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

Concept: Difference


Considerable mechanistic data indicate there may be a sixth basic taste: fat. However, evidence demonstrating that the sensation of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA, the proposed stimuli for “fat taste”) differs qualitatively from other tastes is lacking. Using perceptual mapping, we demonstrate that medium and long-chain NEFA have a taste sensation that is distinct from other basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter). Although some overlap was observed between these NEFA and umami taste, this overlap is likely due to unfamiliarity with umami sensations rather than true similarity. Shorter chain fatty acids stimulate a sensation similar to sour, but as chain length increases this sensation changes. Fat taste oral signaling, and the different signals caused by different alkyl chain lengths, may hold implications for food product development, clinical practice, and public health policy.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Fat, Food, Fatty acid metabolism, Difference, Taste, Tongue


Species exposed to extreme environments often exhibit distinctive traits that help meet the demands of such habitats. Such traits could evolve independently, but under intense selective pressures of extreme environments some existing structures or behaviors might be coopted to meet specialized demands, evolving via the process of exaptation. We evaluated the potential for exaptation to have operated in the evolution of novel behaviors of the waterfall-climbing gobiid fish genus Sicyopterus. These fish use an “inching” behavior to climb waterfalls, in which an oral sucker is cyclically protruded and attached to the climbing surface. They also exhibit a distinctive feeding behavior, in which the premaxilla is cyclically protruded to scrape diatoms from the substrate. Given the similarity of these patterns, we hypothesized that one might have been coopted from the other. To evaluate this, we filmed climbing and feeding in Sicyopterus stimpsoni from Hawai'i, and measured oral kinematics for two comparisons. First, we compared feeding kinematics of S. stimpsoni with those for two suction feeding gobiids (Awaous guamensis and Lentipes concolor), assessing what novel jaw movements were required for algal grazing. Second, we quantified the similarity of oral kinematics between feeding and climbing in S. stimpsoni, evaluating the potential for either to represent an exaptation from the other. Premaxillary movements showed the greatest differences between scraping and suction feeding taxa. Between feeding and climbing, overall profiles of oral kinematics matched closely for most variables in S. stimpsoni, with only a few showing significant differences in maximum values. Although current data cannot resolve whether oral movements for climbing were coopted from feeding, or feeding movements coopted from climbing, similarities between feeding and climbing kinematics in S. stimpsoni are consistent with evidence of exaptation, with modifications, between these behaviors. Such comparisons can provide insight into the evolutionary mechanisms facilitating exploitation of extreme habitats.

Concepts: Natural selection, Evolution, Symbiosis, Difference, Behavior, Similarity, Gobiidae, Climbing


The purpose of this study was to calculate exposure-based bicycling hospitalisation rates in Canadian jurisdictions with different helmet legislation and bicycling mode shares, and to examine whether the rates were related to these differences.

Concepts: Difference, Stock market, Stock, Share, Shareholder


Spelling - a core language skill - is commonly affected in neurological diseases such as stroke and Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). We present two case studies of the same spelling therapy (learning of phoneme-to-grapheme correspondences with help from key words) in two participants: one who had a stroke and one with PPA (logopenic variant). Our study highlights similarities and differences in the time course of each indivdual’s therapy. The study evaluates the effectiveness and generalization of treatment in each case, i.e. whether the treatment affected the trained items and/or untrained items, and whether or not the treatment gains were maintained after the end of therapy. Both participants were able to learn associations between phonemes and graphemes as well as between phonemes and words. Reliable generalization to untrained words was shown only for the participant with post-stroke aphasia, but we were not able to test generalization to untrained words in the individual with PPA. The same spelling therapy followed a different time course in each case. The participant with post-stroke aphasia showed a lasting effect of improved spelling, but we were unable to assess maintenance of improvement in the participant with PPA. We discuss these differences in light of the underlying nature of each disease.

Concepts: Effect, Skill, Difference, Learning, Orthography, Aphasias


BACKGROUND: Semantic similarity measures estimate the similarity between concepts, and play an important role in many text processing tasks. Approaches to semantic similarity in the biomedical domain can be roughly divided into knowledge based and distributional based methods. Knowledge based approaches utilize knowledge sources such as dictionaries, taxonomies, and semantic networks, and include path finding measures and intrinsic information content (IC) measures. Distributional measures utilize, in addition to a knowledge source, the distribution of concepts within a corpus to compute similarity; these include corpus IC and context vector methods. Prior evaluations of these measures in the biomedical domain showed that distributional measures outperform knowledge based path finding methods; but more recent studies suggested that intrinsic IC based measures exceed the accuracy of distributional approaches. Limitations of previous evaluations of similarity measures in the biomedical domain include their focus on the SNOMED CT ontology, and their reliance on small benchmarks not powered to detect significant differences between measure accuracy. There have been few evaluations of the relative performance of these measures on other biomedical knowledge sources such as the UMLS, and on larger, recently developed semantic similarity benchmarks. RESULTS: We evaluated knowledge based and corpus IC based semantic similarity measures derived from SNOMED CT, MeSH, and the UMLS on recently developed semantic similarity benchmarks. Semantic similarity measures based on the UMLS, which contains SNOMED CT and MeSH, significantly outperformed those based solely on SNOMED CT or MeSH across evaluations. Intrinsic IC based measures significantly outperformed path-based and distributional measures. We released all code required to reproduce our results and all tools developed as part of this study as open source, available under We provide a publicly-accessible web service to compute semantic similarity, available under CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge based semantic similarity measures are more practical to compute than distributional measures, as they do not require an external corpus. Furthermore, knowledge based measures significantly and meaningfully outperformed distributional measures on large semantic similarity benchmarks, suggesting that they are a practical alternative to distributional measures. Future evaluations of semantic similarity measures should utilize benchmarks powered to detect significant differences in measure accuracy.

Concepts: Evaluation, Difference, Similarity, Medical classification, Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine, WordNet, SNOMED CT, Semantic similarity


The left ventricle (LV) of mammals with Situs Solitus (SS, normal organ arrangement) displays hardly any interindividual variation in myofiber pattern and experimentally determined torsion. SS LV myofiber pattern has been suggested to result from adaptive myofiber reorientation, in turn leading to efficient pump and myofiber function. Limited data from the Situs Inversus Totalis (SIT, a complete mirror image of organ anatomy and position) LV demonstrated an essential different myofiber pattern, being normal at the apex but mirrored at the base. Considerable differences in torsion patterns in between human SIT LVs even suggest variation in myofiber pattern among SIT LVs themselves. We addressed whether different myofiber patterns in the SIT LV can be predicted by adaptive myofiber reorientation and whether they yield similar pump and myofiber function as in the SS LV. With a mathematical model of LV mechanics including shear induced myofiber reorientation, we predicted myofiber patterns of one SS and three different SIT LVs. Initial conditions for SIT were based on scarce information on the helix angle. The transverse angle was set to zero. During reorientation, a non-zero transverse angle developed, pump function increased, and myofiber function increased and became more homogeneous. Three continuous SIT structures emerged with a different location of transition between normal and mirrored myofiber orientation pattern. Predicted SIT torsion patterns matched experimentally determined ones. Pump and myofiber function in SIT and SS LVs are similar, despite essential differences in myocardial structure. SS and SIT LV structure and function may originate from same processes of adaptive myofiber reorientation.

Concepts: Mathematics, Heart, Difference, Group, Set theory, Situs inversus, Situs ambiguus, Situs solitus



Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) has severe impact on the quality of life (QoL) of children suffering from the disease and their families. The infant’s dermatitis quality of life index (IDQoL) and the dermatitis family impact questionnaire (DFI) were designed to study this impact. Aims: To compare the impact of AD on children and their families in different countries. Methods: 419 children with AD from six countries representing three continents under the age of 4 years were included into the study. English, Ukrainian, Czech, Portuguese, and Korean versions of the IDQoL and the DFI and Dutch version of the IDQoL questionnaires were used. Results: The highest scored items for the IDQoL and the DFI were rather similar. The IDQoL and the DFI results were well correlated with parental assessment of disease severity and between each other in all countries. Some differences mostly in the IDQoL assessment were found. Conclusion: Despite some reported peculiarities, parents in different counties assessed QoL and family QoL of their AD children in a similar way. The IDQoL and the DFI may be reliable initial measures for international studies. International study on the influence of the same treatment methods on the IDQoL and the DFI assessments is important.

Concepts: Family, Evaluation, Parent, Quality, Quality of life, Assessment, Difference, Mother


Both aerobic (AER) and resistance (RES) training, if maintained over a period of several months, reduce HbA1c levels in type 2 diabetes subjects. However, it is still unknown whether the short-term effects of these types of exercise on blood glucose are similar. Our objective was to assess whether there may be a difference in acute blood glucose changes after a single bout of AER or RES exercise.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Diabetes, Blood sugar, Difference, Strength training


Objective. To study the role of different imaging modalities, ultrasonography, conventional radiography (CR) and CT, in visualization of chondrocalcinosis of the knees in patients with CPDD.Methods. Twenty-five patients (14 males and 11 females) with CPDD were enrolled in the study. Diagnosis was made according to D.J. McCarty classification criteria. All patients had arthritis of the knee and underwent aspiration of SF from the knee and microscopic investigation of SF samples. Diagnosis of CPDD was crystal proven. Three imaging methods were performed in patients: CR, CT and US of the knees.Results. CR of the knee confirmed cartilage calcification (CC) in 13 patients, CT in 18 patients and US in 25 patients. No difference in age or disease duration between patients with CC detected by different imaging methods was found.Conclusion. US appeared to be a helpful tool, possibly better than CR or CT, in revealing CC in patients with CPDD. Informativity of CT and CR in the detection of CC is almost equal.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Cartilage, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Difference