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Concept: Debate


Questions surrounding the chronology, place, and character of the initial human colonization of the Americas are a long-standing focus of debate. Interdisciplinary debate continues over the timing of entry, the rapidity and direction of dispersion, the variety of human responses to diverse habitats, the criteria for evaluating the validity of early sites, and the differences and similarities between colonization in North and South America. Despite recent advances in our understanding of these issues, archaeology still faces challenges in defining interdisciplinary research problems, assessing the reliability of the data, and applying new interpretative models. As the debates and challenges continue, new studies take place and previous research reexamined. Here we discuss recent exploratory excavation at and interdisciplinary data from the Monte Verde area in Chile to further our understanding of the first peopling of the Americas. New evidence of stone artifacts, faunal remains, and burned areas suggests discrete horizons of ephemeral human activity in a sandur plain setting radiocarbon and luminescence dated between at least ~18,500 and 14,500 cal BP. Based on multiple lines of evidence, including sedimentary proxies and artifact analysis, we present the probable anthropogenic origins and wider implications of this evidence. In a non-glacial cold climate environment of the south-central Andes, which is challenging for human occupation and for the preservation of hunter-gatherer sites, these horizons provide insight into an earlier context of late Pleistocene human behavior in northern Patagonia.

Concepts: Debate, Human behavior, South America, Americas, Latin America, Pleistocene, Archaeology, Prehistory


The management of pediatric thoracic synovial sarcoma remains a matter of debate in clinical oncology, especially as regard to the local control of the disease. Surgery remains the gold standard, while the role and timing of radiotherapy is still controversial. We report a 14-year-old male, who has not received proper treatment at the time of diagnosis and initial management. Intensity-modulated irradiation was performed only at relapse, as a salvage treatment and, at 10-month follow-up, the young patient was free from relapse, without significant acute and subacute toxicity. We discuss the role and timing of radiotherapy in thoracic synovial sarcoma, a disease in which the need to increase local control should be placed in the foreground.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Medical terms, Chemotherapy, Physician, Debate, Gold, Acute


The 1977-1978 influenza epidemic was probably not a natural event, as the genetic sequence of the virus was nearly identical to the sequences of decades-old strains. While there are several hypotheses that could explain its origin, the possibility that the 1977 epidemic resulted from a laboratory accident has recently gained popularity in discussions about the biosafety risks of gain-of-function (GOF) influenza virus research, as an argument for why this research should not be performed. There is now a moratorium in the United States on funding GOF research while the benefits and risks, including the potential for accident, are analyzed. Given the importance of this historical epidemic to ongoing policy debates, we revisit the evidence that the 1977 epidemic was not natural and examine three potential origins: a laboratory accident, a live-vaccine trial escape, or deliberate release as a biological weapon. Based on available evidence, the 1977 strain was indeed too closely matched to decades-old strains to likely be a natural occurrence. While the origin of the outbreak cannot be conclusively determined without additional evidence, there are very plausible alternatives to the laboratory accident hypothesis, diminishing the relevance of the 1977 experience to the modern GOF debate.

Concepts: DNA, Scientific method, Critical thinking, Virus, Debate, Influenza, Biological warfare, Argumentation theory


The international Hearing Voices Movement (HVM) is a prominent mental health service-user/survivor movement that promotes the needs and perspectives of experts by experience in the phenomenon of hearing voices (auditory verbal hallucinations). The main tenet of the HVM is the notion that hearing voices is a meaningful human experience, and in this article, we discuss the historical growth and influence of the HVM before considering the implications of its values for research and practice in relation to voice-hearing. Among other recommendations, we suggest that the involvement of voice-hearers in research and a greater use of narrative and qualitative approaches are essential. Challenges for implementing user-led research are identified, and avenues for future developments are discussed.

Concepts: Psychology, Debate, Auditory system, Qualitative research, Schizophrenia, Research and development, Hearing Voices Movement


The increasing push to commercialize university research has emerged as a significant science policy challenge. While the socio-economic benefits of increased and rapid research commercialization are often emphasized in policy statements and discussions, there is less mention or discussion of potential risks. In this paper, we highlight such potential risks and call for a more balanced assessment of the commercialization ethos and trends.

Concepts: Debate, Research, Policy, Public policy


The European Bifurcation Club (EBC) was initiated in 2004, to support a continuously overview of the field of coronary artery bifurcation interventions and aims to facilitate a scientific discussion and an exchange of ideas on management of bifurcation disease. EBC hosts an annual, two days compact meeting, dedicated to bifurcations, which brings together physicians, pathologists, engineers, biologists, physicists, mathematicians, epidemiologists and statisticians for detailed discussions. Every meeting is finalized with a consensus statement that reflects the unique opportunity of combining the opinion of interventional cardiologists with the opinion of a large variety of other scientists on bifurcation management. A series of consensus sessions dedicated to specific topics, to strengthen the consensus debates and focus the discussions was introduced in this years meeting. The sessions comprise intensive overview of the present literature, a pro et con debate and a voting system, to guide the consensus building process. The present document represents the summary of the up-to-date EBC consensus and recommendations from the 12(th) annual EBC meeting in 2016 in Rotterdam.

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Cardiology, Debate, Artery, Intervention


Pattern separation and pattern completion processes are central to how the brain processes information in an efficient manner. Research into these processes is escalating and deficient pattern separation is being implicated in a wide array of genetic disorders as well as in neurocognitive aging. Despite the quantity of research, there remains a controversy as to precisely which behavioral paradigms should be used to best tap into pattern separation and pattern completion processes, as well as to what constitute legitimate outcome measures reflecting impairments in pattern separation and pattern completion. This review will discuss a theory based on multiple memory systems that provides a framework upon which behavioral tasks can be designed and their results interpreted. Furthermore, this review will discuss the nature of pattern separation and pattern completion and extend these processes outside the hippocampus and across all domains of information processing. After these discussions, an optimal strategy for designing behavioral paradigms to evaluate pattern separation and pattern completion processes will be provided.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Debate, Cognition, Hippocampus, Design, Interpreter, Tap dance


We present a comprehensive review and comparison of the methodologies for increasing sensitivity and resolution of capillary electrophoresis (CE) using online transient isotachophoresis (tITP). We categorize the diverse set of coupled tITP and CE (tITP-CE) methods based on their fundamental principles for disrupting isotachophoretic preconcentration and triggering electrophoretic separation. Based on this classification, we discuss important features, advantages, limitations, and optimization principles of various tITP-CE methods. We substantiate our discussion with original simulations, instructive examples, and published experimental results.

Concepts: Sensitivity and specificity, Gel electrophoresis, Debate, Capillary electrophoresis, Electrophoresis, Binary classification, Affinity electrophoresis, Isotachophoresis


In view of a growing interest in argumentative discourse in the context of patient-centered consultation and shared decision making, this article explores the role that argumentation has been attributed in the literature on doctor-patient consultation so far. It studies to what extent theories and concepts of argumentation have been applied by scholars from various fields in order to analyze, understand, facilitate, and improve the argumentative nature of medical consultation. It reports on an extensive and systematic literature search-using eight online databases, expert suggestions, and a manual search-and the subsequent evaluation of 1,330 abstracts on the basis of strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. Forty relevant scientific contributions are grouped into four main categories and discussed accordingly: (a) argumentation theory, (b) discourse analysis, © medical informatics, and (d) medical ethics. Because of its systematic approach, this study forms a solid starting point for further integration of argumentation theoretical insights into contemporary views of patient-centered medicine and evidence-based medicine. It provides suggestions for further interdisciplinary and theory-driven research with a strong focus on empirical reality. Doing so, a preliminary model is proposed that outlines the potential effects of the quality of doctors' communication on proximal, intermediate, and long-term consultation outcomes.

Concepts: Scientific method, Systematic review, Debate, Science, Anthropology, Theory, Medical informatics, Argument map


Background. Encephalitis continues to result in substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Advances in diagnosis and management have been limited, in part, by a lack of consensus on case definitions, standardized diagnostic approaches, and priorities for research. Methods. In March of 2012, the International Encephalitis Consortium, a committee begun in 2010 with members worldwide, held a meeting in Atlanta to discuss recent advances in encephalitis and to set priorities for future study. Results. We present a consensus document that proposes a standardized case definition and diagnostic guidelines for evaluation of adults and children with suspected encephalitis. In addition, areas of research priority, including host genetics and selected emerging infections, are discussed. Conclusions. We anticipate that this document, representing a synthesis of our discussions and supported by literature, will serve as a practical aid to clinicians evaluating patients with suspected encephalitis and will identify key areas and approaches to advance our knowledge of encephalitis.

Concepts: Mortality rate, Diagnosis, Evaluation, Definition, Debate, Extensional definition, Priority level, Priority