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Blog criado por Bruno Coriolano de Almeida Costa, professor de Língua Inglesa desde 2002. Esse espaço surgiu em 2007 com o objetivo de unir alguns estudiosos e professores desse idioma. Abordamos, de forma rápida e simples, vários aspectos da Língua Inglesa e suas culturas. Agradeço a sua visita.

"Se tivesse perguntado ao cliente o que ele queria, ele teria dito: 'Um cavalo mais rápido!"

quarta-feira, 13 de junho de 2018

Stanford researchers have found that, contrary to previous studies, insulin levels and a specific genotype pattern don’t predict weight-loss success


Low-fat or low-carb? It’s a draw, study finds


Stanford researchers have found that, contrary to previous studies, insulin levels and a specific genotype pattern don’t predict weight-loss success.




New evidence from a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate.

Neither option is superior: Cutting either carbs or fats shaves off excess weight in about the same proportion, according to the study. What’s more, the study inquired whether insulin levels or a specific genotype pattern could predict an individual’s success on either diet. The answer, in both cases, was no.


“We’ve all heard stories of a friend who went on one diet — it worked great — and then another friend tried the same diet, and it didn’t work at all,” said Christopher Gardner, PhD, professor of medicine and the lead author of the study. “It’s because we’re all very different, and we’re just starting to understand the reasons for this diversity. Maybe we shouldn’t be asking what’s the best diet, but what’s the best diet for whom?”


Past research has shown that a range of factors, including genetics, insulin levels (which helps regulate glucose in the body) and the microbiome, might tip the scales when it comes to weight loss. The new study, published Feb. 20 in JAMA, homed in on genetics and insulin, seeking to discover if these nuances of biology would encourage an individual’s body to favor a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet. The senior authors of the study are Gardner; Abby King, PhD, professor of health research and policy and of medicine; Manisha Desai, PhD, professor of medicine and of biomedical data science; and John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, professor of medicine.

A TALE OF TWO DIETS

In his quest to find out if individual biological factors dictate weight loss, Gardner recruited 609 participants between the ages of 18 and 50. About half were men and half were women. All were randomized into one of two dietary groups: low-carbohydrate or low-fat. Each group was instructed to maintain their diet for one year. (By the end of that year, about 20 percent of participants had dropped out of the study, due to outside circumstances, Gardner noted.)

Individuals participated in two pre-study activities, the results of which were later tested as predictors of weight loss. Participants got part of their genome sequenced, allowing scientists to look for specific gene patterns associated with producing proteins that modify carbohydrate or fat metabolism. Then, participants took a baseline insulin test, in which they drank a shot of glucose (think corn syrup) on an empty stomach, and researchers measured their bodies’ insulin outputs.



In the initial eight weeks of the study, participants were told to limit their daily carbohydrate or fat intake to just 20 grams, which is about what can be found in a 1½ slices of whole wheat bread or in a generous handful of nuts, respectively. After the second month, Gardner’s team instructed the groups to make incremental small adjustments as needed, adding back 5-15 grams of fat or carbs gradually, aiming to reach a balance they believed they could maintain for the rest of their lives. At the end of the 12 months, those on a low-fat diet reported a daily average fat intake of 57 grams; those on low-carb ingested about 132 grams of carbohydrates per day. Those statistics pleased Gardner, given that average fat consumption for the participants before the study started was around 87 grams a day, and average carbohydrate intake was about 247 grams.




What’s key, Gardner said, was emphasizing that these were healthy low-fat and low-carb diets: A soda might be low-fat, but it’s certainly not healthy. Lard may be low-carb, but an avocado would be healthier. “We made sure to tell everybody, regardless of which diet they were on, to go to the farmer’s market, and don’t buy processed convenience food crap. Also, we advised them to diet in a way that didn’t make them feel hungry or deprived — otherwise it’s hard to maintain the diet in the long run,” said Gardner, who holds the Rehnborg Farquhar Professorship. “We wanted them to choose a low-fat or low-carb diet plan that they could potentially follow forever, rather than a diet that they’d drop when the study ended.”

CONTINUING TO MINE THE DATA




Over the 12-month period, researchers tracked the progress of participants, logging information about weight, body composition, baseline insulin levels and how many grams of fat or carbohydrate they consumed daily. By the end of the study, individuals in the two groups had lost, on average, 13 pounds. There was still, however, immense weight loss variability among them; some dropped upward of 60 pounds, while others gained close to 15 or 20. But, contrary to the study hypotheses, Gardner found no associations between the genotype pattern or baseline insulin levels and a propensity to succeed on either diet.

“This study closes the door on some questions — but it opens the door to others. We have gobs of data that we can use in secondary, exploratory studies,” he said. Gardner and his team are continuing to delve into their databanks, now asking if the microbiome, epigenetics or a different gene expression pattern can clue them in to why there’s such drastic variability between dieting individuals.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this study, Gardner said, is that the fundamental strategy for losing weight with either a low-fat or a low-carb approach is similar. Eat less sugar, less refined flour and as many vegetables as possible. Go for whole foods, whether that is a wheatberry salad or grass-fed beef. “On both sides, we heard from people who had lost the most weight that we had helped them change their relationship to food, and that now they were more thoughtful about how they ate,” said Gardner.

Moving forward, he and his team will continue to analyze the reams of data collected during the yearlong study, and they hope to partner with scientists across Stanford to uncover keys to individual weight loss.

“I’m hoping that we can come up with signatures of sorts,” he said. “I feel like we owe it to Americans to be smarter than to just say ‘eat less.’ I still think there is an opportunity to discover some personalization to it — now we just need to work on tying the pieces together.”

The study’s other Stanford co-authors are postdoctoral scholars John Trepanowski, PhD, and Michelle Hauser MD; research fellow Liana Del Gobbo; and senior biostatistician, Joseph Rigdon, PhD.

Gardner, Desai and Ioannidis are members of the Stanford Cancer Institute. Gardner and Ioannidis are members of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. Gardner and Desai are members of the Stanford Child Health Research Institute. Gardner is a member of Stanford ChEM-H. Ioannidis is a member of Stanford Bio-X.




The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grants 1R01DK091831, T32HL007034 and 1K12GM088033), the Nutrition Science Initiative and Stanford’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (grant UL1TR001085).

Stanford’s departments of Medicine and of Health Research and Policy also supported the work.

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quarta-feira, 30 de maio de 2018

Glasses wearers really are more intelligent - it's in the genes


As leis da União Europeia exigem que eu informe aos visitantes da UE sobre os cookies usados e os dados coletados no meu blog. em muitos casos, essas leis também exigem que eu tenha o consentimento deles. Aviso, então, que não coleto dados de ninguém e aproveito para dizer que não tenho o menor interesse na vida privada das pessoas que visitam este blog.





It may seem merely a cliche born of centuries of educated people straining their eyes in dimly-lit libraries, but new genetic research suggests those who wear glasses really are more intelligent.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh analysed the genetic data of more than 44,480 people.

They found that, overall, those who were more intelligent were nearly 30 per cent more likely to have genes indicating they require reading glasses than those who scored poorly.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, the research also linked higher cognitive ability to genes known to play a part in better cardiovascular health.

The results are based on the most thorough investigation of intelligence genes of its kind to date.

The research team examined 148 genomic regions related to better cognitive function, including 58 that have not previously been reported.

They said the results could help understanding of the declines in cognitive function that happen with illness and as people age.

Because of the study’s design it is not possible to say why there is a genetic correlation between intelligence, poor eyesight and cardiovascular health.

However, Dr Gail Davies, of University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, who led the analysis, said:

"This study, the largest genetic study of cognitive function, has identified many genetic differences that contribute to the heritability of thinking skills.

"The discovery of shared genetic effects on health outcomes and brain structure provides a foundation for exploring the mechanisms by which these differences influence thinking skills throughout a lifetime."

Those who participated in the study had all taken a variety of thinking tests which were summarised as a general cognitive ability score.
All had genetic testing that examined their DNA and none of the people had dementia or a stroke.

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quinta-feira, 24 de maio de 2018

The universe is a hologram: Stephen Hawking's final words?


For a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang, the universe expanded incredibly rapidly before settling into its present state.”


Do we live in a matrix? Well, to honest with you, I have absolutely no idea of how I could explain the reason why I’m asking you this crazy question. I don’t even know if there is anything that can be explained in this world. The only thing I know is that reading is one of the most important skills in any language – or at least I believe it is. Taking that into account, I just would like to share this article with you – it has been recently published and brings some food for thought, especially for those who love Stephen Hawking and Physics – so that you may improve your reading skills by reading it.

Stephen Hawking has revealed from beyond the grave his final scientific theory - that the universe is a hologram.

The cosmologist, who died on March 14, has challenged previous theories of cosmic "inflation" and the "multiverse" in a new paper published in the Journal Of High Energy Physics.

Scientists generally believe that for a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang, the universe expanded incredibly rapidly before settling into its present state, filled with stars and galaxies - the inflation theory.

But some have proposed that, on a grander global scale, inflation goes on forever, giving rise to a "multiverse" - a number of different universes with their own laws of physics.

Prof Hawking was always troubled by this idea, which at a fundamental level cannot be reconciled with Einstein's theory of General Relativity. In an interview last year he said: "I have never been a fan of the multiverse."

Working with Belgian colleague Professor Thomas Hertog, Prof Hawking extended the weird notion of a holographic reality to explain how the universe came into being from the moment of the Big Bang.

The new theory embraces the strange concept that the universe is like a vast and complex hologram. In other words, 3D reality is an illusion, and that the  apparently "solid" world around us - and the dimension of time - is projected from information stored on a flat 2D surface.

Hawking and Hertog's variation of the holography theory overcomes the problem of combining eternal inflation with General Relativity.

Prof Hertog, from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KT Leuven),  said: "It's a very precise mathematical notion of holography that has come out of string theory in the last few years which is not fully understood but is mind-boggling and changes the scene completely."

Applied to inflation, the newly published theory suggests that time and "the beginning" of the universe arose holographically from an unknowable state outside the Big Bang.

Prof Hawking said before his death: "We are not down to a single, unique universe, but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse, to a much smaller range of possible universes."



From:
PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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terça-feira, 22 de maio de 2018

6 (very useful!) Approaches to identify research gaps and generate research questions




First let’s start with a question: what is “research gap”? Research gap is a research question or problem which has not been answered appropriately or at all in a given field of study. Research gap is actually what makes your research publishable, why? Because it shows you are not just duplicating existing research; it shows you have a deep understanding of the status of the body of knowledge in your chosen field; and finally it shows that you have conducted a research which fulfills that gap in the literature.

Researchers, particularly those pursuing Master’s or PhD often find it difficult to identify the gaps in the body of knowledge in their own chosen fields. Identifying gaps and generating research questions can be regarded as the first and most important step in writing a research paper. Of course there are many approaches for overcoming this difficulty, but finding original and innovative topics, and distinguishing gaps in the literature is never an easy feat. There are different approaches to employ and not all researchers, especially younger ones, are aware of them. Here, we will try to briefly discuss them.

For starters, considering the gap finding issue, three classes of researchers can be distinguished:
  • The first class is mainly the class of researchers who act according to their personal enthusiasm. These researchers have complete proficiency in their chosen field which is the result of years of experience or a rich body of knowledge acquired after covering all the important papers in their field of study.
  • The second class is encouraged by peripheral factors. For instance, a researcher may choose a particular college and a certain professor. That professor might have a specific project in hand and he may suggest this project to you. The, you would investigate and if the project is close to your expectations for a masters or PhD degree, you will select it.
  • It is really the same story with the third group. Again a peripheral factor, this time not the professor, forces the researcher to select a topic. For instance, the environment the researcher has grown up in, and the needs of that environment, i.e. society, will force him to focus mostly, for example, on agricultural sector.
So far we have discussed three classes of researchers each of whom chooses a topic in a different way. But what if you are not knowledgeable in your field? What if you do not want to choose a topic based on your professor’s interest? What if environmental factors are not of importance for you? Well, there are other approaches you can use in order to find a gap, topic or a popular trend in your chosen field of study; some are simple and some other sophisticated:
  1. The easiest way would to read specific parts of the articles in your field of study. Of course there may be hundreds of articles in your field, but you have to find the most suitable ones by measuring their value and finding out how influential they are. After finding the most suitable articles (there are tools which can help you in this regard, but we are not discussing them here) you should examine the parts which include “introduction” section, which always has a sentence or two about the reasons why that research is done; “conclusion” section and of course “suggestions for future research”section in which the author of the article, having examined the literature and conducted a research himself, would point his readers to areas which lack investigation or need closer examination.
  1. One other approach is to read systematic reviews. These papers delve deep into the literature and examine the trends and changes in a discipline or specific field of study and provide summaries of the literature which can in some cases save a lot of research time. Moreover, content analysis reportscitation analysis reports and meta-analysis reports can be very illuminating and helpful, especially the later which reports the findings of the previous researches.
  1. Another approach is to visit the website of the most prominent and influential journals in your field of study. These journals often have a “Key Concepts” section which aims to assist the journal’s audience to develop an appreciation of central ideas in that field and to approach the content of articles from a perspective which is informed by present debate on aspects of both theory and practice. Key Concepts are usually very short articles and each one is dedicated to one specific topic. They are often written by well-known scholars who are expert in that field of study or topic. There is also a reference section in “Key Concept” papers which introduces the most important papers or books written about that topic.
  1. There is another type of paper which is called “State of the Art” paper. State of the Art papers summarize the state of knowledge on a specific subject. They delimit research frontiers and identify fruitful and promising areas of future research. They can be classified under systematic review papers.
Now the above mentioned were some general and rather simple approaches to finding gaps, research questions and topics. There are also tools and more sophisticated approaches which can save you research time and give you better overview of the current trends and areas of interests in your field of study:
  1. One of these tools is developed by Thomson Reuters; it is called “Essential Science Indicator”. Some universities have access to this website. If your college has provided you access to this website then you utilize it. It tells you about the most cited papers in each field, the new areas or branches that have been developing in that field. It also identifies the influential individuals, institutions, papers, publications, and countries in that field.
  1. You can also use “Google Trends” in order to find out if the popularity or interest in a topic is increasing or decreasing, you can also use this tool to compare various topics with each other and see which one is more popular. Google Trends also provides “regional interest” index; this piece of information shows which topic is hot or popular in which country. Another piece of information provided by Google Trends is “related searches” which provides queries similar to yours and the name of the authors who are active in the topic you have searched.
There are other websites and tools such as Social MentionSpringerGoogle Ads, and BroadReader which provide more sophisticated information regarding the queries such as their popularity, various bars and charts which demonstrate the trends in different time spans, the most recent articles that have been downloaded and their related tags ad etc. You can find a more detailed discussion of these tools in the following mind map:



As you work with these tools and manipulate them you begin to understand how they work and which one is best for your field of study. But keep one thing in mind, try to use only one of them and master utilizing it. These tools can save you an enormous amount of research time and effort and open new doors in your life. Do not underestimate their value and start using them.


And, one more thing for professional researchers:


Well, here is a food for thought: what we discussed above was the conventional approaches to gap spotting and generating topics and research questions. However, there always other and new ways of approaching research questions. For instance, Alvesson and Sandberg state that although gap spotting is the prevalent way of constructing research questions, these “established ways of generating research questions rarely express more ambitious and systematic attempts to challenge the assumptions underlying existing theories” (Alvesson & Sandberg, 2011). Thus, they propose an alternative method:

Our aim in this study is to integrate the positive and the negative research agenda by developing and proposing problematization as a methodology for identifying and challenging assumptions that underlie existing theories and, based on that, generating research questions that lead to the development of more interesting and influential theories within management studies (Alvesson & Sandberg, 2011).

They have developed a typology of the type of assumptions that can be problematized in the existing theories and proposed a set of methodological principles to approach the problematization concept. Although appealing, the problematization method can be a bit risky, since it may involve challenging existing paradigms and their underpinning ontological and epistemological assumptions. In fact, Alvesson and Sandberg too mention that “challenging assumptions is often risky, since it means questioning existing power relations in a scientific field, which may result in upsetting colleagues, reviewers, and editors and, thus, may reduce the chances of having an article published” (Alvesson & Sandberg, 2011).

So if you dare, there can always be new ways of approaching research questions, although the method proposed by Alvesson and Sandberg may not, for obvious reasons(!), be suitable for young researchers at all and as all university professors tell their students, “don’t try to take on too ambitious projects at first”.

References
Alvesson, M., & Sandberg, J. (2011). GENERATING RESEARCH QUESTIONS THROUGH PROBLEMATIZATION. Academy of Management Review. doi:10.5465/AMR.2011.59330882

segunda-feira, 21 de maio de 2018

Bilingual Kids Do Not Get Confused Speaking Two Languages






Bilingual kids get confused learning two languages at once. It is impossible for children to learn a second language while trying to master their first.

There is also the possibility of a speech delay because of language confusion, and bilingual kids may not end up not talking at all.

Parents should speak one language to their child, and it should be the community language so that eventually when their kids go to school they won’t get confused.


Any of this sound familiar?


If you are raising a bilingual child, I am sure you have heard a few of these statements, either from friends, teachers, or even strangers. There is this huge misconception that bilingual kids get confused learning two languages at once. Many parents become scared off and some even consider dropping a language because of it.

Let’s get one thing straight though. While bilingual kids develop their language abilities differently, bilingualism does not cause confusion. Learning two or even three languages at once, does not cause confusion.

But my partner and I speak different languages with our kids, won’t there be some confusion?

If each parent speaks a different language to your child, it will not confuse them. The OPOL approach is very popular because children learn to differentiate between the two languages, and who they should speak them with very early on.

But we speak a third language between ourselves

Many multicultural families speak a third language. Perhaps you speak Italian to your child, your partner speaks French, however between you the language is English. This might seem like it could confuse your child, but it isn’t the case. Your child may not become fluent in all three, however at the least, they may develop a passive understand of English hearing it between you constantly.

But my child mixes languages, he must be confused

Mixing languages is common with bilingual kids. Children who are learning more than one language at once are taking in double the vocabulary. Sometimes if they don’t have what they need in one language, they compensate by using the other. In one way they are lucky. Monolingual children don’t have this advantage. If a monolingual child doesn’t know a word, they may not be able to express themselves at all.

But my child goes to nursery/school and the teacher says my child is confused

Many teachers in monolingual nurseries and schools are uneducated on bilingualism and may think your child is confused because of they are unable to communicate as well as the other students.

If your child is starting at a school where the language is different to the one you speak at home, there may be a period where your child may stop talking. But don’t mistake this for confusion. Language immersion is one of the easiest and quickest ways to learn a language. Children initially listen and take everything in. They will eventually start to speak, and will catch up quite quickly.

But my child has a speech delay, could this be due to language confusion?

Bilingualism does not cause a speech delay. If a child has a speech delay, it will usually occur in both languages. Language development is different in all children. Some bilingual children will start talking later than others, but this is also the case with some monolingual children. If your bilingual child has a speech delay it doesn’t mean they are confused. If you are worried, seek medical advice from a speech therapist who specializes in bilingualism.

But learning to read and write in two languages seems confusing

Just as children can learn to speak in two languages at once, they can also learn to read and write in two languages at once. While there may be different alphabets, or different sounds of some letters, children are able to distinguish between the languages quite quickly. Some language combinations may take longer than others, but most children are able to learn with no issues and become biliterate.


Bilingualism and language confusion

If you are raising a child in more than one language, you are likely to hear various myths and misconceptions about bilingualism. Make sure to do your own research, and don’t believe just anything you hear from others. Children have been raised to be bilingual and multilingual in many parts of the world for centuries. In fact more than half of the world’s population is bilingual. It can’t be that half of the world is confused.

PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
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{Video} Escaping a Quicksand and Surviving and in a Free Falling Elevator


These survival escape hacks could save your life. So, knowing what to do in hard situations is key to getting out of them.

“The first step to getting stuck in quicksand: Don't freak out. Humans actually can't drown in the stuff, because we float in it. Getting out can be simple, if you follow these instructions.” Read more: http://www.techinsider.io/






Is it even possible to survive such a fall?! Today, we will answer these questions and shares some recommendations from scientists and engineers about what you should and shouldn’t do if you find yourself in a falling elevator.

The Only Way to Survive in a Free Falling Elevator



PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
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Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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