Growing Understanding (growing + understanding)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


CRIMINOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
There is a growing literature on intergenerational studies of antisocial behavior and a growing understanding of the unique contributions they are likely to make. At the same time, the field has yet to agree on core design features for intergenerational study. In this article, I propose a set of defining design elements that all intergenerational studies should meet and I discuss the advantages of these studies for enhancing our understanding of the onset and course of delinquent careers. I then use data from the ongoing Rochester Intergenerational Study to illustrate these points and the potential yield of intergenerational studies. In particular, I examine intergenerational continuities in antisocial behavior and school disengagement, test the cycle of violence hypothesis to see whether a history of maltreatment increases the likelihood of perpetration of maltreatment, and estimate a structural equation model to help identify mediating pathways that link parents and children with respect to antisocial behavior. [source]

Prediction and verification of possible reef-fish spawning aggregation sites in Los Roques Archipelago National Park, Venezuela

J. Boomhower
This study attempts to predict and verify possible spawning aggregation sites and times in the Los Roques Archipelago National Park, Venezuela, based on physical reef characteristics and the knowledge of experienced local fishermen. Three possible aggregation sites were selected for monitoring based on satellite images, low-cost bathymetric mapping and interviews with experienced local fishermen. Abundances and sizes of 18 species that are known to form reproductive aggregations were monitored at these sites using underwater visual census for 7 days after each full moon from February to August, 2007. While spawning events were not observed, possible indirect evidence of spawning aggregations was found for Lutjanus analis at Cayo Sal and Boca de Sebastopol, Lutjanus apodus at Cayo Sal, Lutjanus cyanopterus at Cayo Sal and Piedra La Guasa and Epinephelus guttatus at Bajo California and Cayo de Agua. Additionally, indirect evidence was identified for the past existence of a spawning aggregation of Epinephelus striatus in the northern part of the archipelago, which may have been eliminated by overfishing c.15 years ago. Bathymetric mapping showed that the shelf edge at sites monitored in this study was shallower than at spawning aggregation sites in other parts of the Caribbean, and that sites were not proximal to deep water. While this study does not prove the existence or locations of spawning aggregations of reef fishes in the archipelago, it does add insight to a growing understanding of generalities in the relationship between seafloor characteristics and the locations of transient reef-fish spawning aggregations in the Caribbean. [source]

PAR4: A new role in the modulation of visceral nociception

S. Bradesi
Abstract,Protease-activated receptors (PARs) are a family of G-protein-coupled receptors with a widespread distribution that are involved in various physiological functions including inflammation and nociception. In a recent study in Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Augé et al. describe for the first time the presence of PAR4 on visceral primary afferent neurons and its role in modulating colonic nociceptive responses, colonic hypersensitivity and primary afferent responses to PAR2 and Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid-4 (TRPV4). Using the model of visceromotor response (VMR) to colorectal distension (CRD), they show that a PAR4 agonist delivered into the colon lumen decreases basal visceral response to CRD and reduces the exacerbated VMR to CRD induced by treatment with PAR2 or TRPV4 agonists. In isolated sensory neurons, they show that a PAR4 agonist inhibits calcium mobilization induced by PAR2 or TRPV4 agonists. Finally, they describe increased pain behaviour evoked by luminal application of mustard oil in PAR4 deficient mice compared to wild type controls. The newly discovered role of PAR4 in modulating visceral pain adds to our growing understanding of the contribution of colonic proteases and PARs to the mechanisms involved in colonic hypersensitivity and their potential role as therapeutic targets for irritable bowel syndrome. [source]

Molluscan and vertebrate immune responses to bird schistosomes

SUMMARY There is a growing understanding of risks posed by human contact with the cercariae of bird schistosomes. In general, there are no fundamental biological differences between human and bird schistosomes in terms of their interactions with snail and vertebrate hosts. The penetration of host surfaces is accompanied by the release of penetration gland products and the shedding of highly antigenic surface components (miracidial ciliated plates and cercarial glycocalyx) which trigger host immune reactions. New surface structures are formed during transformation: the tegument of mother sporocysts and the tegumental double membrane of schistosomula. These surfaces apparently serve as protection against the host immune response. Certain parasite excretory,secretory products may contribute to immunosuppression or, on the other hand, stimulation of host immune reactions. Discovery of new species and their life cycles, the characterization of host,parasite interactions (including at the molecular level), the determination of parasite pathogenicity towards the host, the development of tools for differential diagnosis and the application of protective measures are all topical research streams of the future. Regularly updated information on bird schistosomes and cercarial dermatitis can be found at (web pages of Schistosome Group Prague). [source]

Prospective studies of exposure to an environmental contaminant: The challenge of hypothesis testing in a multivariate correlational context

Joseph L. Jacobson
In this paper, we respond to the criticisms and concerns raised by D.V. Cicchetti, A.S. Kaufman, & S.S. Sparrow (this issue) in their review of the PCB literature, with particular attention to our own research in Michigan. We agree that multiple comparisons and functional significance are issues that would benefit from more discussion. However, because the effects associated with exposure to environmental contaminants are generally subtle, the risk of Type II error would be unacceptably high if researchers were to adopt the authors' recommendation to use a Bonferroni correction. We describe the hierarchical approach we have used to deal with the issue of multiple comparisons, which emphasizes the need to base interpretation on consistent patterns in the data and on replicated findings. The issue of confounding is one that has received considerable attention in the PCB studies and, given that one can never measure every possible confounder, the range of control variables that have been evaluated is impressive. We disagree with the authors' assertion that only standardized test scores are sufficiently reliable for use in these studies; behavioral teratogens often involve subtle effects, which can be identified most effectively by innovative, narrow-band tests that have not yet been normed. Moreover, longitudinal statistical analysis is not necessarily the method of choice for the issues being addressed in this literature. One important new development that Cicchetti et al. fail to note is the emergence of evidence from both the Michigan and Dutch cohorts indicating that breast-fed children are markedly less vulnerable. It is not yet clear to what degree this protective effect is attributable to nutrients in breast milk or to more optimal intellectual stimulation by nursing mothers, or both. However, the discovery of effect modifiers that can explain individual differences in vulnerability marks an important advance in our growing understanding of the teratogenic effects of exposure to environmental contaminants on child development. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 41: 625,637, 2004. [source]

An asset-based approach to indigenous development in Taiwan

William T. Hipwell
Abstract Numerous scholars studying community efforts to (re-)establish autonomy have begun to focus on the importance of empowerment in the economic, political and cultural spheres. There is a growing understanding that such empowerment can be hastened by affirmative development strategies that build on community assets and capacities rather than attempting to redress , and thereby emphasising , needs or lack. Such development work reflects intertwined currents in contemporary philosophy, influenced by the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche and of Gilles Deleuze. In Taiwan, a recent resurgence in identities among marginalised aboriginal or indigenous peoples (,Formosans') has been accompanied by novel approaches to development. This discussion heuristically employs a set of development theories that are essentially variants of ,asset-based community development' (ABCD) to suggest that a focus on affirmation and empowerment has been and can be a key to success in Formosan development initiatives. The paper presents the results of qualitative field research, illuminating three case studies of Formosan development , in Tsou, Tayal and Taroko territories. It argues that Formosan development will benefit from a focus on community capacity, political empowerment and social as well as physical assets, and that to an important degree this has already happened in some communities. [source]

Neural stem cells: Mechanisms of fate specification and nuclear reprogramming in regenerative medicine

Carsten W. Lederer
Abstract Recently, intense interest in the potential use of neural stem cells (NSC) in the clinical therapy of brain disease and injury has resulted in rapid progress in research on the properties of NSC, their innate and directed differentiation potential and the induced reprogramming of differentiated somatic cells to revert to a pluripotent NSC-like state. The aim of this review is to give an overview of our current operational definitions of the NSC lineage, the growing understanding of extrinsic and intrinsic mechanisms, including heritable but reversible epigenetic chromatin modifications that regulate the maintenance and differentiation of NSC in vivo, and to emphasize ground-breaking efforts of cellular reprogramming with the view to generating patient-specific stem cells for cell replacement therapy. This is set against a summary of current practical procedures for the isolation, research and application of NSC, and of the state of the art in NSC-based regenerative medicine of the nervous system. Both provide the backdrop for the translation of recent findings into innovative clinical applications, with the hope of increasing the safety, efficiency and ethical acceptability of NSC-based therapies in the near future. [source]

The ups and downs of holoprosencephaly: dorsal versus ventral patterning forces

M Fernandes
Holoprosencephaly (HPE), characterized by incomplete separation of forebrain and facial components into left and right sides, is a common developmental defect in humans. It is caused by both genetic and environmental factors and its severity covers a wide spectrum of phenotypes. The genetic interactions underlying inherited forms of HPE are complex and poorly understood. Animal models, in particular mouse mutants, are providing a growing understanding of how the forebrain develops and how the cerebral hemispheres become split into left and right sides. These insights, along with the characterization to date of some of the genes involved in human HPE, suggest that two distinct mechanisms underlie the major classes of HPE, ,classic' and midline interhemispheric (MIH). Disruption either directly or indirectly of the ventralizing effect of sonic hedgehog signaling appears central to all or most forms of classic HPE, while disruption of the dorsalizing effect of bone morphogenetic protein signaling may be key to cases of MIH HPE. [source]