SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Abstraction

25

Due to the increased life expectancy and continual improvements in cardiological treatment options, diseases of the tricuspid valve, in particular tricuspid valve insufficiency will become increasingly more recognized as an interventional target. While tricuspid stenosis is rare and can be effectively treated with balloon valvuloplasty, no effective transcatheter approach to tricuspid regurgitation (TR) has yet been established. As the tricuspid annulus is a complex and highly dynamic structure that offers little resistance, orthotopic long-term fixation of transcatheter valves with the current techniques is challenging and has not yet been performed in human patients. Alternative treatment concepts include transcatheter caval valve implantation (CAVI) to address the regurgitation of blood into the caval veins, which has resulted in hemodynamic improvement and is currently undergoing further clinical investigation. Other interventional treatment concepts are aimed at tricuspid valve repair, e.g. by annular plication with the Mitralign™ device or the TriCinch™ system. In the medium-term it can be assumed that percutaneous systems and therapy options will become available for these indications whereby the functional and prognostic effects of these treatment procedures will be corroborated in the appropriate patient groups by corresponding studies.

Concepts: Heart, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve, Annulus, Abstraction, Tricuspid insufficiency, Regurgitation, Valvular heart disease

25

Genetically modified (GM) crops have been and continue to be a subject of controversy despite their rapid adoption by farmers where approved. For the last two decades, an important matter of debate has been their impact on pesticide use, particularly for herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. Some claim that these crops bring about a decrease in herbicide use, while others claim the opposite. In fact, since 1996, most cultivated GMOs have been GMHT crops, which involve the use of an associated herbicide, generally glyphosate. In their very first years of adoption, HT crops often led to some decrease in herbicide use. However, the repetition of glyphosate-tolerant crops and of glyphosate only applications in the same fields without sufficient alternation and herbicide diversity has contributed to the appearance of glyphosate-resistant weeds. These weeds have resulted in a rise in the use of glyphosate and other herbicides. This article explores this situation and the impacts of herbicide-resistant weeds, using an interdisciplinary approach and drawing on recent data. The paper analyzes the spread of GMHT crops worldwide and their consequences on herbicide use in the USA in particular. It then addresses the global development of glyphosate-resistant weeds and their impact, particularly focusing on the USA. Finally, the last section explores how industry, farmers, and weed scientists are coping with the spread of resistant weeds. The concluding comments deal more widely with trends in GM crops.

Concepts: Agriculture, Pesticide, Abstraction, Genetically modified organism, Weed, Herbicide, Glyphosate, Roundup

25

After reviewing the pertinent philosophical and psychoanalytic writings on the concept of dignity, this paper proposes three categories of dignity. Conceptualized as phenomenological clusters, heuristic viewpoints, and levels of abstraction, these include (i) metaphysical dignity which extends the concept of dignity beyond the human species to all that exists in this world, (ii) existential dignity which applies to human beings alone and rests upon their inherent capacity for moral transcendence, and (iii) characterological dignity which applies more to some human beings than others since they possess a certain set of personality traits that are developmentally derived. The paper discusses the pros and cons of each category and acknowledges the limitations of such classification. It also discusses the multiple ways in which these concepts impact upon clinical work and concludes with some remarks on the relationship of dignity to choice, narcissism, and suicide.

Concepts: Psychology, Ontology, Idea, Thought, Concept, Metaphysics, Abstraction, Category of being

22

Social relationships and interactions contribute to daily emotional well-being. The emotional benefits that come from engaging with others are known to arise from real events, but do they also come from the imagination during daydreaming activity? Using experience sampling methodology with 101 participants, we obtained 371 reports of naturally occurring daydreams with social and non-social content and self-reported feelings before and after daydreaming. Social, but not non-social, daydreams were associated with increased happiness, love and connection and this effect was not solely attributable to the emotional content of the daydreams. These effects were only present when participants were lacking in these feelings before daydreaming and when the daydream involved imagining others with whom the daydreamer had a high quality relationship. Findings are consistent with the idea that social daydreams may function to regulate emotion: imagining close others may serve the current emotional needs of daydreamers by increasing positive feelings towards themselves and others.

Concepts: Abstraction, Imagination, Daydream

21

‘Communication’ between abiotic nanoscale chemical systems is an almost-unexplored field with enormous potential. Here we show the design and preparation of a chemical communication system based on enzyme-powered Janus nanoparticles, which mimics an interactive model of communication. Cargo delivery from one nanoparticle is governed by the biunivocal communication with another nanoparticle, which involves two enzymatic processes and the interchange of chemical messengers. The conceptual idea of establishing communication between nanodevices opens the opportunity to develop complex nanoscale systems capable of sharing information and cooperating.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Nanotechnology, System, Model, Abstraction, The Opportunity

16

This article investigates how neuroscience in general, and neuroscience of creativity in particular, can be used in teaching “applied creativity” and the usefulness of this approach to creativity training. The article is based on empirical data and our experiences from the Applied NeuroCreativity (ANC) program, taught at business schools in Denmark and Canada. In line with previous studies of successful creativity training programs the ANC participants are first introduced to cognitive concepts of creativity, before applying these concepts to a relevant real world creative problem. The novelty in the ANC program is that the conceptualization of creativity is built on neuroscience, and a crucial aspect of the course is giving the students a thorough understanding of the neuroscience of creativity. Previous studies have reported that the conceptualization of creativity used in such training is of major importance for the success of the training, and we believe that the neuroscience of creativity offers a novel conceptualization for creativity training. Here we present pre/post-training tests showing that ANC students gained more fluency in divergent thinking (a traditional measure of trait creativity) than those in highly similar courses without the neuroscience component, suggesting that principles from neuroscience can contribute effectively to creativity training and produce measurable results on creativity tests. The evidence presented indicates that the inclusion of neuroscience principles in a creativity course can in 8 weeks increase divergent thinking skills with an individual relative average of 28.5%.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Education, Cognition, Idea, Thought, Problem solving, Abstraction

15

Social exclusion is a concept that has been widely debated in recent years; a particular focus of the discussion has been its significance in relation to health. The meanings of the phrase “social exclusion”, and the closely associated term “social inclusion”, are contested in the literature. Both of these concepts are important in relation to health and the area of primary healthcare in particular. Thus, several tools for the measurement of social exclusion or social inclusion status in health care settings have been developed.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Public health, Health insurance, Health, Sociology, Abstraction, Alliance for Healthy Cities

15

We give an overview of our philosophy of pictures in mathematics. We emphasize a bidirectional process between picture language and mathematical concepts: abstraction and simulation. This motivates a program to understand different subjects, using virtual and real mathematical concepts simulated by pictures.

Concepts: Mathematics, Engineering, Operations research, Computer graphics, Logic, Programming language, Abstraction, Mathematical model

15

BackgroundInformed consent in research is partly achieved through the use of information sheets. There is a perception however that these information sheets are long and complex. The recommended reading level for patient information is grade 6, or 11-12 years old.AimsTo investigate whether the readability of participant information sheets has changed over time, whether particular study characteristics are related to poorer readability and whether readability and other study characteristics are related to successful study recruitment.MethodWe obtained 522 information sheets from the UK National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network: Mental Health portfolio database and study principal investigators. Readability was assessed with the Flesch reading index and the Grade level test.ResultsInformation sheets increased in length over the study period. The mean grade level across all information sheets was 9.8, or 15-16 years old. A high level of patient involvement was associated with more recruitment success and studies involving pharmaceutical or device interventions were the least successful. The complexity of information sheets had little bearing on successful recruitment.ConclusionsInformation sheets are far more complex than the recommended reading level of grade 6 for patient information. The disparity may be exacerbated by an increasing focus on legal content. Researchers would benefit from clear guidance from ethics committees on writing succinctly and accessibly and how to balance the competing legal issues with the ability of participants to understand what a study entails.

Concepts: Medicine, Perception, Sense, Writing, Cultural studies, Abstraction, Readability, Health research

13

Are musicians better able to understand speech in noise than non-musicians? Recent findings have produced contradictory results. Here we addressed this question by asking musicians and non-musicians to understand target sentences masked by other sentences presented from different spatial locations, the classical ‘cocktail party problem’ in speech science. We found that musicians obtained a substantial benefit in this situation, with thresholds ~6 dB better than non-musicians. Large individual differences in performance were noted particularly for the non-musically trained group. Furthermore, in different conditions we manipulated the spatial location and intelligibility of the masking sentences, thus changing the amount of ‘informational masking’ (IM) while keeping the amount of ‘energetic masking’ (EM) relatively constant. When the maskers were unintelligible and spatially separated from the target (low in IM), musicians and non-musicians performed comparably. These results suggest that the characteristics of speech maskers and the amount of IM can influence the magnitude of the differences found between musicians and non-musicians in multiple-talker “cocktail party” environments. Furthermore, considering the task in terms of the EM-IM distinction provides a conceptual framework for future behavioral and neuroscientific studies which explore the underlying sensory and cognitive mechanisms contributing to enhanced “speech-in-noise” perception by musicians.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Perception, Concept, Abstraction, Music, Party, Cocktail party