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how to interpret scientific articles

Mathieu Albert, Maria Mylopoulos, Suzanne Laberge
The objective of scientific, or more broadly, academic knowledge is to provide an understanding of the social and natural world that lies beyond common sense and everyday thinking. Academics use an array of techniques, methods and conceptual apparatuses to achieve this goal. The question we explore in this essay is the following: Does the grounded theory approach, in the constructivist version developed by Kathy Charmaz, provide the necessary methodological tools for the creation of knowledge and theories beyond everyday thinking? To conduct our analysis, we have drawn on the rationalist epistemology originally developed by Gaston Bachelard and taken up a few decades later by Pierre Bourdieu and colleagues to look at the epistemological foundation of the CGT methods as defined by Charmaz...
August 9, 2018: Advances in Health Sciences Education: Theory and Practice
Rachel Yehuda, Amy Lehrner, Linda M Bierer
There has been great interest in the possibility that effects of trauma might be passed from parent to offspring through epigenetic mechanisms. This topic has stimulated discussion and controversy in the scientific literature, the popular press, and culture at large. This article describes the initial observations that have led to recent examinations of epigenetic mechanisms in association with effects of parental trauma exposure on offspring. Epigenetic research in animals has provided models for how such effects might be transmitted...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Bosco Bwambale, Moses Muhumuza, Martine Nyeko
The shift from flood protection to flood risk management, together with recent arguments on incorporating culture in managing risk, underscores the application of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in managing disasters from flood hazards. Yet, documentation and incorporation of TEK into practice remains a challenge. This article contributes to addressing this challenge by exploring the existence of TEK to flooding in the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda. Using semi-structured interviews, data were collected from residents of the Nyamwamba watershed where intense flash floods caused deadly impacts in May 2013...
2018: Jàmbá: journal of disaster risk studies
Brad Sherman
Intellectual property law has been interacting with software for over sixty years. Despite this, the law in this area remains confused and uncertain: this is particularly evident in patent law. Focusing on U.S. patent law from the 1960s through to the mid-1970s, this article argues that a key reason for this confusion relates to the particular way that the subject matter was construed. While the early discussions about subject matter eligibility were framed in terms of the question "is software patentable?", what was really at stake in these debates was the preliminary ontological question: what is software? Building on work that highlights the competing ways that software was construed by different parts of the information technology industry at the time, the article looks at the particular way that the law responded to these competing interpretations and how in so doing it laid the foundation for the confusion that characterizes the area...
June 1, 2018: History of Science; An Annual Review of Literature, Research and Teaching
E Heffler, M Landi, C Caruso, S Fichera, F Gani, G Guida, M T Liuzzo, M P Pistorio, S Pizzimenti, A M Riccio, V Seccia, M Ferrando, L Malvezzi, G Passalacqua, M Gelardi
Nasal cytology is an easy, cheap, non-invasive and point-of-care method to assess nasal inflammation and disease-specific cellular features. By means of nasal cytology, it is possible to distinguish between different inflammatory patterns that are typically associated with specific diseases (ie, allergic and non-allergic rhinitis). Its use is particularly relevant when other clinical information, such as signs, symptoms, time-course and allergic sensitizations, is not enough to recognize which of the different rhinitis phenotypes is involved; for example, it is only by means of nasal cytology that it is possible to distinguish, among the non-allergic rhinitis, those characterized by eosinophilic (NARES), mast cellular (NARMA), mixed eosinophilic-mast cellular (NARESMA) or neutrophilic (NARNE) inflammation...
June 15, 2018: Clinical and Experimental Allergy: Journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology
A Szederjesi, L Baronciani, U Budde, G Castaman, A S Lawrie, Y Liu, R Montgomery, F Peyvandi, R Schneppenheim, A Várkonyi, J Patzke, I Bodó
Essentials New VWF activity assays are increasingly used but information on their comparability is limited. This is an ISTH SSC-organized study (expert labs, 5 countries) to compare all available assays. VWF activity by six assays correlated well with each other. The new assays show improved characteristics - minor differences are noted. SUMMARY: Background Several new assays have become available to measure von Willebrand factor (VWF) activity. The new assays appear to have improved performance characteristics compared with the old reference standard, ristocetin cofactor activity (VWF:RCo), but information is limited about how they compare with VWF:RCo and each other...
June 13, 2018: Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis: JTH
Richard B Hovey, Valerie Curro Khayat, Eugene Feig
The humanities invite opportunities for people to describe through their metaphors, symbols and language a means in which to interpret their pain and reinterpret their new lived experiences. The patient and family all live with pain and can only use their pain narratives of that experience to confront or even to begin to understand the quantifiable discipline of medicine. The patient and family narratives act to retain meaning within a lived pained experience. These narratives add meaning to the person as a stay against only having a clinical-pathological understanding of what is happening to our body and as a person...
May 2018: British Journal of Pain
Masaru Okabe
For decades, researchers in the fertilization field reported various candidate factors involved in sperm-egg interaction through experiments using enzyme inhibitors and/or antibodies. However, almost all of these factors have been shown to be nonessential by gene disruption experiments. Recently, attention has focused on the low reproducibility of papers in many research fields. In this Review, I retrospectively revisit how fertilization factors were misinterpreted and led to wrong hypotheses in relation to the reportedly low reproducibility of scientific papers...
May 22, 2018: FEBS Letters
Audrey Tluczek, Marie E Twal, Laura Curr Beamer, Candace W Burton, Leslie Darmofal, Mary Kracun, Karen L Zanni, Martha Turner
Members of the Ethics and Public Policy Committee of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics prepared this article to assist nurses in interpreting the American Nurses Association (2015) Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (Code) within the context of genetics/genomics. The Code explicates the nursing profession's norms and responsibilities in managing ethical issues. The nearly ubiquitous application of genetic/genomic technologies in healthcare poses unique ethical challenges for nursing...
January 1, 2018: Nursing Ethics
Jamie K Wardman, Ragnar Löfstedt
Regulatory use of the precautionary principle (PP) tends to be broadly characterized either as a responsible approach for safeguarding against health and environmental risks in the face of scientific uncertainties, or as "state mismanagement" driven by undue political bias and public anxiety. However, the "anticipatory" basis upon which governments variably draw a political warrant for adopting precautionary measures often remains ambiguous. Particularly, questions arise concerning whether the PP is employed preemptively by political elites from the "top down," or follows from more conventional democratic pressures exerted by citizens and other stakeholders from the "bottom up...
April 26, 2018: Risk Analysis: An Official Publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
J Fuglestvedt, J Rogelj, R J Millar, M Allen, O Boucher, M Cain, P M Forster, E Kriegler, D Shindell
The main goal of the Paris Agreement as stated in Article 2 is 'holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C'. Article 4 points to this long-term goal and the need to achieve 'balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases'. This statement on 'greenhouse gas balance' is subject to interpretation, and clarifications are needed to make it operational for national and international climate policies...
May 13, 2018: Philosophical Transactions. Series A, Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences
M-A Dagnelie, A Khammari, B Dréno, S Corvec
BACKGROUND: The Gram-positive, anaerobic/aerotolerant bacterium Cutibacterium acnes is a commensal of healthy human skin; it is subdivided into six main phylogenetic groups or phylotypes: IA1, IA2, IB, IC, II and III. To decipher how far specific subgroups of C. acnes are involved in disease physiopathology, different molecular typing methods have been developed to identify these subgroups: i.e. phylotypes, clonal complexes, and types defined by single-locus sequence typing (SLST). However, as several molecular typing methods have been developed over the last decade, it has become a difficult task to compare the results from one article to another...
March 12, 2018: Clinical Microbiology and Infection
E C C Carla van Os, A E Elianne Zijlstra, E J Erik Knorth, W J Wendy Post, M E Margrite Kalverboer
The systematic review presented in this article aims to reveal what supports and hampers refugee children in telling their, often traumatic, life stories. This is important to ensure that migration decisions are based on reliable information about the children's needs for protection. A systematic review was conducted in academic journals, collecting all available scientific knowledge about the disclosure of life stories by refugee minors in the context of social work, guardianship, foster care, asylum procedures, mental health assessment, and therapeutic settings...
January 1, 2018: Trauma, Violence & Abuse
Jeffery Yen, Kevin Durrheim, Romin W Tafarodi
The implicit association test (IAT) and concept of implicit bias have significantly influenced the scientific, institutional, and public discourse on racial prejudice. In spite of this, there has been little investigation of how ordinary people make sense of the IAT and the bias it claims to measure. This article examines the public understanding of this research through a discourse analysis of reactions to the IAT and implicit bias in the news media. It demonstrates the ways in which readers interpreted, related to, and negotiated the claims of IAT science in relation to socially shared and historically embedded concerns and identities...
July 2018: British Journal of Social Psychology
Mary Beth Farrell
This article is the second part of a continuing education series reviewing basic statistics that nuclear medicine and molecular imaging technologists should understand. In this article, the statistics for evaluating interpretation accuracy, significance, and variance are discussed. Throughout the article, actual statistics are pulled from the published literature. We begin by explaining 2 methods for quantifying interpretive accuracy: interreader and intrareader reliability. Agreement among readers can be expressed simply as a percentage...
June 2018: Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology
Alexander J Melkonian, Lindsay S Ham
Alcohol-related sexual assault among young adult women continues to present a public health concern. Social information-processing theory provides an organizing framework for understanding how alcohol intoxication can impair the processing of sexual assault risk cues and behavioral responding in sexual assault scenarios. The aim of the present article was to systematically review the extant research on the effects of alcohol intoxication on sexual assault risk information processing among young adult women...
March 2018: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors
Donna F Stroup, C Kay Smith, Benedict I Truman
The methods section of a scientific article often receives the most scrutiny from journal editors, peer reviewers, and skeptical readers because it allows them to judge the validity of the results. The methods section also facilitates critical interpretation of study activities, explains how the study avoided or corrected for bias, details how the data support the answer to the study question, justifies generalizing the findings to other populations, and facilitates comparison with past or future studies. In 2006, the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Programme began collecting and disseminating guidelines for reporting health research studies...
December 2017: Journal of public health and emergency
Natali Valdez
The rapidly shifting field of epigenetics has expanded scientific understanding of how environmental conditions affect gene expression and development. This article focuses on two ongoing clinical trials-one in the United States and one in the United Kingdom-that have used epigenetics as the conceptual basis for testing the relationship between nutrition and obesity during pregnancy. Drawing on ethnographic research, I highlight the different ways that clinical scientists interpret epigenetics to target particular domains of the environment for prenatal intervention...
February 1, 2018: Medical Anthropology Quarterly
Preeti Sushama, Cristian Ghergu, Agnes Meershoek, Luc P de Witte, Onno C P van Schayck, Anja Krumeich
BACKGROUND: While any type of field-based research is challenging, building action-oriented, participatory research in resource-constrained settings can be even more so. OBJECTIVE: In this article, we aim to examine and provide insights into some of the practical challenges that were faced during the course of a participatory project based in two non-notified slums in Bangalore, India, aiming to build solutions to indoor air pollution from cooking on traditional cook stoves...
2018: Global Health Action
Jolynn Pek, Hao Wu
Current concerns regarding the dependability of psychological findings call for methodological developments to provide additional evidence in support of scientific conclusions. This article highlights the value and importance of two distinct kinds of parameter uncertainty, which are quantified by confidence sets (CSs) and fungible parameter estimates (FPEs; Lee, MacCallum, & Browne, 2017); both provide essential information regarding the defensibility of scientific findings. Using the structural equation model, we introduce a general perturbation framework based on the likelihood function that unifies CSs and FPEs and sheds new light on the conceptual distinctions between them...
January 4, 2018: Psychological Methods
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