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

Concept: Translation


Using human evaluation of 100,000 words spread across 24 corpora in 10 languages diverse in origin and culture, we present evidence of a deep imprint of human sociality in language, observing that (i) the words of natural human language possess a universal positivity bias, (ii) the estimated emotional content of words is consistent between languages under translation, and (iii) this positivity bias is strongly independent of frequency of word use. Alongside these general regularities, we describe interlanguage variations in the emotional spectrum of languages that allow us to rank corpora. We also show how our word evaluations can be used to construct physical-like instruments for both real-time and offline measurement of the emotional content of large-scale texts.

Concepts: Programming language, Cognition, Reason, Mathematics, Translation, Root, Word, Language


Purely in vitro ribosome synthesis could provide a critical step towards unraveling the systems biology of ribosome biogenesis, constructing minimal cells from defined components, and engineering ribosomes with new functions. Here, as an initial step towards this goal, we report a method for constructing Escherichia coli ribosomes in crude S150 E. coli extracts. While conventional methods for E. coli ribosome reconstitution are non-physiological, our approach attempts to mimic chemical conditions in the cytoplasm, thus permitting several biological processes to occur simultaneously. Specifically, our integrated synthesis, assembly, and translation (iSAT) technology enables one-step co-activation of rRNA transcription, assembly of transcribed rRNA with native ribosomal proteins into functional ribosomes, and synthesis of active protein by these ribosomes in the same compartment. We show that iSAT makes possible the in vitro construction of modified ribosomes by introducing a 23S rRNA mutation that mediates resistance against clindamycin. We anticipate that iSAT will aid studies of ribosome assembly and open new avenues for making ribosomes with altered properties.

Concepts: Messenger RNA, Protein biosynthesis, Translation, Gene, Ribosomal RNA, RNA, Protein, Ribosome


BACKGROUND: Personalised (or individualised) medicine in the days of genetic research refers to molecular biologic specifications in individuals and not to a response to individual patient needs in the sense of person-centred medicine. Studies suggest that patients often wish for authentically person-centred care and personal physician-patient interactions, and that they therefore choose Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM) as a possibility to complement standard care and ensure a patient-centred approach. Therefore, to build on the findings documented in these qualitative studies, we investigated the various concepts of individualised medicine inherent in patients' reasons for using CAM. METHODS: We used the technique of meta-ethnography, following a three-stage approach: (1) A comprehensive systematic literature search of 67 electronic databases and appraisal of eligible qualitative studies related to patients' reasons for seeking CAM was carried out. Eligibility for inclusion was determined using defined criteria. (2) A meta-ethnographic study was conducted according to Noblit and Hare’s method for translating key themes in patients' reasons for using CAM. (3) A line-of-argument approach was used to synthesize and interpret key concepts associated with patients' reasoning regarding individualized medicine. RESULTS: (1) Of a total of 9,578 citations screened, 38 studies were appraised with a quality assessment checklist and a total of 30 publications were included in the study. (2) Reasons for CAM use evolved following a reciprocal translation. (3) The line-of-argument interpretations of patients' concepts of individualised medicine that emerged based on the findings of our multidisciplinary research team were “personal growth”, “holism”, “alliance”, “integrative care”, “self-activation” and “wellbeing”. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this meta-ethnographic study demonstrate that patients' notions of individualised medicine differ from the current idea of personalised genetic medicine. Our study shows that the “personal” patients' needs are not identified with a specific high-risk group or with a unique genetic profile in the sense of genome-based “personalised” or “individualised” medicine. Thus, the concept of individualised medicine should include the humanistic approach of individualisation as expressed in concepts such as “personal growth”, “holistic” or “integrative care”, doctor-patient “alliance”, “self-activation” and “wellbeing” needs. This should also be considered in research projects and the allocation of healthcare resources.

Concepts: Acupuncture, Translation, Ayurveda, DNA, Genetics, Evolution, Medicine, Alternative medicine


The Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) assesses the importance that subjects attribute to nine factors related to food choices: health, mood, convenience, sensory appeal, natural content, price, weight control, familiarity and ethical concern. This study sought to assess the applicability of the FCQ in Brazil; it describes the translation and cultural adaptation from English into Portuguese of the FCQ via the following steps: independent translations, consensus, back-translation, evaluation by a committee of experts, semantic validation and pre-test. The pre-test was run with a randomly sampled group of 86 male and female college students from different courses with a median age of 19. Slight differences between the versions were observed and adjustments were made. After minor changes in the translation process, the committee of experts considered that the Brazilian Portuguese version was semantically and conceptually equivalent to the English original. Semantic validation showed that the questionnaire is easily understood. The instrument presented a high degree of internal consistency. The study is the first stage in the process of validating an instrument, which consists of face and content validity. Further stages, already underway, are needed before other researchers can use it.

Concepts: Portuguese language, Free will, Semantics, Translation, Grammar, Psychometrics, Language, Brazil


Diabetes self-management education has been shown to be effective in controlled trials. However, few programs that meet American Association of Diabetes Educators standards have been translated into widespread practice.

Concepts: Translation, Health care, Clinical trial


In this paper we explore the results of a large-scale online game called ‘the Great Language Game’, in which people listen to an audio speech sample and make a forced-choice guess about the identity of the language from 2 or more alternatives. The data include 15 million guesses from 400 audio recordings of 78 languages. We investigate which languages are confused for which in the game, and if this correlates with the similarities that linguists identify between languages. This includes shared lexical items, similar sound inventories and established historical relationships. Our findings are, as expected, that players are more likely to confuse two languages that are objectively more similar. We also investigate factors that may affect players' ability to accurately select the target language, such as how many people speak the language, how often the language is mentioned in written materials and the economic power of the target language community. We see that non-linguistic factors affect players' ability to accurately identify the target. For example, languages with wider ‘global reach’ are more often identified correctly. This suggests that both linguistic and cultural knowledge influence the perception and recognition of languages and their similarity.

Concepts: Translation, Word game, Similarity, Language, Semiotics, Cognition, Linguistics


Languages vary enormously in global importance because of historical, demographic, political, and technological forces. However, beyond simple measures of population and economic power, there has been no rigorous quantitative way to define the global influence of languages. Here we use the structure of the networks connecting multilingual speakers and translated texts, as expressed in book translations, multiple language editions of Wikipedia, and Twitter, to provide a concept of language importance that goes beyond simple economic or demographic measures. We find that the structure of these three global language networks (GLNs) is centered on English as a global hub and around a handful of intermediate hub languages, which include Spanish, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, and Chinese. We validate the measure of a language’s centrality in the three GLNs by showing that it exhibits a strong correlation with two independent measures of the number of famous people born in the countries associated with that language. These results suggest that the position of a language in the GLN contributes to the visibility of its speakers and the global popularity of the cultural content they produce.

Concepts: Philosophy of language, Semantics, Reason, Languages, Language, Dialect, German language, Translation


Purpose: the Thai PPS Adult Suandok tool was translated from the Palliative Performance Scale (PPSv2) and had been used in Chiang Mai, Thailand for several years. Aim: to test the reliability and validity of the Thai translation of PPSv2. Design: a set of 22 palliative cases were used to determine a PPS score on Time-1, and repeated two weeks later as Time-2. A survey questionnaire was also completed for qualitative analysis. Participants: a total of 70 nurses and physicians from Maharaj Nakorn Hospital in Chiang Mai participated. Results: The Time-1 intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for absolute agreement is 0.911 (95% CI 0.86-0.96) and for consistency is 0.92 (95% CI 0.87-0.96). The Time-2 ICC for agreement is 0.905 (95% CI 0.85-0.95) and for consistency is 0.912 (95% CI 0.86-0.96). These findings indicate good agreement among participants and also were somewhat higher in the Time-2 re-test phase. Cohen’s kappa score is 0.55, demonstrating a moderate agreement. Thematic analysis from the surveys showed that 91% felt PPS to be a valuable clinical tool overall, with it being ‘very useful’ or ‘useful’ in several areas, including care planning (78% and 20%), disease monitoring (69% and 27%) and prognostication (61% and 31%), respectively. Some respondents noted difficulty in determining appropriate scores in paraplegic patients or those with feeding tubes, while others found the instructions long or difficult. Conclusion: the Thai PPS Adult Suandok translated tool has good inter- and intra-rater reliability and can be used regularly for clinical care.

Concepts: Cohen's kappa, Translation, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Covariance and correlation, Inter-rater reliability, Reliability, Psychometrics


Mitochondrial respiratory-chain complexes assemble from subunits of dual genetic origin assisted by specialized assembly factors. Whereas core subunits are translated on mitochondrial ribosomes, others are imported after cytosolic translation. How imported subunits are ushered to assembly intermediates containing mitochondria-encoded subunits is unresolved. Here, we report a comprehensive dissection of early cytochrome c oxidase assembly intermediates containing proteins required for normal mitochondrial translation and reveal assembly factors promoting biogenesis of human respiratory-chain complexes. We find that TIM21, a subunit of the inner-membrane presequence translocase, is also present in the major assembly intermediates containing newly mitochondria-synthesized and imported respiratory-chain subunits, which we term MITRAC complexes. Human TIM21 is dispensable for protein import but required for integration of early-assembling, presequence-containing subunits into respiratory-chain intermediates. We establish an unexpected molecular link between the TIM23 transport machinery and assembly of respiratory-chain complexes that regulate mitochondrial protein synthesis in response to their assembly state.

Concepts: Cytoplasm, Protein biosynthesis, Cell, Translation, Metabolism, Protein, Ribosome, Mitochondrion


Information about patients' adherence to therapy represents a primary issue in Parkinson’s disease (PD) management. To perform the linguistic validation of the Italian version of the self-rated 8-Item Morisky Medical Adherence Scale (MMAS-8) and to describe in a sample of Italian patients affected by PD the adherence to anti-Parkinson drug therapy and the association between adherence and some socio-demographic and clinical features. MMAS-8 was translated into Italian language by two independent Italian mother-tongue translators. The consensus version was then back-translated by an English mother-tongue translator. This translation process was followed by a consensus meeting between the authors of translation and investigators and then by two comprehension tests. The translated version of the MMAS-8 scale was then administered at the baseline visit of the “REASON” study (Italian Study on the Therapy Management in Parkinson’s disease: Motor, Non-Motor, Adherence and Quality Of Life Factors) in a large sample of PD patients. The final version of the MMAS-8 was easily understood. Mean ± SD MMAS-8 score was 6.1 ± 1.2. There were no differences in adherence to therapy in relationship to disease severity, gender, educational level or decision to change therapy. The Italian version of MMAS-8, the key tool of the REASON study to assess the adherence to therapy, has shown to be understandable to patients with PD. Patients enrolled in the REASON study showed medium therapy adherence.

Concepts: Medicine, Dynamic and formal equivalence, Metaphrase, Source text, Terminology, Literal translation, Language, Translation