The “Journal of Science, Humanities and Arts – JOSHA” has been initiated to create a novel internet platform to access the broad diversity of important discoveries and creativity in the fields of Science, Humanities and Arts. Read more ...
Trading participation for access to health-care: A morally relevant feature of participation in clinical research
Silvia Camporesi, Matteo Mameli
INSTITUTION: Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine, King’s College, London, UK. The increasing tendency to run clinical trials offshore in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has been extensively documented. In parallel, in high-income countries (HICs) as the US, we are witnessing the emergence of new forms of clinical research where un(der)insured fractions of the population are trading access for participation to health-care to which they would otherwise not have access. We first discuss Wertheimer’s analysis of offshored clinical trials as mutually advantageous exploitative transactions. We then argue that to make sense of what is morally problematic with the offshoring of clinical research it is necessary to broaden the ethical analysis, as there are different kinds of moral wrongs that can be linked to exploitation.
Lamarck attributed the transformation of species to the inheritance of acquired features. Although not completely convincing in his time, even Darwin accepted this concept in his “Pangenesis” Hypothesis. Later experiments to confirm Lamarck`s concept failed. Nevertheless, Lamarck had a pronounced effect on communistic science, research projects and political strategies, closely associated with Trofin D. Lyssenko (1898-1976). Lamarck`s model cannot explain the evolution of species as we understand it today, since his concept stipulated the transformation of arts, not a common ancestral tree for all species. INSTITUTION: Institute of Biology, Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany. [Article in German]
Rechenwelten. Computersimulationen machen komplexe Systeme greifbar Mathematical worlds. Computer Simulations allow to comprehend complex systems
The first simulation experiments were performed early in the 20th century. But it was with the development of high performance computing that simulations became a powerful tool in science and engineering. Simulation experiments have some obvious advantages: they are cheaper and easier to achieve than real world experiments, and they allow testing for dangerous outcomes. Their main application consists in simulating complex processes that cannot be calculated right away. To be simulated, a problem has to be given an appropriate mathematical form; the simulation will then be able to approximate possible behaviours of the simulated system. For the philosophy of science, simulation experiments bear questions like: Do simulations really help to understand the ongoing processes? How can one know that the simulated process equals the real process in relevant ways? INSTITUTION: Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung der Universität Bielefeld, 33615 Bielefeld, GERMANY
Affiliation: University of Buenos Aires
The current issue of the Journal of Science, Humanities and Arts brings us seven novel contributions to the scientific, humanities, and arts fields. In this issue we have published two master theses in the field of biomolecular sciences, the collaboration between arts and science, the story of Wiktor Feliks Szokalski ‘The Father of Ophthalmology in Poland’, bioinformatic studies on a buffalo prolactin-derived anti-angiogenic peptide, an interview with Michael Röckner, and the paintings of Karin Lotzwi.
Assembly and disassembly of Rad51 filaments on single-stranded DNA: A novel assay to study the dynamics of protein-ssDNA interactions at the single-molecule level
Eukaryotic recombinase protein Rad51 is the key player in homologous recombination, an essential DNA repair mechanism used for the repair of double-strand breaks. Double-strand breaks can lead to chromosome fragmentation and are particularly hazardous during and shortly after DNA replication. The mechanism of homologous recombination is highly conserved between species and recombinase proteins are expressed in a wide range of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The primary event in homologous recombination is the formation of a helical nucleoprotein filament on single- stranded DNA overhangs around double-strand breaks. The nucleoprotein filament mediates all subsequent steps of homologous recombination and is capable of performing strand exchange reactions unassisted in vitro. Dynamic assembly and disassembly interactions between the nucleoprotein filament and its DNA substrate are essential for strand exchange.
Homologous recombination is an essential DNA repair mechanism in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It especially plays an important role in the repair of broken or stalled replication forks and is vital for proper chromosome segregation and immunoglobulin diversity. The main event in homologous recombination is the formation of a nucleoprotein filament by RecA-like proteins. Assembly of this filament is the rate-limiting step in recombination and it mediates subsequent stages of repair. Single-molecule experiments have given great insights into the physical mechanism and function of the nucleoprotein filament. In vivo, however, many recombination mediators are involved in the processes and various complex pathways are activated. INSTITUTION: VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics of Living Systems
Art-science collaborations organize interdisciplinary inquiries around research themes of mutual interest. The clash between art’s open-endedness, and its mortal enemy, the hypothesis-driven protocol, make it difficult for scientists to understand how art-science collaborations can be mutually beneficial. As it turns out, the boundary-challenging aspects of these collaborations often force participants to question the context of their research and their discipline’s internal culture. Deep collaborations, especially those aided by technological enhancements, could lead to a sort of creative hypothesis-generating ambiance among participants. Art-science collaborations will and should continue to proliferate as we enter a yet another renaissance showing that interdisciplinary cross-pollination is the mother of invention.
Dieter Schmidt, Andrzej Grzybowski
Wiktor Feliks Szokalski had an eventful life as a physician. He joined the Polish army in 1831. Szokalski was expatriated and immigrated to Germany, where he continued his medical studies in Gießen. He specialized in ophthalmology in Heidelberg and Würzburg. Later, he moved to Paris and became an assistant physician in Dr. Sichel’s Ophthalmological Clinic in 1838. Szokalski gave lectures in ophthalmology in Paris. After completing his French thesis on the topic “Sur la diplopie unioculaire ou la double vision d’un oeil” in 1839, he became co-editor of the Journal »L’Esculape«. In 1844 he was the founder and first president of the Society of German Physicians in Paris. He was nominated head of the hospital in Alice-Sainte-Reine (Burgundy) and kept that position for five years; in addition, he was nominated as railroad physician in Lyon. In 1853 he returned to the Kingdom of Poland and became director of Lubomirski’s Institute of Ophthalmology in 1858.
Pulak P. Kumar, Pratishtha Singh
A 14-amino acid sequence within the buffalo prolactin (buPRL) protein has been identified by BLAST search as similar to that of somatostatin, the gold standard for determining anti-angiogenic activity. A synthetic peptide with the same sequence has been shown to exhibit powerful anti-angiogenic activity, possibly by functioning as a kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) antagonist. In order to further study this peptide’s anti-angiogenic nature, bioinformatics tools were used to analyze its interaction with the bradykinin B1 receptor, which is a component of the KKS. Molecular docking studies were conducted in silico using structures of bradykinin B1 receptor obtained by homology modeling using SWISS-MODEL via the EXPASY web server, as well as a structure of the synthetic peptide that was modeled by the PEP-FOLD de novo modeling server.
Manuela Lenzen, Michael Röckner
Michael Röckner is Professor of Mathematics and Vice-President of the German Mathematicians Association. His research is focused on probability theory, mathematical physics and stochastic analysis, especially modeling, and analysis of stochastic dynamics in Physics, Biology, and Economics. Since October 2015, he is the managing director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at the University Bielefeld, Germany. He was interviewed by Manuela Lenzen, Ph.D., one of the leading science writers in Germany.