263 research outputs found

    The ontology of causal process theories

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    There is a widespread belief that the so-called process theories of causation developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe have given us an original account of what causation really is. In this paper, I show that this is a misconception. The notion of "causal process" does not offer us a new ontological account of causation. I make this argument by explicating the implicit ontological commitments in Salmon and Dowe's theories. From this, it is clear that Salmon's Mark Transmission Theory collapses to a counterfactual theory of causation, while the Conserved Quantity Theory collapses to David Fair's phsyicalist reduction of causation

    Quorum-sensing signal production by Agrobacterium vitis strains and their tumor-inducing and tartrate-catabolic plasmids

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    Agrobacterium vitis strains, their tumor-inducing (pTi) and tartrate utilization (pTr) plasmid transconjugants and grapevine tumors were analyzed for the presence of N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs). All wild-type A. vitis strains produced long-chain signals. PCR analysis of the A. vitis long-chain AHL synthase gene, avsI, showed the predicted amplicon. Agrobacterium tumefaciens UBAPF2 harboring various A. vitis pTi plasmids produced N-(3-oxo-octanoyl)-l-homoserine lactone encoded also by pTis of A. tumefaciens. UBAPF2 transconjugants carrying pTrs except for pTrTm4 and pTrAB3, also produced an AHL. UBAPF2 transconjugants carrying pTrAT6, pTrAB4 and pTrRr4 or pTiNi1 produced two additional AHLs not observed in the corresponding wild-type strains. We also provide evidence for in situ production of AHLs in grapevine crown gall tumors of greenhouse and field origi

    In Defense of the Epistemic Imperative

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    Sample (2015) argues that scientists ought not to believe that their theories are true because they cannot fulfill the epistemic obligation to take the diachronic perspective on their theories. I reply that Sample’s argument imposes an inordinately heavy epistemic obligation on scientists, and that it spells doom not only for scientific theories but also for observational beliefs and philosophical ideas that Samples endorses. I also delineate what I take to be a reasonable epistemic obligation for scientists. In sum, philosophers ought to impose on scientists only an epistemic standard that they are willing to impose on themselves

    Impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease: decreased striatal dopamine transporter levels

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    Objective Impulse control disorders are commonly associated with dopaminergic therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD). PD patients with impulse control disorders demonstrate enhanced dopamine release to conditioned cues and a gambling task on [11C]raclopride positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and enhanced ventral striatal activity to reward on functional MRI. We compared PD patients with impulse control disorders and age-matched and gender-matched controls without impulse control disorders using [123I]FP-CIT (2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)tropane) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), to assess striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) density. Methods The [123I]FP-CIT binding data in the striatum were compared between 15 PD patients with and 15 without impulse control disorders using independent t tests. Results Those with impulse control disorders showed significantly lower DAT binding in the right striatum with a trend in the left (right: F(1,24)=5.93, p=0.02; left: F(1,24)=3.75, p=0.07) compared to controls. Conclusions Our findings suggest that greater dopaminergic striatal activity in PD patients with impulse control disorders may be partly related to decreased uptake and clearance of dopamine from the synaptic cleft. Whether these findings are related to state or trait effects is not known. These findings dovetail with reports of lower DAT levels secondary to the effects of methamphetamine and alcohol. Although any regulation of DAT by antiparkinsonian medication appears to be modest, PD patients with impulse control disorders may be differentially sensitive to regulatory mechanisms of DAT expression by dopaminergic medications

    Justifying the Special Theory of Relativity with Unconceived Methods

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    Many realists argue that present scientific theories will not follow the fate of past scientific theories because the former are more successful than the latter. Critics object that realists need to show that present theories have reached the level of success that warrants their truth. I reply that the special theory of relativity has been repeatedly reinforced by unconceived scientific methods, so it will be reinforced by infinitely many unconceived scientific methods. This argument for the special theory of relativity overcomes the critics’ objection, and has advantages over the no-miracle argument and the selective induction for it

    Infrastructures of empire: towards a critical geopolitics of media and information studies

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    The Arab Uprisings of 2011 can be seen as a turning point for media and information studies scholars, many of whom newly discovered the region as a site for theories of digital media and social transformation. This work has argued that digital media technologies fuel or transform political change through new networked publics, new forms of connective action cultivating liberal democratic values. These works have, surprisingly, little to say about the United States and other Western colonial powers’ legacy of occupation, ongoing violence and strategic interests in the region. It is as if the Arab Spring was a vindication for the universal appeal of Western liberal democracy delivered through the gift of the Internet, social media as manifestation of the ‘technologies of freedom’ long promised by Cold War. We propose an alternate trajectory in terms of reorienting discussions of media and information infrastructures as embedded within the resurgence of idealized liberal democratic norms in the wake of the end of the Cold War. We look at the demise of the media and empire debates and ‘the rise of the BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) as modes of intra-imperial competition that complicate earlier Eurocentric narratives media and empire. We then outline the individual contributions for the special collection of essays

    Teleology and Realism in Leibniz's Philosophy of Science

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    This paper argues for an interpretation of Leibniz’s claim that physics requires both mechanical and teleological principles as a view regarding the interpretation of physical theories. Granting that Leibniz’s fundamental ontology remains non-physical, or mentalistic, it argues that teleological principles nevertheless ground a realist commitment about mechanical descriptions of phenomena. The empirical results of the new sciences, according to Leibniz, have genuine truth conditions: there is a fact of the matter about the regularities observed in experience. Taking this stance, however, requires bringing non-empirical reasons to bear upon mechanical causal claims. This paper first evaluates extant interpretations of Leibniz’s thesis that there are two realms in physics as describing parallel, self-sufficient sets of laws. It then examines Leibniz’s use of teleological principles to interpret scientific results in the context of his interventions in debates in seventeenth-century kinematic theory, and in the teaching of Copernicanism. Leibniz’s use of the principle of continuity and the principle of simplicity, for instance, reveal an underlying commitment to the truth-aptness, or approximate truth-aptness, of the new natural sciences. The paper concludes with a brief remark on the relation between metaphysics, theology, and physics in Leibniz

    Historical inductions, Old and New

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    I review prominent historical arguments against scientific realism to indicate how they display a systematic overshooting in the conclusions drawn from the historical evidence. The root of the overshooting can be located in some critical, undue presuppositions regarding realism. I will highlight these presuppositions in connection with both Laudan’s ‘Old induction’ and Stanford’s New induction, and then delineate a minimal realist view that does without the problematic presuppositions

    Draft genome sequence of Sclerospora graminicola, the pearl millet downy mildew pathogen:Genome sequence of pearl millet downy mildew pathogen

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    Sclerospora graminicola pathogen is one of the most important biotic production constraints of pearl millet worldwide. We report a de novo whole genome assembly and analysis of pathotype 1. The draft genome assembly contained 299,901,251 bp with 65,404 genes. Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.], is an important crop of the semi-arid and arid regions of the world. It is capable of growing in harsh and marginal environments with highest degree of tolerance to drought and heat among cereals (1). Downy mildew is the most devastating disease of pearl millet caused by Sclerospora graminicola (sacc. Schroet), particularly on genetically uniform hybrids. Estimated annual grain yield loss due to downy mildew is approximately 10?80 % (2-7). Pathotype 1 has been reported to be the highly virulent pathotype of Sclerospora graminicola in India (8). We report a de novo whole genome assembly and analysis of Sclerospora graminicola pathotype 1 from India. A susceptible pearl millet genotype Tift 23D2B1P1-P5 was used for obtaining single-zoospore isolates from the original oosporic sample. The library for whole genome sequencing was prepared according to the instructions by NEB ultra DNA library kit for Illumina (New England Biolabs, USA). The libraries were normalised, pooled and sequenced on Illumina HiSeq 2500 (Illumina Inc., San Diego, CA, USA) platform at 2 x100 bp length. Mate pair (MP) libraries were prepared using the Nextera mate pair library preparation kit (Illumina Inc., USA). 1 ?g of Genomic DNA was subject to tagmentation and was followed by strand displacement. Size selection tagmented/strand displaced DNA was carried out using AmpureXP beads. The libraries were validated using an Agilent Bioanalyser using DNA HS chip. The libraries were normalised, pooled and sequenced on Illumina MiSeq (Illumina Inc., USA) platform at 2 x300 bp length. The whole genome sequencing was performed by sequencing of 7.38 Gb with 73,889,924 paired end reads from paired end library, and 1.15 Gb with 3,851,788 reads from mate pair library generated from Illumina HiSeq2500 and Illumina MiSeq, respectively. The sequences were assembled using various assemblers like ABySS, MaSuRCA, Velvet, SOAPdenovo2, and ALLPATHS-LG. The assembly generated by MaSuRCA (9) algorithm was observed superior over other algorithms and hence used for scaffolding using SSPACE. Assembled draft genome sequence of S. graminicola pathotype 1 was 299,901,251 bp long, with a 47.2 % GC content consisting of 26,786 scaffolds with N50 of 17,909 bp with longest scaffold size of 238,843 bp. The overall coverage was 40X. The draft genome sequence was used for gene prediction using AUGUSTUS. The completeness of the assembly was investigated using CEGMA and revealed 92.74% proteins completely present and 95.56% proteins partially present, while BUSCO fungal dataset indicated 64.9% complete, 12.4% fragmented, 22.7% missing out of 290 BUSCO groups. A total of 52,285 predicted genes were annotated using BLASTX and 38,120 genes were observed with significant BLASTX match. Repetitive element analysis in the assembly revealed 8,196 simple repeats, 1,058 low complexity repeats and 5,562 dinucleotide to hexanucleotide microsatellite repeats.publishersversionPeer reviewe
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