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

Concept: Success


Plasminogen deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive disease, which is associated with aggressive periodontitis and gingival enlargement. Previously described treatments of plasminogen deficiency associated periodontitis have shown limited success. This is the first case report indicating a successful therapy approach consisting of a non-surgical supra- and subgingival debridement in combination with an adjunctive systemic antibiotic therapy and a strict supportive periodontal regimen over an observation period of 4 years.

Concepts: Medicine, Phage therapy, Periodontology, Gingiva, Antibiotic, Periodontitis, Periodontal disease, Success


Crowdfunding represents an attractive new option for funding research projects, especially for students and early-career scientists or in the absence of governmental aid in some countries. The number of successful science-related crowdfunding campaigns is growing, which demonstrates the public’s willingness to support and participate in scientific projects. Putting together a crowdfunding campaign is not trivial, however, so here is a guide to help you make yours a success.

Concepts: Science, Success


A classic thesis is that scientific achievement exhibits a “Matthew effect”: Scientists who have previously been successful are more likely to succeed again, producing increasing distinction. We investigate to what extent the Matthew effect drives the allocation of research funds. To this end, we assembled a dataset containing all review scores and funding decisions of grant proposals submitted by recent PhDs in a €2 billion granting program. Analyses of review scores reveal that early funding success introduces a growing rift, with winners just above the funding threshold accumulating more than twice as much research funding (€180,000) during the following eight years as nonwinners just below it. We find no evidence that winners' improved funding chances in subsequent competitions are due to achievements enabled by the preceding grant, which suggests that early funding itself is an asset for acquiring later funding. Surprisingly, however, the emergent funding gap is partly created by applicants, who, after failing to win one grant, apply for another grant less often.

Concepts: Scientific method, Following, Science, Research, Success, Fundraising, Funding, Matthew effect


The primary limiting factor for effective IVF treatment is successful embryo implantation. Recurrent implantation failure (RIF) is a condition whereby couples fail to achieve pregnancy despite consecutive embryo transfers. Here we describe the collection of gene expression profiles from mid-luteal phase endometrial biopsies (n = 115) from women experiencing RIF and healthy controls. Using a signature discovery set (n = 81) we identify a signature containing 303 genes predictive of RIF. Independent validation in 34 samples shows that the gene signature predicts RIF with 100% positive predictive value (PPV). The strength of the RIF associated expression signature also stratifies RIF patients into distinct groups with different subsequent implantation success rates. Exploration of the expression changes suggests that RIF is primarily associated with reduced cellular proliferation. The gene signature will be of value in counselling and guiding further treatment of women who fail to conceive upon IVF and suggests new avenues for developing intervention.

Concepts: Gene, Pregnancy, Genetics, Gene expression, Cell, Embryo, Implantation, Success


Targeted delivery approaches for cancer therapeutics have shown a steep rise over the past few decades. However, compared to the plethora of successful pre-clinical studies, only 15 passively targeted nanocarriers (NCs) have been approved for clinical use and none of the actively targeted NCs have advanced past clinical trials. Herein, we review the principles behind targeted delivery approaches to determine potential reasons for their limited clinical translation and success. We propose criteria and considerations that must be taken into account for the development of novel actively targeted NCs. We also highlight the possible directions for the development of successful tumor targeting strategies.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Cancer, The Canon of Medicine,, Pre-clinical development, Success


Research suggests that temporary abstinence from alcohol may convey physiological benefits and enhance well-being. The aim of this study was to address a lack of information about: (a) correlates of successful completion of a planned period of abstinence, and (b) how success or failure in planned abstinence affects subsequent alcohol consumption.

Concepts: Alcohol, Failure, Alcoholic beverage, Success, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Dry county, Prohibition in the United States


A continuing debate in studies of social development in both humans and other animals is the extent to which early life experiences affect adult behavior. Also unclear are the relative contributions of cognitive skills (“intelligence”) and temperament for successful outcomes. Guide dogs are particularly suited to research on these questions. To succeed as a guide dog, individuals must accomplish complex navigation and decision making without succumbing to distractions and unforeseen obstacles. Faced with these rigorous demands, only ∼70% of dogs that enter training ultimately achieve success. What predicts success as a guide dog? To address these questions, we followed 98 puppies from birth to adulthood. We found that high levels of overall maternal behavior were linked with a higher likelihood of program failure. Furthermore, mothers whose nursing style required greater effort by puppies were more likely to produce successful offspring, whereas mothers whose nursing style required less effort were more likely to produce offspring that failed. In young adults, an inability to solve a multistep task quickly, compounded with high levels of perseveration during the task, was associated with failure. Young adults that were released from the program also appeared more anxious, as indicated by a short latency to vocalize when faced with a novel object task. Our results suggest that both maternal nursing behavior and individual traits of cognition and temperament are associated with guide dog success.

Concepts: Psychology, Decision making, Cognition, Failure, Labrador Retriever, Dog, Success, Adult


Cognitive emotion regulation has been widely shown in the laboratory to be an effective way to alter the nature of emotional responses. Despite its success in experimental contexts, however, we often fail to use these strategies in everyday life where stress is pervasive. The successful execution of cognitive regulation relies on intact executive functioning and engagement of the prefrontal cortex, both of which are rapidly impaired by the deleterious effects of stress. Because it is specifically under stressful conditions that we may benefit most from such deliberate forms of emotion regulation, we tested the efficacy of cognitive regulation after stress exposure. Participants first underwent fear-conditioning, where they learned that one stimulus (CS+) predicted an aversive outcome but another predicted a neutral outcome (CS-). Cognitive regulation training directly followed where participants were taught to regulate fear responses to the aversive stimulus. The next day, participants underwent an acute stress induction or a control task before repeating the fear-conditioning task using these newly acquired regulation skills. Skin conductance served as an index of fear arousal, and salivary α-amylase and cortisol concentrations were assayed as neuroendocrine markers of stress response. Although groups showed no differences in fear arousal during initial fear learning, nonstressed participants demonstrated robust fear reduction following regulation training, whereas stressed participants showed no such reduction. Our results suggest that stress markedly impairs the cognitive regulation of emotion and highlights critical limitations of this technique to control affective responses under stress.

Concepts: Anxiety, Psychology, Brain, Affect, Limbic system, Regulation, Emotion, Success


PURPOSE: To explore the mentor-mentee relationship with a focus on determining the characteristics of effective mentors and mentees and understanding the factors influencing successful and failed mentoring relationships. METHOD: The authors completed a qualitative study through the Departments of Medicine at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine between March 2010 and January 2011. They conducted individual, semistructured interviews with faculty members from different career streams and ranks and analyzed transcripts of the interviews, drawing on grounded theory. RESULTS: The authors completed interviews with 54 faculty members and identified a number of themes, including the characteristics of effective mentors and mentees, actions of effective mentors, characteristics of successful and failed mentoring relationships, and tactics for successful mentoring relationships. Successful mentoring relationships were characterized by reciprocity, mutual respect, clear expectations, personal connection, and shared values. Failed mentoring relationships were characterized by poor communication, lack of commitment, personality differences, perceived (or real) competition, conflicts of interest, and the mentor’s lack of experience. CONCLUSIONS: Successful mentorship is vital to career success and satisfaction for both mentors and mentees. Yet challenges continue to inhibit faculty members from receiving effective mentorship. Given the importance of mentorship on faculty members' careers, future studies must address the association between a failed mentoring relationship and a faculty member’s career success, how to assess different approaches to mediating failed mentoring relationships, and how to evaluate strategies for effective mentorship throughout a faculty member’s career.

Concepts: Qualitative research, Grounded theory, Coaching, Success, Alternative education, Youth mentoring, Mentorship, Maybach Foundation


To investigate whether reported vertigo during the Epley maneuver predicts therapeutic success in patients with benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo of the posterior semicircular canal (pc-BPPV). Fifty consecutive adult patients with pc-BPPV, based on a positive Dix-Hallpike test (DHT), were treated with the Epley maneuver and retested after 2 days. Patients were asked to report the presence of vertigo upon assuming each of the four positions of the maneuver. Thirty seven patients (74 %) were treated successfully in one session. Twenty out of 23 patients who reported vertigo at turning the head to the opposite side (2nd position) had a negative DHT on follow-up. These patients had a higher chance of a successful outcome compared to patients who did not report vertigo in the 2nd position (Odds ratio 5.3, 95 % CI: 1.3-22.2, p = 0.022). Report of vertigo at the other positions was not associated with the outcome. Report of vertigo at the second position of a single modified Epley maneuver is associated with therapeutic success.

Concepts: Report, Semicircular canal, Success, Odds, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Epley maneuver, Positioning, Posterior semicircular canal