Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Neutrality

  • liberal neutrality
  • political neutrality
  • risk neutrality
  • selective neutrality

  • Terms modified by Neutrality

  • neutrality test

  • Selected Abstracts


    RATIO, Issue 3 2008
    Iskra Fileva
    My purpose in the present paper is two-fold: to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the difference between rightness and virtue; and to systematically account for the role of objective rightness in an individual person's decision making. I argue that a decision to do something virtuous differs from a decision to do what's right not simply, as is often supposed, in being motivated differently but, rather, in being taken from a different point of view. My argument to that effect is the following. The ,objectively right' course of action must be right, ,neutrally' speaking, that is right for each of the participants in a given situation: if it is right for you to do A, then it cannot, at the same time, be right for me to prevent you from doing A. But the latter is precisely how things work with virtuous action: for instance, it may be virtuous of you to assume responsibility for my blunder, but it isn't virtuous of me to let you do so. I maintain, on this basis, that, while objectivity does have normative force in moral decision-making, the objective viewpoint is not, typically, the viewpoint from which decisions to act virtuously are taken. I then offer an account of objectivity's constraining power. [source]

    The Error of Judgment: Struggling for Neutrality in Science and Journalism

    Article first published online: 2 DEC 200
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Neutrality and the niche

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2005
    First page of article [source]

    Neutrality, Rebirth and Intergenerational Justice

    Tim Mulgan
    A basic feature of liberal political philosophy is its commitment to religious neut-rality. Contemporary philosophical discussion of intergenerational justice violates this com-mitment, as it proceeds on the basis of controversial metaphysical assumptions. The Contractualist notion of a power imbalance between generations and Derek Parfit's non-identity claims both presuppose that humans are not reborn. Yet belief in rebirth underlies Hindu and Buddhist traditions espoused by millions throughout the world. These traditions clearly constitute what John Rawls dubs "reasonable comprehensive doctrines", and therefore cannot be dismissed by political liberals. In many societies, including the USA, the UK, and India, belief in rebirth exists alongside other traditions, as well as modern Western views. A liberal theory for such societies must be impartial regarding rebirth, and the after-life in general. Two alternatives forms of liberal neutrality are sketched, based on Contractualism and Consequentialism. [source]

    Cryptic differentiation and geographic variation in genetic diversity of Hall's Babbler Pomatostomus halli

    Grant I. Miura
    Sequence variation was examined in domain I of the mitochondrial control region in three Queensland populations of Hall's Babbler Pomatostomus halli, a geographically restricted, monotypic songbird in eastern Australia. Surprisingly, we found that domain I sequences were strongly differentiated into two major clades differing by 3.29%. These two clades exhibited nearly complete geographic concordance with northern and southern populations, except for two haplotypes which were sampled in the north of the range but were phylogenetically allied to the southern clade. We also found a seven-fold higher level of genetic diversity in the northern than in the southern populations. Neutrality and molecular clock tests suggested that selection or differences in substitution rates were not responsible for this difference in diversity. However, a maximum likelihood analysis of gene flow between the north and south suggested that the difference in diversity could be due to both greater population size in the north and asymmetric gene flow dominated by south to north dispersal events. A likelihood ratio test rejected a model in which population sizes were equal and rates of gene flow symmetric, and came close to rejecting a model in which only population sizes were constrained to be equal. These results suggest that different population sizes and asymmetric gene flow could be a major source of differences in genetic variation between populations of Hall's Babbler, although ecological and biogeographic causes for these differences are obscure. [source]

    The standard of neutrality: still flapping in the breeze?

    S. R. PROULX
    Abstract Neutrality plays an important role as a null model in evolutionary biology. Recent theoretical advances suggest that neutrality is not a unitary concept, and we identify three distinct forms of neutrality. Eu-neutrality means that types do not differ in any measurable way and is thus the idealized form of neutrality. However, individuals or species that do differ in important ways can behave neutrally under some circumstances, both broadening and complicating the applicability of the concept of neutrality. Our second two types of neutrality address two quite different forms of context-dependent neutrality. Circum-neutrality means that two character states have the same direct effect on fitness but do not evolve neutrally because of differences in their circumstances. Iso-neutrality means that two types are equivalent in some population or ecological contexts but not in others, producing an isocline. Confounding of these different definitions has created significant confusion about which models are truly neutral, why some models behave neutrally even when there are large differences in reproductive outputs, and what these different views of neutrality mean to practicing biologists. These complications call into question the acceptance of neutral models as null models and suggest that a better approach is to compare the predictions of models that differ in sources of stochasticity and degree of selection. [source]

    Debt Neutrality and the Infinite,Lived Representative Consumer

    Bertrand Crettez
    In this paper, we study the intertemporal equilibria of an infinite,lived representative agent model with public debt. We show that for a given path of government expenditures, there generally exists a continuum of equilibria depending on various debt policies. These equilibria are characterized by different paths of consumption and leisure. Two examples illustrate the results: in the first one consumption and leisure may converge to zero, in the second one consumption goes to infinity while leisure goes to its maximum value. In a third example with externalities la Romer, the standard intertemporal equilibrium with zero public debt may be dominated by other intertemporal equilibria. [source]

    The Complexity of Humanitarian Neutrality in a Political World

    Stephan Sonnenberg
    First page of article [source]

    Generality, Efficiency, and Neutrality: Must Laws be General to be Legitimate?

    Zev Trachtenberg
    First page of article [source]

    Liberal Neutrality and Language Policy

    First page of article [source]

    Liberal Neutrality, Autonomy, and Drug Prohibitions

    First page of article [source]

    The Secular State and Religious Conflict: Liberal Neutrality and the Indian Case of Pluralism

    S. N. Balagangadhara
    First page of article [source]

    Head Banging: Engineering Neutrality + the Parametric Ceiling

    Francesca Hughes
    Abstract Through the work of Unit 15 at the Architectural Association in London, Francesca Hughes and Noam Andrews have been exploring the limits of parametric systems. Here Francesca Hughes questions whether parametricism has now hit a ,developmental ceiling'. What are the full cultural implications of the promised instantaneity of completed components in architectural production? Where does the ,strange engineered neutrality' of ,optimisation' take us? Is there a real danger that an ambivalence to context is returning us to the tabula rasa of Modernism?. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Turkmenistan's Foreign Policy: Positive Neutrality and the Consolidation of the Turkmen Regime , By Luca Anceschi

    Grigol Ubiria

    Austria's Report Card on Neutrality during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956

    Johanna Granville
    The Hungarian revolution of 1956 tested the Austrians' ability to exercise neutrality for the first time, while simultaneously rendering humanitarian aid to Hungarian refugees. Needing to justify the invasion of a Warsaw Pact ally, communist authorities exploited issues like border incidents, espionage, repatriation of refugees, and favouritism toward organisations to "prove" Austria's breech of neutrality. The Raab government , which signed the State Treaty only one year earlier , prudently weighed every move, passing the test admirably. [source]

    Public Service Neutrality in Hong Kong: Problems and Prospects

    Chor-yung Cheung
    Before 2002, Hong Kong's higher civil servants were required to play the dual role of quasi-ministers and civil servants. In such a context, can we make sense of the claim that Hong Kong's civil service has all along been politically neutral? What role has neutrality played in the governance of Hong Kong? Informed by Kernaghan's model of political neutrality and Oakeshott's idea of civil association, this article argues that the public service should not be regarded solely as an effective instrument of the government in power. In conclusion, this article proposes some institutional measures to strengthen the neutrality of the public service in Hong Kong and argues that properly understanding this will help prevent excessive or illegitimate partisan political power. [source]

    Taking the footing of a neutral mediator

    Brian L. Heisterkamp
    This study employs conversation analysis as a method for examining conversational footing in order to achieve mediator neutrality in a court-sanctioned mediation program. Data for the study are video recordings of actual mediation sessions. Participants include volunteer mediators and disputants who filed small claims cases at a county justice court. As first described by Goffman, conversational footing describes the various degrees of participation that interactants can have in relation to their own remarks. [source]

    The three m's,mediation, postmodernism, and the new millennium

    Dale Bagshaw
    Postmodernism can be seen as a reaction to modernism. A modernist culture, built over the last few centuries around forms of rationality, self-discipline, and scientific values, is succumbing to the effects of rapid and unprecedented technological and economic change. The weakness of modernist thinking was the search for unitary definitions and the reduction under one label of complex clusters of thought. This article investigates the strengths and weaknesses of postmodernist and poststructuralist ideas for mediation at the beginning of the new millennium and argues that some aspects of postmodernist thinking are important to mediation,in particular the recognition of the power of language, or discourse, to reflect and shape the world. Postmodernism rejects dualistic thinking, notions of "neutrality" and "objectivity," and mega theories or overarching "truths," and celebrates diversity and conflict. Postmodernism offers mediators a new way of thinking about thinking but has its drawbacks when considering issues of human rights. [source]

    DIFFICULT DISTINCTIONS: Refugee Law, Humanitarian Practice, and Political Identification in Gaza

    In this article, I explore the intersection of humanitarian practice and refugee law in shaping categories of "refugee" and "citizen" in Gaza in the first years after 1948. I examine how humanitarian practice produced enduring distinctions within the Gazan population and provided a space in which ideas about Palestinian citizenship began to take shape. A key argument is that humanitarianism, despite commitments to political neutrality, often has profound and enduring political effects. In this case, humanitarian distinctions contributed to making the "refugee" a central figure in the Palestinian political landscape. I also consider how humanitarianism in Palestine was guided by the larger, emerging postwar refugee regime, even as Palestinians were formally excluded from some of its mechanisms. [source]

    Channel Coordination for a Supply Chain with a Risk-Neutral Manufacturer and a Loss-Averse Retailer,

    DECISION SCIENCES, Issue 3 2007
    Charles X. Wang
    ABSTRACT This articles considers a decentralized supply chain in which a single manufacturer is selling a perishable product to a single retailer facing uncertain demand. It differs from traditional supply chain contract models in two ways. First, while traditional supply chain models are based on risk neutrality, this article takes the viewpoint of behavioral principal,agency theory and assumes the manufacturer is risk neutral and the retailer is loss averse. Second, while gain/loss (GL) sharing is common in practice, there is a lack of analysis of GL-sharing contracts in the supply chain contract literature. This article investigates the role of a GL-sharing provision for mitigating the loss-aversion effect, which drives down the retailer order quantity and total supply chain profit. We analyze contracts that include GL-sharing-and-buyback (GLB) credit provisions as well as the special cases of GL contracts and buyback contracts. Our analytical and numerical results lend insight into how a manufacturer can design a contract to improve total supply chain, manufacturer, and retailer performance. In particular, we show that there exists a special class of distribution-free GLB contracts that can coordinate the supply chain and arbitrarily allocate the expected supply chain profit between the manufacturer and retailer; in contrast with other contracts, the parameter values for contracts in this class do not depend on the probability distribution of market demand. This feature is meaningful in practice because (i) the probability distribution of demand faced by a retailer is typically unknown by the manufacturer and (ii) a manufacturer can offer the same contract to multiple noncompeting retailers that differ by demand distribution and still coordinate the supply chains. [source]

    Reflecting on Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: More Questions than Answers!

    J. Rosenstock
    Given the enormous public health and economic burden posed by the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), intervention in the prediabetes stage of disease to prevent progression to T2DM and its vascular complications seems the most sensible approach. Precisely how best to intervene remains the subject of much debate. Prudent lifestyle changes have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of progression in individuals with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Although lifestyle modifications are notoriously difficult to maintain, there is evidence that intensive intervention results in continued preventive benefit after the stopping of structured counselling. A number of drug therapies, including metformin, acarbose, orlistat and rosiglitazone, have also been proven effective in preventing progression from IFG/IGT, but unresolved issues still remain. Specifically, whether large numbers of individuals with glucose dysregulation who may never progress to T2DM should be exposed to the risk of pharmacological adverse effects is a topic of discussion and debate. Furthermore, there are limited data on the effectiveness of implementing interventions during the prediabetic state to prevent cardiovascular complications that may be hyperglycaemia related. A recent American Diabetes Association (ADA) consensus statement on IFG/IGT recommends lifestyle modification for individuals with IFG or IGT. Of note, the ADA consensus statement introduces the option of adding metformin treatment to lifestyle changes in those individuals who have combined IFG/IGT plus an additional risk factor for progression and who also have some features that increase the likelihood of benefiting from metformin treatment. The dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors are a new class of oral antidiabetic agents that, in addition to being effective in improving glycaemic control, may exert beneficial effects in preserving ,-cell function. These characteristics, combined with a low risk of hypoglycaemia, weight neutrality and what appears , so far , to be a relatively benign tolerability profile, make these agents intriguing candidates for preventive treatment. [source]

    A general framework for neutral models of community dynamics

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 12 2009
    Omri Allouche
    Abstract Neutral models of community dynamics are a powerful tool for ecological research, but their applications are currently limited to unrealistically simple types of dynamics and ignore much of the complexity that characterize natural ecosystems. Here, we present a new analytical framework for neutral models that unifies existing models of neutral communities and extends the applicability of existing models to a much wider spectrum of ecological phenomena. The new framework extends the concept of neutrality to fitness equivalence and in spite of its simplicity explains a wide spectrum of empirical patterns of species diversity including positive, negative and unimodal productivity,diversity relationships; gradual and highly delayed declines in species diversity with habitat loss; and positive and negative responses of species diversity to habitat heterogeneity. Surprisingly, the abundance distribution in all of these cases is given by the dispersal limited multinomial (DLM), the abundance distribution in Hubbell's zero-sum model, showing DLM's robustness and demonstrating that it cannot be used to infer the underlying community dynamics. These results support the hypothesis that ecological communities are regulated by a limited set of fundamental mechanisms much simpler than could be expected from their immense complexity. Ecology Letters (2009) 12: 1287,1297 [source]

    Resolving the biodiversity paradox

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 8 2007
    James S. Clark
    Abstract The paradox of biodiversity involves three elements, (i) mathematical models predict that species must differ in specific ways in order to coexist as stable ecological communities, (ii) such differences are difficult to identify, yet (iii) there is widespread evidence of stability in natural communities. Debate has centred on two views. The first explanation involves tradeoffs along a small number of axes, including ,colonization-competition', resource competition (light, water, nitrogen for plants, including the ,successional niche'), and life history (e.g. high-light growth vs. low-light survival and few large vs. many small seeds). The second view is neutrality, which assumes that species differences do not contribute to dynamics. Clark et al. (2004) presented a third explanation, that coexistence is inherently high dimensional, but still depends on species differences. We demonstrate that neither traditional low-dimensional tradeoffs nor neutrality can resolve the biodiversity paradox, in part by showing that they do not properly interpret stochasticity in statistical and in theoretical models. Unless sample sizes are small, traditional data modelling assures that species will appear different in a few dimensions, but those differences will rarely predict coexistence when parameter estimates are plugged into theoretical models. Contrary to standard interpretations, neutral models do not imply functional equivalence, but rather subsume species differences in stochastic terms. New hierarchical modelling techniques for inference reveal high-dimensional differences among species that can be quantified with random individual and temporal effects (RITES), i.e. process-level variation that results from many causes. We show that this variation is large, and that it stands in for species differences along unobserved dimensions that do contribute to diversity. High dimensional coexistence contrasts with the classical notions of tradeoffs along a few axes, which are often not found in data, and with ,neutral models', which mask, rather than eliminate, tradeoffs in stochastic terms. This mechanism can explain coexistence of species that would not occur with simple, low-dimensional tradeoff scenarios. [source]

    A niche for neutrality

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 2 2007
    Peter B. Adler
    Abstract Ecologists now recognize that controversy over the relative importance of niches and neutrality cannot be resolved by analyzing species abundance patterns. Here, we use classical coexistence theory to reframe the debate in terms of stabilizing mechanisms (niches) and fitness equivalence (neutrality). The neutral model is a special case where stabilizing mechanisms are absent and species have equivalent fitness. Instead of asking whether niches or neutral processes structure communities, we advocate determining the degree to which observed diversity reflects strong stabilizing mechanisms overcoming large fitness differences or weak stabilization operating on species of similar fitness. To answer this question, we propose combining data on per capita growth rates with models to: (i) quantify the strength of stabilizing processes; (ii) quantify fitness inequality and compare it with stabilization; and (iii) manipulate frequency dependence in growth to test the consequences of stabilization and fitness equivalence for coexistence. [source]

    Further characterization and validation of gpt delta transgenic mice for quantifying somatic mutations in vivo

    Roy R. Swiger
    Abstract The utility of any mutation assay depends on its characteristics, which are best discovered using model mutagens. To this end, we report further on the characteristics of the lambda-based gpt delta transgenic assay first described by Nohmi et al. ([1996]: Environ Mol Mutagen 28:465,470). Our studies show that the gpt transgene responds similarly to other transgenic loci, specifically lacZ and cII, after treatment with acute doses of N -ethyl- N -nitrosourea (ENU). Because genetic neutrality is an important factor in the design of treatment protocols for mutagenicity testing, as well as for valid comparisons between different tissues and treatments, a time-course study was conducted. The results indicate that the gpt transgene, like cII and lacZ, is genetically neutral in vivo. The sensitivities of the loci are also equivalent, as evidenced by spontaneous mutant frequency data and dose, response curves after acute treatment with 50, 150, or 250 mg/kg ENU. The results are interesting in light of transgenic target size and location and of host genetic background differences. Based on these studies, protocols developed for other transgenic assays should be suitable for the gpt delta. Additionally, a comparison of the gpt and an endogenous locus, Dlb-1, within the small intestine of chronically treated animals (94 ,g/mL ENU in drinking water daily) shows differential accumulation of mutations at the loci during chronic exposure. The results further support the existence of preferential repair at endogenous, expressed genes relative to transgenes. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 37:297,303, 2001 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Microbial diversity , insights from population genetics

    Ted H. M. Mes
    Summary Although many environmental microbial populations are large and genetically diverse, both the level of diversity and the extent to which it is ecologically relevant remain enigmatic. Because the effective (or long-term) population size, Ne, is one of the parameters that determines population genetic diversity, tests and simulations that assume selectively neutral mutations may help to identify the processes that have shaped microbial diversity. Using ecologically important genes, tests of selective neutrality suggest that adaptive as well as non-adaptive types of selection act and that departure from neutrality may be widespread or restricted to small groups of genotypes. Population genetic simulations using population sizes between 103 and 107 suggest extremely high levels of microbial diversity in environments that sustain large populations. However, census and effective population sizes may differ considerably, and because we know nothing of the evolutionary history of environmental microbial populations, we also have no idea what Ne of environmental populations is. On the one hand, this reflects our ignorance of the microbial world. On the other hand, the tests and simulations illustrate interactions between microbial diversity and microbial population genetics that should inform our thinking in microbial ecology. Because of the different views on microbial diversity across these disciplines, such interactions are crucial if we are to understand the role of genes in microbial communities. [source]

    Binding of Oxovanadium(IV) to Tripeptides Containing Histidine and Cysteine Residues and Its Biological Implication in the Transport of Vanadium and Insulin-Mimetic Compounds

    Eugenio Garribba
    Abstract The complexation of VIVO ion with three tripeptides of biological importance containing L -histidine or L -cysteine (HisGlyGly, GlyGlyHis and GlyGlyCys) has been studied. This study was performed in aqueous solution by the combined application of potentiometric and spectroscopic (electronic absorption and EPR) techniques. The results indicate that these oligopeptides, if a ligand-to-metal molar ratio of 10 or 15 is used, can keep VIVO ion in solution until the deprotonation of the amide group with the donor set (NH2, CO, Nimax) for HisGlyGly or (COO,, CO) for GlyGlyHis and GlyGlyCys. In all the systems, at pH values around neutrality, a VOLH,2 species is formed with an (NH2, N,, N,, COO,) donor set for HisGlyGly, (NH2, N,, N,, Nim) for GlyGlyHis and (NH2, N,,N,, S,) for GlyGlyCys. These species, and those with onedeprotonated amide group coordinated to the VIVO ion, can be detected by EPR spectroscopy. The N,(amide) contribution to the hyperfine coupling constant along the z axis, Az, depends on the total charge of the donor atoms in the equatorial plane. The participation of albumin in the transport of vanadium and insulin-mimetic VIVO compounds is reconsidered based on these results. ( Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 69451 Weinheim, Germany, 2005) [source]

    The evolutionary genetics of personality,

    Lars Penke
    Abstract Genetic influences on personality differences are ubiquitous, but their nature is not well understood. A theoretical framework might help, and can be provided by evolutionary genetics. We assess three evolutionary genetic mechanisms that could explain genetic variance in personality differences: selective neutrality, mutation-selection balance, and balancing selection. Based on evolutionary genetic theory and empirical results from behaviour genetics and personality psychology, we conclude that selective neutrality is largely irrelevant, that mutation-selection balance seems best at explaining genetic variance in intelligence, and that balancing selection by environmental heterogeneity seems best at explaining genetic variance in personality traits. We propose a general model of heritable personality differences that conceptualises intelligence as fitness components and personality traits as individual reaction norms of genotypes across environments, with different fitness consequences in different environmental niches. We also discuss the place of mental health in the model. This evolutionary genetic framework highlights the role of gene-environment interactions in the study of personality, yields new insight into the person-situation-debate and the structure of personality, and has practical implications for both quantitative and molecular genetic studies of personality. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 2 2010
    Fabian Staubach
    Changes in expression of genes are thought to contribute significantly to evolutionary divergence. To study the relative role of selection and neutrality in shaping expression changes, we analyzed 24 genes in three different tissues of the house mouse (Mus musculus). Samples from two natural populations of the subspecies M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus were investigated using quantitative PCR assays and sequencing of the upstream region. We have developed an approach to quantify expression polymorphism within such populations and to disentangle technical from biological variation in the data. We found a correlation between expression polymorphism within populations and divergence between populations. Furthermore, we found a correlation between expression polymorphism and sequence polymorphism of the respective genes. These data are most easily interpreted within a framework of a predominantly neutral model of gene expression change, where only a fraction of the changes may have been driven by positive selection. Although most genes investigated were expressed in all three tissues analyzed, significant changes of expression levels occurred predominantly in a single tissue only. This adds to the notion that enhancer-specific effects or transregulatory effects can modulate the evolution of gene expression in a tissue-specific way. [source]

    Local Government Accounting Standard-setting in Australia: Did Constituents Participate?

    Christine Ryan
    The Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB) has developed accounting standards for the public sector in Australia. A procedural ,due process' has been developed to protect the openness, neutrality and independence of Australian standard-setting both in the private and public sectors. Prior research into constituent participation in the ,due process' for specific cases in the public sector has raised doubts as to whether the ,due process' operated in an open, neutral and independent manner. It has found that account preparers were under-represented in their responses and used less sophisticated lobbying strategies than other respondents. The research also concluded that some constituents had favourable access to the ,due process', and that standard setters did not receive all pertinent information from constituents. This paper examines constituent participation in the ,due process' for the first public sector accounting standard, that for local government (AAS 27). The submissions made on the exposure draft preceding the standard ,ED 50, have been analysed using content analysis. The findings suggest that account preparers were well-represented in their responses and adopted the lobbying strategy of weighting their responses with supporting argument for the most controversial issues. Contrary to prior research, the paper concludes that in the case of ED 50 there is no evidence that the ,due process' failed to operate in an open and neutral manner. [source]