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Concept: Course


Online learning initiatives over the past decade have become increasingly comprehensive in their selection of courses and sophisticated in their presentation, culminating in the recent announcement of a number of consortium and startup activities that promise to make a university education on the internet, free of charge, a real possibility. At this pivotal moment it is appropriate to explore the potential for obtaining comprehensive bioinformatics training with currently existing free video resources. This article presents such a bioinformatics curriculum in the form of a virtual course catalog, together with editorial commentary, and an assessment of strengths, weaknesses, and likely future directions for open online learning in this field.

Concepts: Education, Educational psychology, College, Internet, Course, Curricula, Course catalog


Active learning methods have been shown to be superior to traditional lecture in terms of student achievement, and our findings on the use of Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) concur. Students in our introductory biology course performed significantly better if they engaged in PLTL. There was also a drastic reduction in the failure rate for underrepresented minority (URM) students with PLTL, which further resulted in closing the achievement gap between URM and non-URM students. With such compelling findings, we strongly encourage the adoption of Peer-Led Team Learning in undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses.

Concepts: Education, Science, Engineering, Learning, Failure, Student, Course, Active learning


Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) often is associated with physical health even decades later. However, parent-child emotional bonds during childhood may modify the importance of childhood SES to emergent health inequalities across the life course. Drawing on national data on middle-aged adults (1995 and 2005 National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States; MIDUS; Ns = 2,746 and 1,632), I find that compromised parent-child bonds eliminate the association between childhood SES and midlife disease. Longitudinal models of incident disease across one decade show that childhood abuse in particular continues to undermine the health protection associated with childhood SES. When childhood SES is moderate to high, compromised parent-child bonds lead to no predicted health benefits from childhood SES. In total, these findings direct attention to parent-child bonds as social-psychological levers for the transmission of class-based health advantages.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Epidemiology, Middle age, United States, Population health, Course


Face-to-face mindfulness interventions have been shown to significantly decrease perceived stress, anxiety and depression and research is beginning to show similar benefits for such courses delivered via the internet. We investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of an online mindfulness course for perceived stress, anxiety and depression.

Concepts: Anxiety, Psychology, English language, World Wide Web, Internet, Web application, History of the Internet, Course


Teaching bioinformatics at universities is complicated by typical computer classroom settings. As well as running software locally and online, students should gain experience of systems administration. For a future career in biology or bioinformatics, the installation of software is a useful skill. We propose that this may be taught by running the course on GNU/Linux running on inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer hardware, for which students may be granted full administrator access.

Concepts: Education, Higher education, School, Student, Teacher, Microsoft, History of education, Course


The ‘variety effect’ describes the greater consumption that is observed when multiple foods with different sensory characteristics are presented either simultaneously or sequentially. Variety increases the amount of food consumed in test of ad libitum intake. However, outside the laboratory, meals are often planned in advance and then consumed in their entirety. We sought to explore the extent to which the variety effect is anticipated in this pre-meal planning. Participants were shown two food images, each representing a first or a second course of a hypothetical meal. The two courses were either, (i) exactly the same food, (ii) different foods from the same sensory category (sweet or savoury), or (iii) different foods from a different sensory category. In Study 1 (N=30) these courses comprised typical ‘main meal’ foods and in Study 2 (N=30) they comprised snack foods. For each pair of images, participants rated their expected liking of the second course and selected ideal portion sizes, both for the second course and the first and second course, combined. In both studies, as the difference between the courses (from (i) same to (ii) similar to (iii) different) increased, the second course was selected in a larger portion and it was rated as more pleasant. To our knowledge, these are the first studies to show that the variety effect is evident in the energy content of self-selected meals. This work shows that effects of variety are learned and anticipated. This extends our characterisation beyond a passive process that develops towards the end of a meal.

Concepts: Scientific method, Food, Difference, Taste, Snack food, Meal, Course, Main course


Abstract Systemic and chronic diseases frequently affect function of many organs and systems, not only those from which they derive. The hand is a very complicated structure in the human body and its normal activity is related to undisturbed function of many factors. Therefore, the hand is frequently exposed to harmful effects of systemic diseases. The article reports on disorders and functional disturbances of the hand that, more frequently than in an average population, accompany selected systemic diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and scleroderma. Hand diseases related to diabetes are a subject of a separate paper. This study reviews typical disorders involving hand structures: joints, tendons and nerves. Their prevention and management is described.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis, Human body, Arthritis, Human anatomy, Course


To evaluate short- and long-term benefits and risks associated with antenatal administration of a single course of corticosteroids and the related strategies: multiple and rescue courses.

Concepts: Childbirth, Corticosteroid, Course


Melanoma incidence and mortality is a growing concern. Better recognition and management of skin cancer by primary care providers (PCPs) could help, but studies suggest they would benefit from additional education. Effective educational programs are needed.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Education, Learning, Social sciences, School, Skin cancer, Course, Alternative education


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to improve outcomes for patients with fibromyalgia, and its cardinal feature chronic widespread pain (CWP). Prediction models have now been developed which identify groups who are at high-risk of developing CWP. It would be beneficial to be able to prevent the development of CWP in these people because of the high cost of symptoms and because once established they are difficult to manage. We will test the hypothesis that among patients who are identified as at high-risk, a short course of telephone-delivered CBT (tCBT) reduces the onset of CWP. We will further determine the cost-effectiveness of such a preventative intervention.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Prevention, Fibromyalgia, Cognitive behavioral therapy, The Onset, Preventive medicine, Course