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The article mentions that it took 17 years from the beginning of the investigation to the publication of the 11 papers on Ardi in 2009. During that time only one paper was published by the team members, in 1994. It is interesting that the team did not publish papers on the research for 15 years, for we live in the era of “publish or perish” – in other words, professors understand that they need to publish academic articles in order to keep their jobs, or at least to be able to advance their careers. True, 47 of the 70 investigators on the team were listed as authors on the 11 papers. Also, the publication of the papers all at once essentially guaranteed that the papers were given a lot of attention. Still, it is encouraging that the universities and other institutions that funded the research continued to support the team members despite the lack of papers. After all, “publish or perish” is largely due to the need for universities to be recognized as places where a lot of research is being done. High levels of publication lead to high evaluations, which helps attract students and funding to a particular university. The presence of good students and large research budgets help the school maintain its excellence. So the term “publish or perish” may not be quite as cynical as it first sounds.


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記事によれば、調査の開始から2009年のアルディピテクス・ラミドゥス(ラミドゥス猿人)の骨格化石標本に関する11の論文の公表まで17年かかったそうです。その間に、調査隊のメンバーによって発表された論文は、1994年の1本だけでした。調査隊が、15年間、調査に関する論文を発表しなかったことは興味深いです、なぜならば、我々は「論文を書け、さもなくば、去れ」[注]の時代に生きているからです ― 言い換えれば、彼らが仕事を失わないために、あるいは、少なくともキャリアを積むためには、学術論文を発表する必要があることを、教授たちは、理解しています。確かに、調査隊に属する70人の研究者のうち47人が、11の論文の著者として名前を連ねています。また、同時に論文が発表されたことも、必然的に、多くの注目を集めることを保証しました。それでも、その調査に資金を供給した大学や他の研究機関が、論文の不足にもかかわらず、調査隊のメンバーを支え続けたことは、励みとなることです。結局、「論文を書け、さもなくば、去れ」と言うのは、主に、大学が多くの研究がなされている場所と認められる必要があるためなのです。論文発表率の高さは、高い評価につながり、そして、高い評価は、特定の大学に学生や資金提供を引きつける助けとなるからです。優秀な学生の存在と大きな研究予算は、学校が、その優秀さを維持するのを助けるのです。それゆえ「論文を書け、さもなくば、去れ」という標語は、それが最初に思えるほど皮肉ではないのかも知れません。 [注] publish or perish パブリッシュ・オア・ペリッシュ◆論文などを書かない学者は消滅する◆【略】POP http://eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=publish+or+perish



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    Methylation is a chemical process in which a methyl(CH3)group is added to an atom or molecule. The resulting compound does not usually dissolve in water and is more easily absorbed into organisms such as plankton. Methylmercury is very dangerous because it enters the food chain as soon as it is absorbed into plankton. Next, it ends up in a fish that eats the contaminated plankton. After the contaminated fish is eaten by another fish, the methylmercury stays in the surviving fish's flesh, and the cycle may be repeated over and over. Once the mercury reaches the top of the food chain, for example in a 300-kilogram tuna, it will stay there for the rest of the fish's life. As a result, people are very worried about the effect of eating fish that are high on the food chain or very old. These fish may have very high accumulations of mercury, and thus may be dangerous to eat. Fish that are lower on the food chain, or younger, are seen as safer. As the article makes clear, an important first step is to discover the exact nature of the ocean's mercury methylation process. After the process is understood, it may be possible to control it. Until we can reduce the amount of mercury that accumulates in the ocean, it would be advisable to avoid fish that may be high on mercury, wouldn't it?

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    There was one large difference between the animal study and the human research projects mentioned in the article: the researchers controlled what the animals in the earlier studies ate, while the humans reported their eating behavior. Thus, as Dr. Bartke mentions, there is a question about the quality of the data. As long as the researchers kept careful records on what was fed to the animal subjects and prevented the animals from getting food from other sources, they could be confident of the food intake measurement. Humans, however, are not lab rats. It is not ethical, or generally possible, to completely control the environment that a human experiences. In this case, it was likely not economically feasible to control the diet for the subjects in the “diet group.” As a result, the researchers relied on self-reported data from these subjects. It is very unlikely that all of the members who reported that they cut their caloric intake by 30% actually did so. If the control their diet and observe their action, then we might be able to accept that the members of the group actually reduced their calories by 30%. However, one would then worry that a group of people who could take three months to go to a lab environment might not be representative of the general population.

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    Scientific investigation is not only used to advance science - sometimes scientific procedures are used to investigate a crime or to provide evidence in a criminal trial. This application of scientific methods for legal use is the fast-growing area known as "forensics." For example, when DNA, blood, a fingerprint, hair, or other tissue is found at a crime scene, investigators can often match the sample to the person from whom it came. Now we have learned that DNA samples that are found at the crime scene may be able to give us information about a person's eye color. As exciting as this development is, we should keep in mind that matching DNA from a sample to a suspect is still not very accurate. In fact, the most important use of DNA samples may be to eliminate people from suspicion. It is not possible to state with nearly 100% certainty that a particular DNA sample is from a particular person. However, it is possible to state with certainly that a particular sample did not come from a particular person. In recent years many people who were wrongly convicted of crimes have been cleared because their DNA was completely different from DNA found at the scene. Forensic medicine is very important, but it must be used very carefully. Nobody should be convicted of a crime based solely on DNA evidence.

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    Both the print and the online-only articles have been combined into one E-Reader friendly product, enabling access to the complete Journal issue. 10/09/2013: The December 2012 e-Reader issues are now available for download. We have two different versions available: one for the Kindle and one for all devices. APHA Members access the e-Reader product as a benefit and must follow a dual sign-on process. Watch the video tutorial here or here. All other must purchase access and must have a registered account with our website. FREE: The full version of the July 2012 Journal issue is available for free for your E-Reader and E-Reader enabled mobile device. Features include: Both the print and online-only articles, full advertisements, easy navigation from article to article, easy navigation within articles, a streamlined reading experience that puts fully linked tables, figures, and references at the end of the issue, as well as standard E-Reader features such as top-menu navigation, bookmarking and note-taking capabilities, and "double tap" access to all images and figures. Additionally, URLs and email links are fully functional on devices with Internet accessibility. The American Journal of Public Health® (AJPH®) is dedicated to the publication of original work in research, research methods, and program evaluation in the field of public health. The mission of the journal is to advance public health research, policy, practice, and education. Celebrating over 100 years, AJPH is the official journal of the American Public Health Association. Additionally, AJPH was voted one of the 100 Most Influential Journals in Biology & Medicine over the last 100 Years by the Special Libraries Association. Visit us on our Facebook or Twitter page for updates on current research, a look back at earlier research, articles in the news, and more! The Facebook and Twitter pages, updated daily, offer another great way to keep up to date with the Journal and the American Public Health Association. AJPHTalks continues its extended coverage of AJPH material, highlighting important research and public health topics, providing notices of Journal updates, and noting key policy changes within the Journal. AJPHTalks is a free access blog and will be available to all. It features RSS subscription feeds and social media links via Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter. Subscribe today and stay tuned for new updates!

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