SciCombinator

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

Concept: Homogeneity

170

Clonal growth allows plants to spread horizontally and to establish ramets in sites of contrasting resource status. If ramets remain physiologically integrated, clones in heterogeneous environments can act as cooperative systems - effects of stress on one ramet can be ameliorated by another connected ramet inhabiting benign conditions. But little is known about the effects of patch contrast on physiological integration of clonal plants and no study has addressed its effects on physiological traits like osmolytes, reactive oxygen intermediates and antioxidant enzymes. We examined the effect of physiological integration on survival, growth and stress indicators such as osmolytes, reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs) and antioxidant enzymes in a clonal plant, Fragaria orientalis, growing in homogenous and heterogeneous environments differing in patch contrast of water availability (1 homogeneous (no contrast) group; 2 low contrast group; 3 high contrast group). Drought stress markedly reduced the survival and growth of the severed ramets of F. orientalis, especially in high contrast treatments. Support from a ramet growing in benign patch considerably reduced drought stress and enhanced growth of ramets in dry patches. The larger the contrast between water availability, the larger the amount of support the depending ramet received from the supporting one. This support strongly affected the growth of the supporting ramet, but not to an extent to cause increase in stress indicators. We also found indication of costs related to maintenance of physiological connection between ramets. Thus, the net benefit of physiological integration depends on the environment and integration between ramets of F. orientalis could be advantageous only in heterogeneous conditions with a high contrast.

Concepts: Oxygen, Antioxidant, Effect, Water, Reactive oxygen species, Heterogeneity, Homogeneity, Clonal colony

27

The aim of this work was to prepare organogels of Carbopol 974P NF (C974) in PEG 400 by using a novel technique, high-speed homogenization followed by microwave heating. Triclosan (TCS) was used as a model drug. C974, at concentrations ranging between 2% and 4%, was dispersed in 25 ml of PEG 400, and the dispersion was homogenised for 5 min at 24,000 rpm. The dispersion was either heated at 80°C in water bath under mechanic stirring at 200 rpm or exposed to micro-irradiation (1,200 W/1 h) for 2 min. The formulations prepared with both methods performed a well-structured gel matrix characteristic at 3% and 4% of C974 concentrations. As the concentrations of the polymer increased, the elastic properties also increased. The viscosity profiles indicated a shear-thinning system. DSC data revealed that TCS was dissolved in gel. Skin accumulation ability of TCS had been improved by these novel organogels regardless of the preparation method. TCS was still microbiologically effective after the microwave process was applied. It was determined that microwave heating is a suitable method to obtain C974 organogels. This novel production technique developed might be promising especially in industrial scale when the dramatic reduction in the preparation time and energy were considered.

Concepts: Heat, Microwave oven, Homogeneity, Gel, Radio, Microwave, The Dramatics

25

As in clinical studies, finite element analysis (FEA) developed from computed tomography (CT) images of bones are useful in pre-clinical rodent studies assessing treatment effects on vertebral body (VB) strength. Since strength predictions from microCT-derived FEAs (μFEA) have not been validated against experimental measurements of mouse VB strength, a parametric analysis exploring material and failure definitions was performed to determine whether elastic μFEAs with linear failure criteria could reasonably assess VB strength in two studies, treatment and genetic, with differences in bone volume fraction between the control and the experimental groups. VBs were scanned with a 12-μm voxel size, and voxels were directly converted to 8-node, hexahedral elements. The coefficient of determination or R (2) between predicted VB strength and experimental VB strength, as determined from compression tests, was 62.3% for the treatment study and 85.3% for the genetic study when using a homogenous tissue modulus (E t) of 18 GPa for all elements, a failure volume of 2%, and an equivalent failure strain of 0.007. The difference between prediction and measurement (that is, error) increased when lowering the failure volume to 0.1% or increasing it to 4%. Using inhomogeneous tissue density-specific moduli improved the R (2) between predicted and experimental strength when compared with uniform E t=18 GPa. Also, the optimum failure volume is higher for the inhomogeneous than for the homogeneous material definition. Regardless of model assumptions, μFEA can assess differences in murine VB strength between experimental groups when the expected difference in strength is at least 20%.

Concepts: Scientific method, Regression analysis, Prediction, Futurology, Prophecy, Finite element method, Heterogeneity, Homogeneity

25

Longitudinal zero-inflated count data arise frequently in substance use research when assessing the effects of behavioral and pharmacological interventions. Zero-inflated count models (e.g. zero-inflated Poisson or zero-inflated negative binomial) with random effects have been developed to analyze this type of data. In random effects zero-inflated count models, the random effects covariance matrix is typically assumed to be homogeneous (constant across subjects). However, in many situations this matrix may be heterogeneous (differ by measured covariates). In this paper, we extend zero-inflated count models to account for random effects heterogeneity by modeling their variance as a function of covariates. We show via simulation that ignoring intervention and covariate-specific heterogeneity can produce biased estimates of covariate and random effect estimates. Moreover, those biased estimates can be rectified by correctly modeling the random effects covariance structure. The methodological development is motivated by and applied to the Combined Pharmacotherapies and Behavioral Interventions for Alcohol Dependence (COMBINE) study, the largest clinical trial of alcohol dependence performed in United States with 1383 individuals.

Concepts: Variance, Structure, Alcoholism, Heterogeneity, Homogeneity, Analysis of variance, Covariance matrix, Covariance

24

An appropriate solution is suggested for synthesizing wafer-scale, continuous, and stoichiometric MoS2 layers with spatial homogeneity at the low temperature of 450 °C. It is also demonstrated that the MoS2 -based visible-light photodetector arrays are both fabricated on 4 inch SiO2 /Si wafer and polyimide films, revealing 100% active devices with a narrow photocurrent distribution and excellent mechanical durability.

Concepts: Oxygen, Optics, Homogeneity, Photodetector

20

Markets are central to modern society, so their failures can be devastating. Here, we examine a prominent failure: price bubbles. Bubbles emerge when traders err collectively in pricing, causing misfit between market prices and the true values of assets. The causes of such collective errors remain elusive. We propose that bubbles are affected by ethnic homogeneity in the market and can be thwarted by diversity. In homogenous markets, traders place undue confidence in the decisions of others. Less likely to scrutinize others' decisions, traders are more likely to accept prices that deviate from true values. To test this, we constructed experimental markets in Southeast Asia and North America, where participants traded stocks to earn money. We randomly assigned participants to ethnically homogeneous or diverse markets. We find a marked difference: Across markets and locations, market prices fit true values 58% better in diverse markets. The effect is similar across sites, despite sizeable differences in culture and ethnic composition. Specifically, in homogenous markets, overpricing is higher as traders are more likely to accept speculative prices. Their pricing errors are more correlated than in diverse markets. In addition, when bubbles burst, homogenous markets crash more severely. The findings suggest that price bubbles arise not only from individual errors or financial conditions, but also from the social context of decision making. The evidence may inform public discussion on ethnic diversity: it may be beneficial not only for providing variety in perspectives and skills, but also because diversity facilitates friction that enhances deliberation and upends conformity.

Concepts: Decision making, Sociology, Culture, Heterogeneity, Homogeneity, Price, Trade, Polyethnicity

14

It is extremely challenging to measure the variation of pore surface properties in complex porous systems even though many porous materials have widely differing pore surface properties at microscopic levels. The surface heterogeneity results in different adsorption/desorption behaviors and storage capacity of guest molecules in pores. Built upon the conventional Porod’s law scattering theory applicable mainly to porous materials with relatively homogeneous matrices, here we develop a generalized Porod’s scattering law method (GPSLM) to study heterogeneous porous materials and directly obtain the variation of scattering length density (SLD) of pore surfaces. As SLD is a function of the chemical formula and density of the matrix, the non-invasive GPSLM provides a way to probe surface compositional heterogeneity, and can be applied to a wide range of heterogeneous materials especially, but not limited to, porous media and colloids, using either neutron or X-ray scattering techniques.

Concepts: Volume, Scattering, Heterogeneity, Homogeneity, X-ray crystallography, Porous medium, Volume form, Scattering theory

9

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of psychological traits are generally conducted on (dichotomized) sums of items or symptoms (e.g., case-control status), and not on the individual items or symptoms themselves. We conduct large-scale GWAS on 12 neuroticism items and observe notable and replicable variation in genetic signal between items. Within samples, genetic correlations among the items range between 0.38 and 0.91 (mean rg = .63), indicating genetic heterogeneity in the full item set. Meta-analyzing the two samples, we identify 255 genome-wide significant independent genomic regions, of which 138 are item-specific. Genetic analyses and genetic correlations with 33 external traits support genetic differences between the items. Hierarchical clustering analysis identifies two genetically homogeneous item clusters denoted depressed affect and worry. We conclude that the items used to measure neuroticism are genetically heterogeneous, and that biological understanding can be gained by studying them in genetically more homogeneous clusters.

Concepts: DNA, Scientific method, Gene, Genetics, Greek loanwords, Genome-wide association study, Heterogeneity, Homogeneity

9

For years, studies of founder populations and genetic isolates represented the mainstream of genetic mapping in the effort to target genetic defects causing Mendelian disorders. The genetic homogeneity of such populations as well as relatively homogeneous environmental exposures were also seen as primary advantages in studies of genetic susceptibility loci that underlie complex diseases. European colonization of the St-Lawrence Valley by a small number of settlers, mainly from France, resulted in a founder effect reflected by the appearance of a number of population-specific disease-causing mutations in Quebec. The purported genetic homogeneity of this population was recently challenged by genealogical and genetic analyses. We studied one of the contributing factors to genetic heterogeneity, early Native American admixture that was never investigated in this population before. Consistent admixture estimates, in the order of one per cent, were obtained from genome-wide autosomal data using the ADMIXTURE and HAPMIX software, as well as with the fastIBD software evaluating the degree of the identity-by-descent between Quebec individuals and Native American populations. These genomic results correlated well with the genealogical estimates. Correlations are imperfect most likely because of incomplete records of Native founders' origin in genealogical data. Although the overall degree of admixture is modest, it contributed to the enrichment of the population diversity and to its demographic stratification. Because admixture greatly varies among regions of Quebec and among individuals, it could have significantly affected the homogeneity of the population, which is of importance in mapping studies, especially when rare genetic susceptibility variants are in play.

Concepts: Genetics, Genetic disorder, Evolution, Homogeneity, Population genetics, Native Americans in the United States, Founder effect, Tay-Sachs disease

8

Controlling for socioeconomic and geographic factors, under-5 mortality (5q0) in developing countries has been declining at about 2.7% per year, a high rate of ‘technical progress’. This paper adduces theoretical and empirical reasons for rejecting the usual specification of homogeneous technical progress across countries and uses a panel of 95 developing countries for the period 1970-2000 to explore the consequences of heterogeneity. Allowing country-specific rates of technical progress sharply reduces the estimated income elasticity of 5q0 and points to country variation in technical progress as the principal source of the (large) cross-country variation in 5q0 decline. Education levels and physician coverage also contribute and are less affected than income of allowing country variation in technical progress. The paper concludes by decomposing 1970-2000 5q0 decline into its different sources for each country.

Concepts: Rates, Homogeneity, Developing country, Source, Reaction rate, Human geography, Consumer theory, Country