Major Points (major + point)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Strong opinions are no substitute for balanced arguments: Comments on Cicchetti, Kaufman, and Sparrow's critical appraisal of PCB cohort studies

Gerhard Winneke
This paper comments on a critical review of cohort studies on PCB-related neurodevelopmental deficit in young children by D.V. Cicchetti, A.S. Kaufman, and S.S. Sparrow (CKS). Major points of criticism of CKS, namely alleged violation of statistical principles, presumed lack of clinical significance of findings, and alleged insufficient control of confounding are dealt with in appropriate detail. It is argued that much of this criticism is inappropriate and biased, and that, in particular, arguments dealing with basic rules of statistical inference rely too heavily on the narrow principles of Neyman-Pearson testing which are discussed controversially in modern epidemiology. Other critical arguments concerning the presumed lack of validity of assessment instruments, the apparent lack of reliability checks in some studies, and the presumed inappropriate treatment of longitudinal data are also discussed as being poorly founded. It is finally concluded that, although there are inconsistencies and weaknesses both within and between individual PCB-studies, the almost unconditional rejection of the full set of cohort studies by CKS is in no way supported by good reasoning. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 41: 655,663, 2004. [source]

Precautionary Maybe, but What's the Principle?

The Precautionary Principle, the Public Domain, the Regulation of Risk
The ,precautionary principle', originating in the field of environmental protection but now widely applied, is a major point for discussion in the regulation of risk. Though promising proactive and pre-emptive intervention to prevent potentially irreversible harm, its precise meaning remains somewhat unclear. Legal systems tend to view it as procedural rather than substantive, and debates abound regarding its ,stronger' or ,weaker' versions and, indeed, the very concept of ,risk'. It is also necessary to discuss how the principle operates in varying administrative and constitutional contexts but the key task is to clarify the principle's fundamental value base. If its essentially collective orientation is highlighted, it may better ensure that democratic and non-pecuniary interests are given due prominence in regulatory contexts otherwise dominated by economic interests and technological imperatives, and it may then play an important role in reasserting the values of the public domain in the face of powerful private interests. [source]

High-performance liquid chromatography-bioassay profiles of endocrine disrupters discharged from point and non-point pollution sources in Lake Biwa basin

Saburo Matsui
Abstract Toxic pollution loading from both point and non-point sources in Lake Biwa should be further reduced. In order to tackle toxicity problems, it is necessary to analyse characteristics of toxic pollution. We have developed a new profiling technique to display toxic distributions of endocrine disrupters in complex mixtures of environmental samples, using high-performance liquid chromatography in combination with yeast bioassays. We have applied this technique to the major point and non-point pollution sources in the Lake Biwa basin, that is, to municipal sewage-treatment water (point) and road dust (non-point). The dominant oestrogenic chemical in sewage-treatment water was 17 ,-estradiol. The extracts from screened road dust showed arylhydrocarbon-receptor binding activity (AhR,ligand activity), with much of this located in smaller particles of sifted dust. There were at least seven major AhR,ligand peaks in the road-dust sample. [source]

Limits of the applicability and generalizability of drug trials in mania

Rasmus W Licht
Licht RW. Limits of the applicability and generalizability of drug trials in mania. Bipolar Disord 2002: 4(Suppl. 1): 66,68. ©Blackwell Munksgaard, 2002 During recent years, the majority of drug trials in mania have been conducted for the purpose of drug approval. On this background, this paper addresses to what extent these trials may actually provide the practising clinician with useful information. One major point is that selection prior to the point of randomization in RCTs in mania may limit the applicability of study results to patients seen in ordinary clinical practice. Limitations in study credibility and study design are also discussed. The need for large scale pragmatic studies using broad inclusion criteria, comparing the various treatments, alone or in combination, is emphasized. [source]

Transparency of Central Bank Preferences

Volker Hahn
Central bank objectives; transparency Abstract. In this paper, we examine whether the transparency of the central bank's preferences is desirable. We make two major points. First, in the literature on preference transparency variance-reduction frameworks are often adopted. As a consequence a change in the degree of transparency affects the magnitude of information asymmetries, but at the same time it implies a rather arbitrary effect on the distribution of preferences. We present a clean framework without this problem. Second, using a very general specification of shocks to the central bank's preferences, we show that society prefers transparency if it sufficiently values the employment target, whereas it prefers opacity if it estimates inflation as sufficiently important. [source]

Nestling coloration is adjusted to parent visual performance in altricial birds irrespective of assumptions on vision system for Laniidae and owls, a reply to Renoult et al.

Abstract We have recently published support to the hypothesis that visual systems of parents could affect nestling detectability and, consequently, influences the evolution of nestling colour designs in altricial birds. We provided comparative evidence of an adjustment of nestling colour designs to the visual system of parents that we have found in a comparative study on 22 altricial bird species. In this issue, however, Renoult et al. (J. Evol. Biol., 2009) question some of the assumptions and statistical approaches in our study. Their argumentation relied on two major points: (1) an incorrect assignment of vision system to four out of 22 sampled species in our study; and (2) the use of an incorrect approach for phylogenetic correction of the predicted associations. Here, we discuss in detail re-assignation of vision systems in that study and propose alternative interpretation for current knowledge on spectrophotometric data of avian pigments. We reanalysed the data by using phylogenetic generalized least squares analyses that account for the alluded limitations of phylogenetically independent contrasts and, in accordance with the hypothesis, confirmed a significant influence of parental visual system on gape coloration. Our results proved to be robust to the assumptions on visual system evolution for Laniidae and nocturnal owls that Renoult et al. (J. Evol. Biol., 2009) study suggested may have flawed our early findings. Thus, the hypothesis that selection has resulted in increased detectability of nestling by adjusting gape coloration to parental visual systems is currently supported by our comparative data. [source]

Bereavement in paediatric intensive care

Charles G. Stack MBBS
Summary The death of a child is a very sad event in anyone's life. It also affects all staff in paediatric intensive care units in different ways at different times. The publication of standards of bereavement care in paediatric intensive care hopes to be able to assist medical and nursing staff to understand and feel more confident in this emotionally difficult area of medicine. The aim of this article is to summarize some of the major points made in the document. [source]

Constitutional Tax and Expenditure Limitation in Colorado: The Impact on Municipal Governments

Tom Rown
Tax and expenditure limitations (TELs) have become a pervasive influence on local government fiscal affairs. Explanations for the spread of TELs suggest that voters thought local government was growing more than needed. Thus, TELs were intended to constrain growth and reduce the size of local governments. This article's purpose was to determine the impact of two separate kinds of TELs, one a property tax measure, and the other a comprehensive revenue and expenditure limit, upon the growth of municipal governments in Colorado. Using a panel data set on municipal budgets (1975,1996), the article demonstrates three major points: 1) the effectiveness of a TEL in achieving reductions in local government revenue and spending growth depends upon the nature of the TEL; 2) the comprehensive TEL did effectively constrain growth and reduce local government reliance on the property tax, despite the local options for exemption; and 3) TELs do not have uniform impacts among governments of different population. [source]

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Flexibilities on Intellectual Property Enforcement: The World Trade Organization Panel Interpretation of China-Intellectual Property Enforcement of Criminal Measures and Its Implications

Xuan Li
Criminal procedure is one of the three major points in the China-Intellectual Property (IP) case brought about by the United States. A number of experts believed that United States failed on this point because of lack of sufficient evidence. However, the author is of the view that the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) text-based interpretation of IP enforcement flexibility served as the core of the panel decision. This article starts with the criminal thresholds of China's criminal laws, and focuses on analysing the interpretation by the panel on the scope of responsibility and its limitations as enshrined in article 61, which led to the conclusion that the essence of the dispute is how to interpret and determine "IP enforcement flexibility". On this basis, the article expounds the concept and content of the "IP enforcement flexibility" and highlights the implications of this concept on current international TRIPS-plus initiatives. Some implications are given on how the World Trade Organization members can take advantage of the enforcement flexibility to serve the needs of innovation and development in their own countries. [source]

Global Connections and Practicing Anthropology in the 21st Century

Carole E. Hill
This chapt er examines the major themes in the chapters that compromise this volume by discussing how the practice of anthropology across nations and regions of the world is changing as a result of globalization. Several themes are delineated that reflect a unity of purpose and concern about the development and structure of practicing and policy anthropology in the 21st century. Divergent viewpoints among the chapters are also examined. Through comparing and contrasting the major points of the chapters, four major interconnected themes are discussed. They are: 1) local/global transformations: challenge to the traditional; 2) the power of practicing anthropology in local/global contexts; 3) academic and practicing transformations, and 4) the closing gap between colonized and colonizer nations. These themes have important implications for the future of global practice and present challenges to the organization and uses of the products of anthropological inquiry. [source]