It is hypothesized that iron from biological tissues, liberated during decay, may have played a role in inhibiting loss of anatomical information during fossilization of extinct organisms. Most tissues in the animal kingdom contain iron in different forms. A widely distributed iron‐bearing molecule is ferritin, a globular protein that contains iron crystallites in the form of ferrihydrite minerals. Iron concentrations in ferritin are high and ferrihydrites are extremely reactive. When ancient animals are decaying on the sea floor under anoxic environmental (...) conditions, ferrihydrites may initialize the selective replication of some tissues in pyrite FeS2. This model explains why some labile tissues are preserved, while other more resistant structures decay and are absent in many fossils. A major implication of this hypothesis is that structures described as brains in Cambrian arthropods are not fossilization artifacts, but are instead a source of information on anatomical evolution at the dawn of complex animal life. (shrink)
A 365 million year‐old trilobite moult‐carcass assemblage was described by Błażejowski et al. (2015) as the oldest direct evidence of moulting in the arthropod fossil record. Unfortunately, their suppositions are insufficiently supported by the data provided. Instead, the morphology, configuration and preservational context of the highly fossiliferous locality (Kowala Quarry, Poland) suggest that the specimen consists of two overlapping, queued carcasses. The wider fossil record of moulting actually extends back 520 million years, providing an unparalleled opportunity to study behaviour, ecology (...) and development in early animals. Taking cues from modern analogues, it is possible to quantify precise details about moulting behaviour to determine broad‐scale evolutionary trends, ontogenetic sequences and morphological selection pressures. In this review, we argue that this rich source of data has been underused in evolutionary studies, though has great potential for investigating the life history and evolution of arthropods in deep time. (shrink)
Mood disorders, including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, are highly prevalent, frequently disabling, and sometimes deadly. Additional research and more effective medications are desperately needed, but clinical trials research in mood disorders is fraught with ethical issues. Although many authors have discussed these issues, most do so from a theoretical viewpoint. This manuscript uses available empirical data to inform a discussion of the primary ethical issues raised in mood disorders research. These include issues of consent and decision-making capacity, including (...) patients’ motivations for participating in research. We also address drug withdrawals, placebo controls, and the overall safety of research. Finally, we examine the extant literature for studies discussing potential indirect benefits of clinical trials research to participants. Taken together, the evidence suggests that clinical trials research incorporating drug withdrawals and placebo controls can be conducted safely and ethically, even in patients with severe or treatment-resistant mood disorders. In fact, given the dearth of effective treatment options for this population, it is our opinion that a moral imperative exists to extend the offer of research participation to severely ill or treatment-resistant groups. (shrink)
Media multitasking entails simultaneously engaging in multiple tasks when at least one of the tasks involves media. Across two studies, we investigated one potential trigger of media multitasking, state boredom, and its relation to media multitasking. To this end, we manipulated participants’ levels of state boredom using video mood inductions prior to administering an attention-demanding 2-back task during which participants could media multitask by playing a task-irrelevant video. We also examined whether trait boredom proneness was associated media multitasking. We found (...) no direct evidence that state boredom leads to media multitasking. However, trait boredom proneness correlated with greater amounts of media multitasking in Experiment 1, but not in Experiment 2. Surprisingly, in both experiments, post-task ratings of state boredom were equivalent across conditions, alerting us to the short-lived effects of video mood inductions and the boring nature of cognitive tasks. (shrink)
Ethical decision-making in public health rarely involves simply avoiding a bad choice in favor of a good choice. Instead, it requires policymakers to strike a balance among conflicting goals that are all good—goals such as the health of populations and individuals, knowledge gained through scientific research, autonomy, social justice, and the efficient use of limited resources. This balance can be elusive, and perfect examples are the legal instruments governing dual-use research, a term describing scientific endeavors meant to produce beneficial knowledge (...) or technology, but that could also be misapplied. Dual-use research of concern policies were implemented... (shrink)
Precision targeting of specific white matter bundles that traverse the subcallosal cingulate has been linked to efficacy of deep brain stimulation for treatment resistant depression. Methods to confirm optimal target engagement in this heterogenous region are now critical to establish an objective treatment protocol. As yet unexamined are the time-frequency features of the SCC evoked potential, including spectral power and phase-clustering. We examined these spectral features—evoked power and phase clustering—in a sample of TRD patients with implanted SCC stimulators. Electroencephalogram was (...) recorded during wakeful rest. Location of electrical stimulation in the SCC target region was the experimental manipulation. EEG was analyzed at the surface level with an average reference for a cluster of frontal sensors and at a time window identified by prior study. Morlet wavelets generated indices of evoked power and inter-trial phase clustering. Enhanced phase clustering at theta frequency was observed in every subject and was significantly correlated with SCC-EP magnitude, but only during left SCC stimulation. Stimulation to dorsal SCC evinced stronger phase clustering than ventral SCC. There was a weak correlation between phase clustering and white matter density. An increase in evoked delta power was also coincident with SCC-EP, but was less consistent across participants. DBS evoked time-frequency features index mm-scale changes to the location of stimulation in the SCC target region and correlate with structural characteristics implicated in treatment optimization. Results also imply a shared generative mechanism between evoked potentials evinced by electrical stimulation and evoked potentials evinced by auditory/visual stimuli and behavioral tasks. Understanding how current injection impacts downstream cortical activity is essential to building new technologies that adapt treatment parameters to individual differences in neurophysiology. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:Explorations in Ancient and Modern Philosophy by Myles F. BurnyeatAllison Piñeros Glasscock and Elizabeth C. Shaw and Staff*BURNYEAT, Myles F. Explorations in Ancient and Modern Philosophy, vol. 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022. xii + 395 pp. Cloth, $120.00The eleven essays in this collection were originally published while Burnyeat was at All Souls College, Oxford (1996–2006) and during his subsequent retirement. Like volume 3 of the same series, (...) the collection was published posthumously, with editorial work undertaken by Carol Atack, Malcolm Schofield, and David Sedley. Part I contains seven essays on topics in ontology and epistemology; part II contains four essays on physics and optics. The figures examined include the usual suspects—Plato and Aristotle (plus an appearance by Aquinas)—but Burnyeat also draws our attention to some less appreciated accomplices to the ancient philosophical project: the Platonist commentator Numenius of Apamea, the Pythagorean Archytas of Tarentum, and Anaxarchus of Abdera, a follower of Democritus. The result is a collection that showcases one of Burnyeat's greatest strengths: his ability to identify the clues left for us in ancient texts and to produce from them compelling and exquisitely detailed accounts of what ancient philosophers were thinking and why.One of the final papers of the volume illustrates Burnyeat's detective acumen. "Archytas and optics" starts from the following question: Why is optics absent from the mathematical curriculum Plato sketches in the Republic? Burnyeat hypothesizes that if mathematical optics existed when the Republic was written, Plato likely excised it from the curriculum on the grounds that the discipline would lead the student to focus on visible things and their appearances. The bulk of the paper is devoted to establishing the antecedent of this conditional. Burnyeat argues that mathematical optics did exist at the time of the Republic's writing, and he posits the noncanonical Pythagorean Archytas as its founder. To recognize the significance of this lacuna in the Republic's curriculum and to provide a persuasive identification of the founder of an entire discipline is already to make a substantial contribution to scholarship. But how Burnyeat arrives at his central conclusion is equally impressive. He takes the reader on a tour of Aristotle, Plato, and Iamblichus, fragment 4 of Archytas, and the Apologia of Apuleius (whom readers might better recognize as the novelist responsible for The Golden [End Page 345] Ass). The result is not only an answer to the paper's central question, but a deeper understanding of the broader intellectual network in which canonical figures like Plato and Aristotle operated.No fragment is too small to catch Burnyeat's notice, nor is any line in a manuscript too faint. Part I of the collection includes Burnyeat's famous paper "Kinēsis vs. energeia: a much-read passage in (but not of) Aristotle's Metaphysics." The central argument is that Metaphysics 9.6.1048b18–35 is out of place. It was written by Aristotle for a different context and should not be printed in book 9. Because this article is so well known, I will not dwell on the details of the argument, but once again Burnyeat's methodology is worthy of comment. The first part of the paper offers a careful examination of the Metaphysics's manuscript tradition that attends both to what is present and to what is absent. For example, we learn that the focus passage is missing from an entire branch of the tradition, which Burnyeat suggests is the result of a learned excision. Later, Burnyeat develops a psychological sketch of the scribe of manuscript Ab beginning from the observation that a faint line is drawn through part of the focus passage. He argues that the scribe's motivation is not disapproval of the passage's contents but a desire to keep his text and commentary in sync. Observations like these provide the foundation for Burnyeat's thesis about the philosophical import of the focus passage, and they demonstrate that the physical record can be just as vital to reconstructions of ancient philosophy as the words that the record preserves.Occasionally, Burnyeat offers more direct admonitions to his readers about how to approach ancient philosophy. A key lesson... (shrink)
Recognising and responding appropriately to emotions is critical to adaptive psychological functioning. Psychopathic traits (e.g. callous, manipulative, impulsive, antisocial) are related to differences in recognition and response when emotion is conveyed through facial expressions and language. Use of emotional music stimuli represents a promising approach to improve our understanding of the specific emotion processing difficulties underlying psychopathic traits because it decouples recognition of emotion from cues directly conveyed by other people (e.g. facial signals). In Experiment 1, participants listened to clips (...) of emotional music and identified the emotional content (Sample 1, N = 196) or reported on their feelings elicited by the music (Sample 2, N = 197). Participants accurately recognised (t(195) = 32.78, p <.001, d = 4.69) and reported feelings consistent with (t(196) = 7.84, p <.001, d = 1.12) the emotion conveyed in the music. However, psychopathic traits were associated with reduced emotion recognition accuracy (F(1, 191) = 19.39, p <.001) and reduced likelihood of feeling the emotion (F(1, 193) = 35.45, p <.001), particularly for fearful music. In Experiment 2, we replicated findings for broad difficulties with emotion recognition (Sample 3, N = 179) and emotional resonance (Sample 4, N = 199) associated with psychopathic traits. Results offer new insight into emotion recognition and response difficulties that are associated with psychopathic traits. (shrink)
BackgroundIn December 2014, China announced that only voluntarily donated organs from citizens would be used for transplantation after January 1, 2015. Many medical professionals worldwide believe that China has stopped using organs from death-row prisoners.DiscussionIn the present article, we briefly review the historical development of organ procurement from death-row prisoners in China and comprehensively analyze the social-political background and the legal basis of the announcement. The announcement was not accompanied by any change in organ sourcing legislations or regulations. As a (...) fact, the use of prisoner organs remains legal in China. Even after January 2015, key Chinese transplant officials have repeatedly stated that death-row prisoners have the same right as regular citizens to “voluntarily donate” organs. This perpetuates an unethical organ procurement system in ongoing violation of international standards.ConclusionsOrgan sourcing from death-row prisoners has not stopped in China. The 2014 announcement refers to the intention to stop the use of organs illegally harvested without the consent of the prisoners. Prisoner organs procured with “consent” are now simply labelled as “voluntarily donations from citizens”. The semantic switch may whitewash sourcing from both death-row prisoners and prisoners of conscience. China can gain credibility only by enacting new legislation prohibiting use of prisoner organs and by making its organ sourcing system open to international inspections. Until international ethical standards are transparently met, sanctions should remain. (shrink)
Two types of interleukin 1 (IL‐1α and IL‐1β) have been defined by purifying the molecules from activated human peripheral blood cells, followed by cloning and expressing the molecules in Escherichia coli. Both types of IL‐1 stimulate proliferation and differentiation of T‐ and B‐lymphocytes and induce cartilage proteoglycan degradation but differ in other properties. For example, demineralization and appears to be a major mediator in the pathogenesis of joint erosion in rheumatoid arthritis. Synthetic adjuvants elicit the production of IL‐1 separate from (...) endogenous pyrogen, and this property is required for the new generation of vaccines based on antigens produced by recombinant DNA technology. (shrink)
This volume provides an integrated and wide-ranging set of primary-source readings on the relationship between moral values and economic activity, as articulated by some of the leading figures in Western civilization.
It is an observed fact that human populations differ in genetic composition. Some of the inherited diversity is due to combined effects of many genes. Although it would be interesting to know the magnitude and nature of the genetic contribution to some characters under polygenic control, such as intelligence or physique, environmental effects may be so great that no genetic analysis is possible—as Thoday has pointed out earlier in this symposium. With other polygenic characters, such as skin colour, the genetic (...) component is more obvious but still difficult to analyse precisely. The number of genes involved, their frequency and dominance have not been established. This is one of the reasons why selective effects on such characters are not readily measured, although they probably exist. (shrink)
Though we agree with their argument that language is shaped by domain-general learning processes, Christiansen & Chater (C&C) neglect to detail how the development of these processes shapes language change. We discuss a number of examples that show how developmental processes at multiple levels and timescales are critical to understanding the origin of domain-general mechanisms that shape language evolution.
Si le déploiement d’une compétence éthique en situation nécessite la capacité et la volonté de la personne à déceler et à résoudre les problèmes de nature éthique qu’il rencontre, je proposerai dans ce texte qu’il nécessite aussi, en raison de la part d’autonomie qu’il requiert, que la personne ait le pouvoir de déployer cette compétence. Or, alors que les deux premières conditions d’exercice dépendent de la personne, cette troisième condition, à laquelle je m’intéresserai plus particulièrement dans ce texte, lui est (...) pour sa part externe. Ainsi, je proposerai que c’est non seulement la personne, mais aussi un enchevêtrement d’éléments du contexte, de la situation et surtout, du réseau d’interactions dans lesquels une personne s’insère qui, parce qu’ils exercent sur elle des pouvoirs, détermineront si la personne aura la possibilité d’agir de façon compétente en situation éthique. Ainsi, s’intéresser à la compétence éthique impliquera nécessairement de s’intéresser à la question du pouvoir et à la façon dont s’exerceront les pouvoirs en situation – des pouvoirs sur ou des pouvoirs avec – puisque cela aura une influence déterminante sur le pouvoir de la personne de déployer sa compétence de façon effective en situation. (shrink)
Organ donation after brain death has been practiced in China since 2003 in the absence of brain death legislation. Similar to international standards, China’s brain death diagnostic criteria include coma, absence of brainstem reflexes, and the lack of spontaneous respiration. The Chinese criteria require that the lack of spontaneous respiration must be verified with an apnea test by disconnecting the ventilator for 8 min to provoke spontaneous respiration. However, we have found publications in Chinese medical journals, in which the donors (...) were declared to be brain dead, yet without an apnea test. The organ procurement procedures started with initiating “intratracheal intubation for mechanical ventilation after brain death,” indicating that a brain death diagnosis was not performed. The purpose of the intubation was not to resuscitate the patient but rather was directly related to facilitating the explantation of organs. Moreover, it was unmistakably stated in two of these publications that the cardiac arrest was induced in these patients without brain death determination by cold St. Thomas cardioplegic solution or other cold myocardial protection solutions. This means that the condition of these donors neither met the criteria of brain death nor that of cardiac death. In other words, the “donor organs” may well have been procured in these cases from living human beings. Thus, brain death definition is abused in China by some individuals for organ harvesting, and a systematic investigation is needed to clarify the situation of organ donation after brain death in China. (shrink)
Despite governmental and private antismoking initiatives, tobacco smoking remains a significant public health and economic challenge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that for each year between 1997 and 2001, cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke caused approximately 438,000 U.S. residents to die prematurely, resulting in 5.5 million years of potential life lost, and in $92 billion dollars of lost productivity. Also, despite convincing scientific data that laws against indoor smoking protect people from the negative health effects (...) of cigarette smoke, not all states have afforded their residents this protection. As of July 2007, 16 states neither restricted nor banned indoor smoking in restaurants, private worksites, or government worksites, and many state statutes only required separate rooms for smokers rather than eliminating all smoking inside buildings. In several states, local governments have attempted to fill this gap by adopting their own antismoking measures. (shrink)
Elimination of state laws that preempt local antismoking ordinances is a national health objective. However, the tobacco industry and its supporters have continued to pursue statelevel preemption of local tobacco control ordinances as part of an apparent strategy to avoid the difusion of grassroots antismoking initiatives. And, an increasing number of challenges to local ordinances by the tobacco industry and persons supported by the tobacco industry are being decided in state supreme courts and courts of appeals. The outcomes of seemingly (...) similar cases about the validity of local smoke-free air ordinances vary signifcantly by state. This paper examines the common and unique aspects of the decisions and the potential implications of court rulings on preemption for future state tobacco control eforts and achievement of national health objectives around the elimination of preemption. Using a search strategy developed for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, cases where a state or federal appellate level court made a fnding on the validity of a local smoke-free air ordinance or regulation were identifed in 19 states. In contrast to previous studies, we found that cases in approximately half of states were decided for local governments. We also found that across the states, courts were considering similar factors in their decisions including the extent to which: the local government possessed the authority to pass the ordinance, the ordinance conficted with the state constitution, and state statutes preempt the ordinance. (shrink)
This study examined how vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, and orthographic knowledge are related to comprehension monitoring and whether comprehension monitoring mediates the relations between these language skills and reading comprehension. Eighty-nine Chinese children were assessed on their vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, orthographic knowledge, and comprehension monitoring in Grade 1. Their reading comprehension skills were assessed in Grade 1 and Grade 3. Results showed that in Grade 1, comprehension monitoring mediated the relations between vocabulary and syntactic knowledge and reading comprehension. For Grade 3 (...) reading comprehension, syntactic knowledge in Grade 1 was the only significant predictor. These findings indicate that multiple language skills make direct and indirect contributions via comprehension monitoring to Chinese reading comprehension, and the relations would change as children’s reading skills develop. (shrink)
Over 90% of the organs transplanted in China before 2010 were procured from prisoners. Although Chinese officials announced in December 2014 that the country would completely cease using organs harvested from prisoners, no regulatory adjustments or changes in China’s organ donation laws followed. As a result, the use of prisoner organs remains legal in China if consent is obtained. We have collected and analysed available evidence on human rights violations in the organ procurement practice in China. We demonstrate that the (...) practice not only violates international ethics standards, it is also associated with a large scale neglect of fundamental human rights. This includes organ procurement without consent from prisoners or their families as well as procurement of organs from incompletely executed, still-living prisoners. The human rights critique of these practices will also address the specific situatedness of prisoners, often conditioned and traumatized by a cascade of human rights abuses in judicial structures. To end the unethical practice and the abuse associated with it, we suggest to inextricably bind the use of human organs procured in the Chinese transplant system to enacting Chinese legislation prohibiting the use of organs from executed prisoners and making explicit rules for law enforcement. Other than that, the international community must cease to abet the continuation of the present system by demanding an authoritative ban on the use of organs from executed Chinese prisoners. (shrink)
Henry E. Allison presents a comprehensive commentary on Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Allison pays special attention to the structure of the work and its historical and intellectual context. He argues that, despite its relative brevity, the Groundwork is the single most important work in modern moral philosophy.
This article describes some potential uses of Bayesian estimation for time-series and panel data models by incorporating information from prior probabilities in addition to observed data. Drawing on econometrics and other literatures we illustrate the use of informative “shrinkage” or “small variance” priors while extending prior work on the general cross-lagged panel model. Using a panel dataset of national income and subjective well-being we describe three key benefits of these priors. First, they shrink parameter estimates toward zero or toward each (...) other for time-varying parameters, which lends additional support for an income → SWB effect that is not supported with maximum likelihood. This is useful because, second, these priors increase model parsimony and the stability of estimates and thus improve out-of-sample predictions and interpretability, which means estimated effect should also be more trustworthy than under ML. Third, these priors allow estimating otherwise under-identified models under ML, allowing higher-order lagged effects and time-varying parameters that are otherwise impossible to estimate using observed data alone. In conclusion we note some of the responsibilities that come with the use of priors which, departing from typical commentaries on their scientific applications, we describe as involving reflection on how best to apply modeling tools to address matters of worldly concern. (shrink)