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

Concept: Set theory


Human infants in the first year of life possess an intuitive sense of number. This preverbal number sense may serve as a developmental building block for the uniquely human capacity for mathematics. In support of this idea, several studies have demonstrated that nonverbal number sense is correlated with mathematical abilities in children and adults. However, there has been no direct evidence that infant numerical abilities are related to mathematical abilities later in childhood. Here, we provide evidence that preverbal number sense in infancy predicts mathematical abilities in preschool-aged children. Numerical preference scores at 6 months of age correlated with both standardized math test scores and nonsymbolic number comparison scores at 3.5 years of age, suggesting that preverbal number sense facilitates the acquisition of numerical symbols and mathematical abilities. This relationship held even after controlling for general intelligence, indicating that preverbal number sense imparts a unique contribution to mathematical ability. These results validate the many prior studies purporting to show number sense in infancy and support the hypothesis that mathematics is built upon an intuitive sense of number that predates language.

Concepts: Infant, Mathematics, Number, Real number, Set theory, Natural number, Infinity, Arithmetic


The description of a metabolic network in terms of elementary (flux) modes (EMs) provides an important framework for metabolic pathway analysis. However, their application to large networks has been hampered by the combinatorial explosion in the number of modes. In this work, we develop a method for generating random samples of EMs without computing the whole set.

Concepts: Metabolism, Mathematics, Set theory, Metabolic pathway, Randomization, Metabolic network, Metabolic network modelling, Exponentiation


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


Methods for the integrative analysis of multi-omics data are required to draw a more complete and accurate picture of the dynamics of molecular systems. The complexity of biological systems, the technological limits, the large number of biological variables and the relatively low number of biological samples make the analysis of multi-omics datasets a non-trivial problem.

Concepts: Molecular biology, Mathematics, Calculus, Set theory, Logic, Computational complexity theory, Systems biology, Number names


Recent studies have highlighted the potential role of basic numerical processing in the acquisition of numerical and mathematical competences. However, it is debated whether high-level numerical skills and mathematics depends specifically on basic numerical representations. In this study mathematicians and nonmathematicians performed a basic number line task, which required mapping positive and negative numbers on a physical horizontal line, and has been shown to correlate with more advanced numerical abilities and mathematical achievement. We found that mathematicians were more accurate compared with nonmathematicians when mapping positive, but not negative numbers, which are considered numerical primitives and cultural artifacts, respectively. Moreover, performance on positive number mapping could predict whether one is a mathematician or not, and was mediated by more advanced mathematical skills. This finding might suggest a link between basic and advanced mathematical skills. However, when we included visuospatial skills, as measured by block design subtest, the mediation analysis revealed that the relation between the performance in the number line task and the group membership was explained by non-numerical visuospatial skills. These results demonstrate that relation between basic, even specific, numerical skills and advanced mathematical achievement can be artifactual and explained by visuospatial processing. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Mathematics, Number, Real number, Set theory, 0, Inequality, Numbers, Subtraction


The emergent field of data science is a critical driver for innovation in all sectors, a focus of tremendous workforce development, and an area of increasing importance within science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In all of its aspects, data science has the potential to narrow the gender gap and set a new bar for inclusion. To evolve data science in a way that promotes gender diversity, we must address two challenges: (1) how to increase the number of women acquiring skills and working in data science and (2) how to evolve organizations and professional cultures to better retain and advance women in data science. Everyone can contribute.

Concepts: Mathematics, Sociology, Science, Engineering, Set theory, Technology, Patent, Set


Adler et al. (Reports, 23 September 2011, p. 1750) reported “weak and variable” relationships between productivity and species richness and dispute the “humped-back” model (HBM) of plant diversity. We show that their analysis lacks sufficient high-productivity sites, ignores litter, and excludes anthropogenic sites. If corrected, the data set of Adler et al. would apparently yield strong HBM support.

Concepts: Life, Species, Plant, Report, Data, Set theory, Strong inflection, Weak interaction


To improve understanding of the internal structure of the proximal phalanx (P1), response of the bone to load and possible relation to the pathogenesis of fractures in P1.

Concepts: Finite element method, Hilbert space, Set theory, Partial differential equation, Finite element method in structural mechanics, Discrete mathematics


To report a fuzzy logic mathematical model to predict postoperative vomiting (POV) in pediatric oncologic patients and compare with preexisting scores.

Concepts: Scientific method, Mathematics, Model theory, Set theory, Logic, Mathematical logic, Postoperative nausea and vomiting, Fuzzy logic


Survivors of critical illness can experience long-standing functional limitations that negatively affect their health-related quality of life. To date, no model of rehabilitation has demonstrated sustained improvements in physical function for survivors of critical illness beyond hospital discharge.

Concepts: Set theory