teachers' theory development in physical and simulated environments

Jill A. Marshall
We report a study of three prospective secondary science teachers' development of theories-in-action as they worked together in a group to explore collisions using both physical manipulatives and a computer simulation (Interactive Physics). Analysis of their investigations using an existing theoretical framework indicates that, as the group moved from physical experiments to the computer simulation, their attention shifted from planning their experiments to processing system feedback, which impeded the iterative refinement of their theories-in-action. The nature of the theories they developed also changed. Learners' attitudes toward science and prior experiences affected the exploration process in both environments. In particular, prior instruction in physics and an authoritarian view of science seemed to impede engagement in the development and testing of theories-in-action. Certain features of the computer system itself also impeded exploration. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 43: 907,937, 2006 [source]

Comparison of full-text searching to metadata searching for genes in two biomedical literature cohorts

Bradley M. Hemminger
Researchers have traditionally used bibliographic databases to search out information. Today, the full-text of resources is increasingly available for searching, and more researchers are performing full-text searches. This study compares differences in the number of articles discovered between metadata and full-text searches of the same literature cohort when searching for gene names in two biomedical literature domains. Three reviewers additionally ranked 100 articles in each domain. Significantly more articles were discovered via full-text searching; however, the precision of full-text searching also is significantly lower than that of metadata searching. Certain features of articles correlated with higher relevance ratings. A significant feature measured was the number of matches of the search term in the full-text of the article, with a larger number of matches having a statistically significant higher usefulness (i.e., relevance) rating. By using the number of hits of the search term in the full-text to rank the importance of the article, performance of full-text searching was improved so that both recall and precision were as good as or better than that for metadata searching. This suggests that full-text searching alone may be sufficient, and that metadata searching as a surrogate is not necessary. [source]

Paleodemographic comparison of a catastrophic and an attritional death assemblage

Beverley J. Margerison
Abstract The aim of this contribution is to examine the effect of an indiscriminate epidemic on a population to assess whether or not a catastrophic event can be identified from examination of paleodemographic data. Using paleodemographic techniques, the death assemblage from the Royal Mint site, London, a Black Death cemetery dated 1349 AD, is compared with that from St. Helen-on-the-Walls, York, which dates from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries AD. The Royal Mint site represents a catastrophic cemetery, while that of St. Helen-on-the-Walls is of an attritional type. Certain features of the paleodemographic profile of the plague victims suggest that the population had been affected by factors other than natural wastage. Three factors are proposed which may define an indiscriminate catastrophic event in preindustrial populations. Am J Phys Anthropol 119:134,143, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Cannibalism in wild bonobos (Pan paniscus) at Lui Kotale

Andrew Fowler
Abstract We describe the cannibalization of an infant bonobo (circa 2.5 years old) at Lui Kotale, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The infant died of unknown causes and was consumed by several community members including its mother and an older sibling one day after death. Certain features concerning the pattern of consumption fit in with previously observed episodes of cannibalism in Pan, whereas others, such as the mother's participation in consuming the body, are notable. The incident suggests that filial cannibalism among apes need not be the result of nutritional or social stress and does not support the idea that filial cannibalism is a behavioral aberration. Am. J. Primatol. 72:509,514, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

A social agent pedestrian model

Andrew Park
Abstract This paper presents a social agent pedestrian model based on experiments with human subjects. Research studies of criminology and environmental psychology show that certain features of the urban environment generate fear in people, causing them to take alternate routes. The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategy has been implemented to reduce fear of crime and crime itself. Our initial prototype of a pedestrian model was developed based on these findings of criminology research. In the course of validating our model, we constructed a virtual environment (VE) that resembles a well-known fear-generating area where several decision points were set up. 60 human subjects were invited to navigate the VE and their choices of routes and comments during the post interviews were analyzed using statistical techniques and content analysis. Through our experimental results, we gained new insights into pedestrians' behavior and suggest a new enhanced and articulated agent model of a pedestrian. Our research not only provides a realistic pedestrian model, but also a new methodology for criminology research. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Diagnosis and management of nail psoriasis

David de Berker
Nail disease is a common chronic problem for psoriatics, with only limited scope for major improvement. Both the disease and its treatment can be categorized according to its features and treatment modalities or the significance of the therapy for the clinician and patient. Certain treatments are matched with certain features and some treatments are of potential value in all patients with nail psoriasis. [source]

The man with the purple nostrils: a case of rhinotrichotillomania secondary to body dysmorphic disorder

L. F. Fontenelle
Objective: To describe a different type of self-injurious behavior that may be secondary to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Method: Single case report. Results: We reported a case of an individual who have developed the self-destructive habit of pulling and severely scraping hairs and debris out of the mucous membrane of his nasal cavities. We have proposed the term rhinotrichotillomania to emphasize the phenomenological overlapping between trichotillomania (TTM) and rhinotillexomania (RTM) exhibited by this case. The main motivation behind the patient's actions was a distressing preoccupation with an imaginary defect in his appearance, which constitutes the core characteristic of BDD. The patient was successfully treated with imipramine. Conclusion: The case suggests that certain features of TTM, RTM, and BDD may overlap and produce serious clinical consequences. Patients with this condition may benefit from a trial of tricyclics when other effective medications, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are not available for use. [source]

Induced biotic responses to herbivory and associated cues in the Amazonian ant-plant Maieta poeppigii

Alexander V. Christianini
Abstract Ants inhabiting ant-plants can respond to cues of herbivory, such as the presence of herbivores, leaf damage, and plant sap, but experimental attempts to quantify the dynamic nature of biotic defenses have been restricted to a few associations between plants and ants. We studied the relationship between certain features of the ant-shrub Maieta poeppigii Cogn. (Melastomataceae) and the presence or absence of ant patrolling on the leaf surface in plants occupied by the ant Pheidole minutula Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). We also carried out field experiments to examine ant behavior following plant damage, and the potential cues that induce ant recruitment. These experiments included clipping of the leaf apex, as well as the presentation of a potential herbivore (live termite worker) and a foliar extract from Maieta on treatment leaves. The presence of ants patrolling the leaves of M. poeppigii is influenced by the number of domatia on the plant. Ant patrolling on the leaves of M. poeppigii was constant throughout a 24 h cycle, but the mean number of patrolling ants decreased from young to mature leaves, and from leaves with domatia to those without domatia. There was an overall increase in the number of ants on experimental leaves following all treatments, compared to control leaves. Visual and chemical cues associated with herbivory are involved in the induction of ant recruitment in the Maieta,Pheidole system. The continuous patrolling behavior of ants, associated with their ability to respond rapidly to foliar damage, may result in the detection and repellence/capture of most insect herbivores before they can inflict significant damage to the leaves. [source]

Characterization of membrane-bound prolyl endopeptidase from brain

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 17 2008
Jofre Tenorio-Laranga
Prolyl oligopeptidase (POP) is a serine protease that cleaves small peptides at the carboxyl side of an internal proline residue. Substance P, arginine,vasopressin, thyroliberin and gonadoliberin are proposed physiological substrates of this protease. POP has been implicated in a variety of brain processes, including learning, memory, and mood regulation, as well as in pathologies such as neurodegeneration, hypertension, and psychiatric disorders. Although POP has been considered to be a soluble cytoplasmic peptidase, significant levels of activity have been detected in membranes and in extracellular fluids such as serum, cerebrospinal fluid, seminal fluid, and urine, suggesting the existence of noncytoplasmic forms. Furthermore, a closely associated membrane prolyl endopeptidase (PE) activity has been previously detected in synaptosomes and shown to be different from the cytoplasmic POP activity. Here we isolated, purified and characterized this membrane-bound PE, herein referred to as mPOP. Although, when attached to membranes, mPOP presents certain features that distinguish it from the classical POP, our results indicate that this protein has the same amino acid sequence as POP except for the possible addition of a hydrophobic membrane anchor. The kinetic properties of detergent-soluble mPOP are fully comparable to those of POP; however, when attached to the membranes in its natural conformation, mPOP is significantly less active and, moreover, it migrates anomalously in SDS/PAGE. Our results are the first to show that membrane-bound and cytoplasmic POP are encoded by variants of the same gene. [source]

Is informed choice in genetic testing a different breed of informed decision-making?

A discussion paper
Traditionally genetic counselling has promoted a non-directive approach to patients' decision-making but the feasibility of this has been questioned. Unlike most branches of medicine, which are shifting away from a paternalistic model, genetic counselling is approaching shared decision-making from a different perspective. There are certain features of genetic counselling and genetic testing which may complicate the drive towards shared decision-making and informed choice: 1. Genetic test results can have broader implications than non-genetic test results. 2. Genetic test results may be perceived by the patient differently to non-genetic test results. 3. Carrier status for autosomal recessive conditions may be difficult for patients to conceptualize. 4. Decisions in genetic counselling are often multiple and sequential. 5. Most information in genetic counselling is based on probabilities and uncertainties. Each of these features is discussed in relation to achieving shared decision-making in genetic testing and the implications for genetic counsellors are described. The points raised, however, have broader implications for medicine as several of the features, although central to genetic testing, are not entirely unique. Lessons learnt from genetic testing and genetic counselling in achieving shared decision-making could help develop methods of promoting informed choice in other medical arenas such as cancer screening. [source]

A comparison between clearing and radiographic techniques in the study of the root-canal anatomy of maxillary first and second molars

O. E. Omer
Abstract Aim, To compare a clearing technique with conventional radiography in studying certain features of the root-canal system of maxillary right first and second molars. A secondary aim was to assess interexaminer agreement for these features using radiographs. Methodology, Eighty-three recently extracted permanent maxillary right first molars and 40 recently extracted maxillary right second molars from an Irish population were included. Standard periapical radiographs were taken from a buccolingual and mesiodistal direction. The specimens were then decoronated, demineralized in 10% hydrochloric acid for 8 days and then cleared using methyl salicylate. The cleared teeth were examined using a dissecting microscope (×20), and data relating to number of roots, canal type following Vertucci's classification, presence of lateral canals, presence of transverse anastomoses and position/number of apical foramina were collected. The radiographs were examined by two independent trained endodontists using an X-ray viewer and a magnifying lens (×2) in a dark room for the same features studied using the clearing technique. Results, The Kappa values for the agreement between the radiographic examiners A and B and the clearing technique and between the two examiners for the number of roots were 0.60, 0.64 and 0.53; for the root-canal type, 0.37, 0.41 and 0.42; for the number of roots with lateral canals, 0.21, 0.18 and 0.14; and for the transverse anastomoses, 0.29 for radiographic Examiner A. Radiographic Examiner B did not feel capable of accurately recognizing transverse anastomoses from the radiographs. For the position/number of apical foramina, the Kappa values were 0.33 and 0.24, respectively. In general, the Kappa values were low to modest for all comparisons. Conclusions, It is concluded that the agreement between the two radiographic examiners and the agreement between either radiographic examiner and the clearing technique were poor to moderate, indicating the limited value of radiographs alone when studying certain aspects of the root-canal system. [source]

Elasto-plasticity revisited: numerical analysis via reproducing kernel particle method and parametric quadratic programming

K. M. Liew
Abstract Aiming to simplify the solution process of elasto-plastic problems, this paper proposes a reproducing kernel particle algorithm based on principles of parametric quadratic programming for elasto-plasticity. The parametric quadratic programming theory is useful and effective for the assessment of certain features of structural elasto-plastic behaviour and can also be exploited for numerical iteration. Examples are presented to illustrate the essential aspects of the behaviour of the model proposed and the flexibility of the coupled parametric quadratic programming formulations with the reproducing kernel particle method. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The burial of Bad Dürrenberg, Central Germany: osteopathology and osteoarchaeology of a Late Mesolithic shaman's grave

M. Porr
Abstract The isolated burial of Bad Dürrenberg is one of the richest Mesolithic graves in Europe. Although it was excavated in the 1930s, new spectacular anthropological and archaeological evidence has emerged during a recent re-study. Firstly, we present here the results of an anthropological re-evaluation of certain features of the skull base and the foramen magnum. Our work has clearly established that the observable features are caused by an anatomical variation that also includes an atlar anomaly. This developmental variation possibly caused various neuropathological symptoms. The Bad Dürrenberg burial consequently represents a unique case of the possible interpretation of abnormal behaviours in a shamanistic fashion in a prehistoric context. Secondly, we have identified the LSAMAT phenomenon (Lingual Surface Attrition of the Maxillary Anterior Teeth) in the adult individual of the burial. The activities leading to this condition are unknown so far. Thirdly, a split roe deer metatarsus among the burial goods was identified as being involved in the preparation or application of red pigment. The lack of polish and other use wear make it likely that it was produced and used as part of the burial ritual. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Psychological Reactions to Adaptive Testing

Scott Tonidanel
The purpose of the study was to examine how specific aspects of adaptive testing influence test-takers pre-test reactions. Specifically, three different psychological reactions were examined in the study: perceived fairness of the test, attitude toward the test, and expectations about the test. Fifty-three undergraduates were presented with descriptions of hypothetical selection tests that were manipulated to reflect characteristics of adaptive tests that differ from traditional paper-and-pencil tests. The results indicate that certain features of adaptive tests, such as the inability to skip questions, may adversely impact test-takers' reactions. Implications for test designers are discussed. [source]

Theorizing Diaspora: Perspectives on "Classical" and "Contemporary" Diaspora

Michele Reis
Cohen (1997) employed the term "classical" diaspora in reference to the Jews. Indeed, a vast corpus of work recognizes the Jewish people as examples of quintessential diasporic groups. However, a broader conceptualization of the term diaspora allows for the inclusion of immigrant communities that would be otherwise sidelined in the conventional literature on diaspora. This study is therefore a departure from the traditional diasporic literature, which tends to use the Jewish Diaspora as the archetype. It favours, rather, the classification of three principal broad historical waves in which the Jewish Diaspora can be interpreted as part of a classical period. The historicizing of diasporization for the purpose of this paper is achieved by an empirical discussion of the three major historical waves that influenced the diasporic process throughout the world: the Classical Period, the Modern Period, and the Contemporary or Late-modern Period. The paper discusses these three critical phases in the following manner: first, reference is made to the Classical Period, which is associated primarily with ancient diaspora and ancient Greece. The second historical phase analyses diaspora in relation to the Modern Period, which can be interpreted as a central historical fact of slavery and colonization. This section can be further subdivided into three large phases: (1) the expansion of European capital (1500,1814), (2) the Industrial Revolution (1815,1914), and (3) the Interwar Period (1914,1945). The final major period of diasporization can be considered a Contemporary or Late-modern phenomenon. It refers to the period immediately after World War II to the present day, specifying the case of the Hispanics in the United States as one key example. The paper outlines some aspects of the impact of the Latin American diaspora on the United States, from a socio-economic and politico-cultural point of view. While the Modern and Late-modern periods are undoubtedly the most critical for an understanding of diaspora in a modern, globalized context, for the purpose of this paper, more emphasis is placed on the latter period, which illustrates the progressive effect of globalization on the phenomenon of diasporization. The second period, the Modern Phase is not examined in this paper, as the focus is on a comparative analysis of the early Classical Period and the Contemporary or Late-modern Period. The incorporation of diaspora as a unit of analysis in the field of international relations has been largely neglected by both recent and critical scholarship on the subject matter. While a growing number of studies focus on the increasing phenomenon of diasporic communities, from the vantage of social sciences, the issue of diaspora appears to be inadequately addressed or ignored altogether. Certain key factors present themselves as limitations to the understanding of the concept, as well as its relevance to the field of international relations and the social sciences as a whole. This paper is meant to clarify some aspects of the definition of diaspora by critiquing the theories in the conventional literature, exposing the lacunae in terms of interpretation of diaspora and in the final analysis, establishing a historiography that may be useful in comparing certain features of "classical" diaspora and "contemporary" diaspora. The latter part of the paper is intended to provide illustrations of a contemporary diasporic community, using the example of Hispanics in the United States. [source]

Issues and Challenges of Emigration Dynamics in Developing Countries

A.A. Afolayan
This article is a theory-based attempt to present the issues and challenges of emigration dynamics in developing countries. The topic is discussed within several basic assumptions: first, that emigration dynamics in developing countries have certain features that are different from those in developed countries; second, that countries in the regions covered by the study (sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, and South Asia) are representative of developing countries. The article has been considerably facilitated by two recently concluded and reported projects: the IOM/UNFPA project, "Emigration dynamics in developing countries: sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, and South Asia"(Appleyard, 1998, 1999), and the UAP/CEIFO project on "International migration in and from Africa: dimensions, challenges and prospects"(Adepoju and Hammar, 1996). Any serious academic study of emigration dynamics in developing countries must acknowledge these landmark scholarly studies if they hope to advance understanding of the essential features of emigration dynamics in developing countries. A prime objective of the present article is to focus attention on aspects of the emigration process that will enable policy makers to utilize emigration for development, especially through national and international cooperation at regional and global levels. The article is predicated upon the need for a theory or model of emigration dynamics in developing countries that meets both internal and external dimensions. The adequacy of such a theory can be measured at three different levels: observation, description and explanation (Chomsky, 1965). [source]

Improving kp Data Originating from PLP Number Distributions

Andreas Kornherr
Abstract Summary: Based on certain features, especially the width of the so-called extra peaks in the simulated number-chain-length distribution (CLD) of polymers prepared by pulsed laser polymerization (PLP), it is calculated by which factor the positions of the points of inflections and maxima deviate from the theoretical L0 data that are to be used for the evaluation of kp. These corrections are for slightly chain-length-dependent termination by disproportionation or combination and cover a wide range of chain-lengths and primary radical production. They can be applied either to the point of inflection on the low-molecular weight side of the extra peaks or to the peak maximum. On average, the mean error that is about ,2.5% for uncorrected data from first-order points of inflection is reduced to the order of less than 1% even if no assumption concerning the mode of termination is made. The situation is similar for the positions of the first-order peak maxima where the mean error of about +7% likewise can be cut down to less than 1% if the proper correction function is chosen. Second- and third-order peaks data, which are a priori less falsified, yield still better results after correction. Mass sensitivity of the detection process has comparatively little effect: it is only for unrealistically high extents of chain-length dependence in detection that considerable falsifications are to be expected. As an additional result it turned out that correction functions obtained for number distributions are also applicable to mass spectrometry raw distributions and even for mass distributions x(l),·,l provided Poissonian broadening is the only broadening process. Number distribution xC(l) calculated for termination by combination times attenuation function F1(l). [source]

English and French national identity: comparisons and contrasts,

ABSTRACT. The English and the French are both former imperial peoples, and to that extent they share certain features of national identity common to peoples who have had empires. That includes a ,missionary' sense of themselves, a feeling that they have, or have had, a purpose in the world wider than the concerns of non-imperial nations. I argue that nevertheless the English and the French have diverged substantially in their self-conceptions. This I put down to a differing experience of empire, the sense especially among the French that the British were more successful in their imperial ventures. I also argue that contrasting domestic histories , evolutionary in the English case, revolutionary in that of the French , have also significantly coloured national identities in the two countries. These factors taken together, I argue, have produced a more intense sense of nationhood and a stronger national consciousness among the French than among the English. [source]

Flow-enhancing layers in the vacuum infusion process

H. M. Andersson
The current trend towards increased use of vacuum infusion molding for large surface-area parts has increased the interest in an advanced modeling of the process. Because the driving pressure is limited to 1 atmosphere, it is essential to evaluate possible ways to accelerate the impregnation. One way of doing this is to use layers of higher permeability within the reinforcing stack, i.e. flow-enhancing layers. We present an experimental investigation of the flow front shape when using such layers. The through-thickness flow front was observed by making a number of color marks on the glass-mats forming the reinforcing stack, which became visible when the resin reached their position. The in-plane flow front was derived from observations of the uppermost layer. It turned out that existing analytical models agree very well with the experiments if effective permeability data is used, that is, permeability obtained from vacuum infusions. However, the fill-time was nearly twice as long as predicted from permeability data obtained in a stiff tool. This rather large discrepancy may be due to certain features of a flexible mold half and is therefore a topic for further research. The lead-lag to final thickness ratio is dependent on the position of the flow front and ranges form 5 to 10 for the cases tested. Interestingly the lead-lag has a miximum close to the inlet. [source]


We present a new welfare-based framework for optimally choosing legal standards (decision rules). We formalise the decision-theoretic considerations widely discussed in the existing literature by capturing the quality of the underlying analysis and information available to a regulatory authority, and we obtain a precise necessary and sufficient set of conditions for determining when an Economics or Effects-Based approach would be able to discriminate effectively between benign and harmful actions and consequently dominate per se as a decision-making procedure. We then show that in a full welfare-based approach, the choice between legal standards must additionally take into account, (i) indirect (deterrence) effects of the choice of standard on the behaviour of all firms when deciding whether or not to adopt a particular practice; and (ii) procedural effects of certain features of the administrative process in particular delays in reaching decisions; and the investigation of only a fraction of the actions taking place. We therefore derive necessary and sufficient conditions for adopting Discriminating Rules, as advocated by the Effects-Based approach. We also examine what type of Discriminating rule will be optimal under different conditions that characterise different business practices. We apply our framework to two recent landmark decisions , Microsoft vs. EU Commission (2007) and Leegin vs. PSKS (2007) , in which a change in legal standards has been proposed, and show that it can powerfully clarify and enhance the arguments deployed in these cases. [source]

Front and Back Covers, Volume 26, Number 3.

June 2010
Front cover caption, volume 26 issue 3 Front cover A Greenpeace activist dressed as Justice protests in front of the Japanese embassy in Buenos Aires. She draws attention to the trial of Toru Suzuki and Junichi Sato, two Greenpeace activists seeking to expose corruption in the Japanese whale meat industry, who are being prosecuted in the Japanese courts for theft and trespass, in a trial that has continued since 2008. Back in 1993, Arne Kalland analyzed the notable success of the Western environmental movement, Greenpeace in particular, in mobilizing public opinion against continued whaling in the northern hemisphere. The key to this success, Kalland argued, lay in the environmentalists' construction of the ,superwhale', an imaginary, mythic creation which displayed numerous positive qualities with which people could closely identify. Environmentalist thinking has now become intertwined with the discourse of animal rights, including the claim that whales are special to the extent that they are entitled to legal rights on a somewhat similar basis to human beings. In this image, the script on the dress, the Japanese emblem of the rising sun, the blindfold and the scales of justice unbalanced by Japanese-caught whale meat all work to signify that the Japanese are entirely out of step with such progressive ideas. In this issue, Adrian Peace argues that the conflicting attitudes of Japan and Australia to whales and on the practice of whaling stem from diverging cultural and historical factors , the most basic among which is that, whilst Australians construe whales as awesome mammals, the Japanese perceive them as mere fish. Back cover FOOTBALL IN AFRICA On 11 June 2010, all eyes will turn to Johannesburg, South Africa, for the start of the 19th FIFA World Cup. The month-long tournament is one of the world's biggest sporting events, and this year will involve 32 teams from all over the world, attracting a worldwide audience of over 3 billion people and involving commercial agreements worth more than US $21 billion. Significantly, this is also the first time the competition has been held on the African continent. On the eve of the tournament, Richard Vokes reflects on the history and meaning of ,the beautiful game' in Africa, on the basis of a case study from southwestern Uganda. Football was introduced to Uganda by early European missionaries, and later gained in popularity as a result of the patronage it received from first colonial, and later post-colonial, state enterprises. However, the game's current mass appeal is a more recent phenomenon, due in large part to the media reforms introduced in Uganda after 1986, and the advent of satellite broadcasting technology. Vokes examines the nature of this new fandom, and of the media environments which have generated it. He argues that whilst certain features of the current craze , in particular, its peculiar fascination for specifically English football , can be seen as an outcome of spectatorship, this does not mean that the phenomenon is superficial. On the contrary, the new interest in football in Uganda has frequently produced unexpected, and in some ways quite profound, social effects. In his editorial Keith Hart uses the occasion of the World Cup to reflect on South Africa's significance for the world, as both the most developed African nation and the chief victim of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. [source]

A New Theropod Dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Lufeng, Yunnan, China

Xiao-chun WU
Abstract: A new theropod dinosaur, Shidaisaurus jinae gen. et sp. nov., has been described on the basis of an incomplete skeleton. The specimen was found near the base of the Upper Lufeng Formation (early Middle Jurassic) in Yunnan, China. It is the first theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Yunnan. Shidaisaurus jinae is distinguishable from other Jurassic theropods by certain features from the braincase, axis, and pelvic girdle. The absence of any pleurocoels in the axis or in any anterior dorsal vertebrae suggests that the new Lufeng theropod is relatively primitive and more plesiomorphic than most of the Middle to Late Jurassic theropods from China. Most Chinese taxa of Jurassic theropod dinosaurs have not been well described; a further detailed study will be necessary for us to determine their phylogenetic relationships with Shidaisaurus jinae. [source]

Differential immunomodulatory properties of Bifidobacterium logum strains: relevance to probiotic selection and clinical applications

M. Medina
Summary Modulation of host immunity is one of the proposed benefits of the consumption of probiotics. Nonetheless, comparative studies on the immunological properties that support the selection of strains of the same species for specific health benefits are limited. In this study, the ability of different strains of Bifidobacterium longum to induce cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) has been evaluated. Live cells of all B. longum strains greatly stimulated regulatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 and proinflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-, production. Strains of the same species also induced specific cytokine patterns, suggesting that they could drive immune responses in different directions. The probiotic strain B. longum W11 stimulated strongly the production of T helper 1 (Th1) cytokines while B. longum NCIMB 8809 and BIF53 induced low levels of Th1 cytokines and high levels of IL-10. The effects of cell-surface components obtained by sonication of B. longum strains overall confirm the effects detected by stimulation of PBMCs with live cells, indicating that these components are important determinants of the immunomodulatory activity of B. longum. Genomic DNA of some strains stimulated the production of the Th1 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, interferon (IFN)-, and TNF-,, but not that of IL-10. None of the cell-free culture supernatants of the studied strains was able to induce TNF-, production, suggesting that the proinflammatory component of these strains is associated mainly with structural cell molecules. The results suggest that despite sharing certain features, some strains can perform a better functional role than others and their careful selection for therapeutic use is desirable. [source]

Progressive interstitial fibrosis of kidney allograft early after transplantation from a non-heart beating donor: possible role of persistent ischemic injury

Kohsuke Masutani
Masutani K, Kitada H, Yamada S, Tsuchimoto A, Noguchi H, Tsuruya K, Katafuchi R, Tanaka M, Iida M. Progressive interstitial fibrosis of kidney allograft early after transplantation from a non-heart beating donor: Possible role of persistent ischemic injury. Clin Transplant 2010: 24 (Suppl. 22): 70,74. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Abstract:, The donor was 63-yr-old woman with subarachnoid hemorrhage. As she developed severe hypotension for more than four h before cardiac arrest, we biopsied the grafts and decided to transplant those kidneys. Recipient 1 was a 23-yr-old man on 13-yr dialysis program. After 19 d of delayed graft function (DGF), we discontinued hemodialysis (HD). However, the decrease in serum creatinine (sCr) was poor. The minimum sCr was 4.3 mg/dL on post-operative day (POD) 40, and increased to 6.5 mg/dL. The contralateral graft was transplanted to a 61-yr-old man (recipient 2) with 18-yr HD. After 15 d of DGF period, sCr decreased gradually and has been stable at 1.9 mg/dL. In recipient 1, graft biopsies performed on POD 15, 69, and 110, revealed progressive interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IF/TA) without evidences of acute rejection, tacrolimus associated injury, reflux nephropathy, or viral nephropathy. The second biopsy on POD 69 showed typical findings of acute tubular necrosis. We compared the clinical courses of the two recipients because certain features of recipient 1, such as age, duration of HD, total ischemic time, and body size were advantageous, whereas graft function was poorer than that in recipient 2. Recipient 1 developed severe anemia following the dissociation of graft function from recipient 2. In this case, posttransplant anemia and lower blood pressure might promote IF/TA through persistent ischemic tubular damage, and positive CMV antigenemia and its treatment could promote anemia. Especially in the kidney allograft from a marginal donor, we should consider various factors to obtain a better graft outcome. [source]

Representing Space and Objects in Monkeys and Apes

Josep Call
Primate foraging can be construed as a set of interconnected problems that include finding food, selecting efficient travel routes, anticipating the positions of moving prey, and manipulating, and occasionally, extracting food items using tools. The evidence reviewed in this paper strongly suggests that both monkeys and apes use three types of representation (i.e., static, dynamic, and relational) to solve various problems. Static representations involve recalling certain features of the environment, dynamic representations involve imagining changes in the trajectories of moving objects, and relational representations involve encoding the properties of objects in relation to other objects. Contrary to previous claims, no clear differences were found between the representational skills of monkeys and apes. Current evidence also suggests that primates may be better at representing general compared to specific problem features. Finally, we have characterized the domains of space and objects as complementary and indicated future lines of research in these domains. [source]