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Open Letter from Dr. Christopher Portier on His Review of the Carcinogenicity of Glyphosate European Union Authorities

31 Mai 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

Executive Summary: The European Food Safety Agency IEFSA) and the European Chemical Agency IEChA) have completed their assessments of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate and concluded that the evidence does not support a classification for glyphosate. The raw data for the animal cancer studies for glyphosate have been released, and a reanalysis of these data show eight instances where significant increases in tumor response following glyphosate exposure were not included in the assessment by either EFSA or EChA. This suggests that the evaluations applied to the glyphosate data are scientifically flawed, and any decisions derived from these evaluations will fail to protect public health. I ask that the evaluations by both EFSA and EChA be repeated for all toxicological endpoints and the data underlying these evaluations be publicly released.

You can read the full letter by clicking here

Re-evaluation of learned information in Drosophila

5 Avril 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

  • Johannes Felsenberg
  • Oliver Barnstedt
  • Paola Cognigni
  • Suewei Lin 
  • Scott Wadde
  •  
  • Read more here

Work organization and mental health problems in PhD students

28 Mars 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

Katia Levecque a,b, , Frederik Anseel a,b,c , Alain De Beuckelaer d,e,a , Johan Van der Heyden f,g , Lydia Gisle f

a Department of Personnel Management, Work and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University, Henri

Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

b ECOOM, Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

c Department of Management and Technology, Bocconi University, Via Roberto Sarfatti 25, 20100 Milano, Italy

d Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Thomas van Aquinostraat 3, 6525 GD Nijmegen, The Netherlands

e School of Sociology and Population Studies, Renmin University of China, No. 59 Zhongguancun Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100872, PR China

f Scientific Institute of Public Health, OD Public Health and Surveillance, Juliette Wytsmanstraat 14, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

g Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Ghent University, University Hospital, De Pintelaan  185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

 

b s t r a c t

 

Research  policy observers  are increasingly concerned  about the potential  impact  of current  academic working conditions on mental health, particularly in PhD students. The aim of the current study is three-fold. First, we assess the prevalence of mental health problems in a representative sample of PhD students in Flanders,  Belgium  (N = 3659). Second, we compare  PhD students  to three other samples: (1) highly educated in the general population (N = 769); (2) highly educated employees (N = 592); and (3) higher education students (N = 333). Third, we assess those organizational factors relating to the role of PhD students that predict mental health status. Results based on 12 mental health symptoms (GHQ-12) showed that 32% of PhD students are at risk of having or developing a common psychiatric disorder, especially depression. This estimate was significantly higher than those obtained in the comparison groups. Organizational policies were significantly associated with the prevalence  of mental health problems. Especially work family interface, job demands  and job control, the supervisor’s leadership  style, team decision-making culture, and perception of a career outside academia  are linked to mental health problems.

 

Read more here

 

 
Work organization and mental health problems in PhD students

Report: The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission

11 Mars 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission is the commission to investigate the background and cause of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

The Fukushima nuclear accident "cannot be regarded as a natural disaster," the NAIIC panel's chairman, Tokyo University professor emeritus Kiyoshi Kurosawa, wrote in the inquiry report. "It was a profoundly man-made disaster -- that could and should have been foreseen and prevented. And its effects could have been mitigated by a more effective human response."

Read the report here

Fukushima prefecture, Japan, 2012
Fukushima prefecture, Japan, 2012Fukushima prefecture, Japan, 2012

Fukushima prefecture, Japan, 2012

Writing Manuscripts: The Alternative ‘Guide to Authors’

4 Mars 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

Post provided by EMMA SAYER

 

“If the reviewer doesn’t get it, you haven’t explained it clearly enough!” This is one quote from my PhD supervisor that I haven’t forgotten. Getting research funded and published depends to a very large extent on our ability to get the point across. Although scientific texts appear to differ wildly from other forms of writing, a good research paper actually follows the same basic principles of effective communication as a newspaper article or advertising text.

There are some fairly simple guidelines on presenting and structuring written information to get the point across and highlight the key messages that are very useful for manuscripts, thesis chapters, proposals, basically any kind of academic writing. At Functional Ecology, we’ve collected tips and tricks from various sources to help authors effectively communicate their research and ideas. Here are our key points:

1) Know Your Audience

A research paper is about communicating your research in a way that makes sense to others. © Vinch

A research paper is about communicating your research in a way that makes sense to others. © Vinch

The central principle for any type of communication is: know your audience. A research paper isn’t just about presenting information – it’s about communicating your research to others. When you start preparing a manuscript, you need to think about who will read it. In the first instance, this is probably a busy editor or reviewer, so you should make sure that you get your key messages across without making your readers work too hard. Good science writing isn’t about using clever-sounding words and sentences, it’s about getting the point across in such a way that readers can understand the research and reach the right conclusion (i.e. the one you want them to reach).

There are some general principles of how to get a message across and to make it stick in people’s minds. These can be adapted to science writing and remembered with the acronym SUCCES:

  • Simple — keep it simple by finding the main message and sticking to it
  • Unexpected — use the unexpected to grab the reader’s attention (eg. a knowledge gap, unforeseen consequences, an unusual feedback…)
  • Concrete — make the central concept easily grasped and remembered
  • Credible —support your interpretation and discussion with evidence
  • Emotional —stimulate interest and highlight the relevance of the study to make people care about the research
  • Story — people enjoy and remember stories, so a good manuscript is a narrative about your research, with a logical train of thought

Although you’re constrained by scientific convention and the fixed format of most journals, you can still tell a simple, concrete and credible ‘story’ (non-fiction) about your research. You can use elements of the unexpected to show the novelty of the research and help the reader remember your paper by tapping into emotion (eg. curiosity, amazement).

2) A Different Take on Manuscript Structure

The title gets people reading the paper, so it should be brief and clear, summarising the main finding of the paper (think of a newspaper or magazine headline). It’s wise to avoid questions, convoluted sentences and too much detail. The title should be simple and concrete, and it can also incorporate something unexpected. The most important part of the title should come first because the second half may not appear in a list of search results. (See also Fox & Burns 2015)

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Interspecies sexual behaviour between a male Japanese macaque and female sika deer

10 Janvier 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

Pelé, M., Bonnefoy, A., Masaki, S., Sueur, C. et al. (2016). Interspecies sexual behaviour between a male Japanese macaque and female Sika deer, Primates

Sexual mount of a Japanese macaque male on two different deer. a–c Sequence of a sexual mount on a first deer that accepted being ridden. d The macaque tried to mount a second deer, but the latter clearly did not accept the mountAbstract

Interspecies sexual behaviour or ‘reproductive interference’ has been reported across a wide range of animal taxa. However, most of these occurrences were observed in phylogenetically close species and were mainly discussed in terms of their effect on fitness, hybridization and species survival. The few cases of heterospecific mating in distant species occurred between animals that were bred and maintained in captivity. Only one scientific study has reported this phenomenon, describing sexual harassment of king penguins by an Antarctic fur seal. This is the first article to report mating behaviour between a male Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata yakui) and female sika deer (Cervus nippon yakushimae) on Yakushima Island, Japan. Although Japanese macaques are known to ride deer, this individual showed clearly sexual behaviour towards several female deer, some of which tried to escape whilst others accepted the mount. This male seems to belong to a group of peripheral males. Although this phenomenon may be explained as copulation learning, this is highly unlikely. The most realistic hypothesis would be that of mate deprivation, which states that males with limited access to females are more likely to display this behaviour. Whatever the cause for this event may be, the observation of highly unusual animal behaviour may be a key to understanding the evolution of heterospecific mating behaviour in the animal kingdom.

Read the publication here

Dispelling the nice or naughty myth: retrospective observational study of Santa Claus

24 Décembre 2016,

Publié par Bioécologie

Abstract

Objective To determine which factors influence whether Santa Claus will visit children in hospital on Christmas Day.

Design Retrospective observational study.

Setting Paediatric wards in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Participants 186 members of staff who worked on the paediatric wards (n=186) during Christmas 2015.

Main outcome measures Presence or absence of Santa Claus on the paediatric ward during Christmas 2015. This was correlated with rates of absenteeism from primary school, conviction rates in young people (aged 10-17 years), distance from hospital to North Pole (closest city or town to the hospital in kilometres, as the reindeer flies), and contextual socioeconomic deprivation (index of multiple deprivation).

Results Santa Claus visited most of the paediatric wards in all four countries: 89% in England, 100% in Northern Ireland, 93% in Scotland, and 92% in Wales. The odds of him not visiting, however, were significantly higher for paediatric wards in areas of higher socioeconomic deprivation in England (odds ratio 1.31 (95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.71) in England, 1.23 (1.00 to 1.54) in the UK). In contrast, there was no correlation with school absenteeism, conviction rates, or distance to the North Pole.

Conclusion The results of this study dispel the traditional belief that Santa Claus rewards children based on how nice or naughty they have been in the previous year. Santa Claus is less likely to visit children in hospitals in the most deprived areas. Potential solutions include a review of Santa’s contract or employment of local Santas in poorly represented regions.

Read more here

RIPES : Revue Internationale de Pédagogie de l'Enseignement Supérieur

9 Décembre 2016,

Publié par Bioécologie

RIPES est la revue officielle de l’Association internationale de pédagogie universitaire. D’orientation pluridisciplinaire, elle a pour vocation d’étudier les problématiques touchant à l’enseignement supérieur (ou post secondaire) et à ses pratiques pédagogiques. Elle vise à susciter et alimenter des débats concernant des enjeux reliés à l’éducation supérieure ainsi qu’à faire connaître des travaux de recherche, des cadres de référence et des pratiques susceptibles d’améliorer la compréhension et la qualité des dispositifs, des programmes et des stratégies de formation dans l’enseignement supérieur.

Accéder à la page internet de RIPES

RIPES : Revue Internationale de Pédagogie de l'Enseignement Supérieur

TERMIUM Plus®

6 Décembre 2016,

Publié par Bioécologie

TERMIUM Plus®, une des plus grandes banques de données terminologiques et linguistiques dans le monde, vous donne accès à des millions de termes en anglais, français, espagnol et portugais. Vous pouvez trouver des termes, des abréviations, des définitions et des exemples d’utilisation dans un large éventail de domaines spécialisés. La banque de données est un outil essentiel pour décoder les acronymes, vérifier un titre officiel, trouver un équivalent dans une autre langue et bien plus encore.

TERMIUM Plus®