Sunday, 31 January 2016

Lars Thorup Larsen (2015): “The problematization of fertility treatment: biopolitics and IVF policy in Denmark”, Distinktion 16(3): 318-36.

With the demographic challenges facing many European states, one would perhaps expect the state to invoke a biopolitical imperative to ‘faire vivre’, as Foucault termed it, and attempt to regulate birth rates. This expectation is too simple, however, as this article shows both theoretically and empirically. In order better to understand the possible counterweights to biopolitical concerns about the birth rate, the conceptual distinction between biopolitics and governmentality is useful. Scholarly debates about biopolitics and governmentality have been surprisingly silent on what constitutes the internal relationship between the two or how they may come into conflict. The article elaborates this conceptual distinction and demonstrates its relevance in a genealogy of how fertility treatment has been problematized in Danish assisted reproduction policy. Since access to IVF treatment does not appear to follow a biopolitical imperative to ‘faire vivre’, it is interesting to explore and compare how IVF treatment – and its doctors, patients, and children – has been problematized instead. In a variety of different ways, the biopolitical concern about the low birth rate has been overshadowed by concerns about how to govern. Either the new treatment has been problematized as an unnecessary cover for private or special interests, for instance doctors’ illegitimate attempts to self-govern, or problematization has centered on prospective parents characterized as demanding or selfish. The interface between biopolitics and fertility treatment is thus only understandable with a view to problems of governing and the resulting tension between governmentality and the biopolitical imperative to ‘faire vivre’.

The social worlds of nineteenth-century chamber music: Composers, consumers, communities

The Social Worlds of Nineteenth-Century Chamber Music: Composers, Consumers, Communities
1 January 2015, Pages 1-310


Georgia State University, United States 


Marie Sumner Lott examines the music available to musical consumers in the nineteenth century, and what that music tells us about their tastes, priorities, and activities. Her social history of chambermusic performance places the works of canonic composers such as Schubert, Brahms, and Dvorák in relation to lesser-known but influential peers. The book explores the dynamic relationships among the active agents involved in the creation of Romantic music and shows how each influenced the others’ choices in a rich, collaborative environment. In addition to documenting the ways companies acquired and marketed sheet music, Sumner Lott reveals how the publication and performance of chamber music differed from that of ephemeral piano and song genres or more monumental orchestral and operatic works. Several distinct niche markets existed within the audience for chamber music, and composers created new musical works for their use and enjoyment. Insightful and groundbreaking, The Social Worlds of Nineteenth-Century Chamber Music revises prevailing views of middle-class influence on nineteenth-century musical style and presents new methods for interpreting the meanings of musical works for musicians both past and present. © 2015 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-025209727-0;978-025203922-5 Original language: English
Document Type: Book
Publisher: University of Illinois Press

The Renegades steelband plays Schubert

Jan 31

January 31

1606 Guy Fawkes is hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up Parliament.
1620 Virginia colony leaders write to the Virginia Company in England, asking for more orphaned apprentices for employment.

1865 House of Representatives approves a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

1976 Ernesto Miranda, famous from the Supreme Court ruling on Miranda vs. Arizona is stabbed to death.
1981 Lech Walesa announces an accord in Poland, giving Saturdays off to laborers.
Born on January 31
1734 Robert Morris, signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
1797 Franz Schubert, Austrian composer (C Major Symphony, The Unfinished Symphony).
1919 Jackie Robinson, first African-American baseball player in the modern major leagues.
1925 Benjamin Hooks, civil rights leader.

The andrologist's contribution to a better life for ageing men: Part 2

Volume 48, Issue 1, 1 February 2016, Pages 99-110


Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital Gent, Gent, Belgium 


The long-term intake of a judiciously composed nutriceutical containing low-dose vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and particular herbal preparations seems justified for older persons who take medication, or who consume an unbalanced diet, or who are exposed to environmental toxins. Recent reports suggest these nutriceuticals may delay age-related diseases and the occurrence of cancer, and reduce mortality in apparently healthy ageing men. Food supplementation with a nutriceutical that was formulated particularly for ageing men should result in an increase of at least one quality-adjusted life year and may lower the financial and social burden of disease in elderly people. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Author keywords

Antioxidants; Food supplement; Healthy ageing; Hormones; Nutriceutical

Volume 48, Issue 1, 1 February 2016, Pages 87-98

The andrologist's contribution to a better life for ageing men: Part 1  (Article)

Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital Gent, Gent, Belgium 


The present opinion paper, explores the possibility that optimal hormone treatment and judicious nutraceutical food supplement can help ageing men to gain quality-adjusted life years. Testosterone treatment of patients with late-onset hypogonadism is given via the transdermal route or by intramuscular injections. There is overwhelming evidence that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has many beneficial effects and increases longevity by approximately 2% per year. On the basis of knowledge of physiology, animal and human experimental data, we explain why TRT reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and of prostate cancer. However, the total testosterone load supplied per day should remain within the physiological range, and new galenical formulations should be developed, mimicking normal day-night variations. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Author keywords

Antioxidants; Hormones; Nutraceutical; Quality-adjusted life years; Testosterone
ISSN: 03034569 CODEN: ANDRDSource Type: Journal Original language: English
DOI: 10.1111/and.12485Document Type: Article
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd

  Comhaire, F.; Brakelmeersstraat 18, Belgium;
© Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

New trends and perspectives in the evolution of neurotransmitters in microbial, plant, and animal cells

Volume 874, 2016, Pages 25-77

  (Book Chapter)

Laboratory of Microspectral Analysis of Cells and Cellular Systems, Institute of Cell Biophysics RAS, Institutskaya Str. 3, Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russian Federation 


The evolutionary perspective on the universal roles of compounds known as neurotransmitters may help in the analysis of relations between all organisms in biocenosis—from microorganisms to plantand animals. This phenomenon, significant for chemosignaling and cellular endocrinology, has been important in human health and the ability to cause disease or immunity, because the “living environment” influences every organism in a biocenosis relationship (microorganismmicroorganism, microorganism-plant, microorganism-animal, plant-animal, plant-plant and animal-animal). Non-nervous functions of neurotransmitters (rather “biomediators” on a cellular level) are considered in this review and ample consideration is given to similarities and differences that unite, as well as distinguish, taxonomical kingdoms. © Springer International Publishing AG 2016.

Author keywords

Acetylcholine; Biocenosis; Biomediators; Catecholamines; Evolution of functions; Histamine; Interactions between organisms; Microorganisms; Non-nervous functions of neurotransmitters; Pharmacology; Plants; Serotonin; Toxicology

Indexed keywords

EMTREE drug terms: acetylcholine; adrenalin; biogenic amine; choline acetyltransferase; cholinesterase; dopamine; histamine; neurotransmitter; noradrenalin; probiotic agent; serotonin
EMTREE medical terms: ecology; economic aspect; endocrinology; enzyme activity; immunity;medicinal plant; metabolism; microorganism; molecular evolution; neurotransmitter release; nonhuman; organism community; priority journal; signal transduction; stress; taxonomy
Chemicals and CAS Registry Numbers: acetylcholine, 51-84-3, 60-31-1, 66-23-9; adrenalin, 51-43-4, 55-31-2, 6912-68-1; choline acetyltransferase, 9012-78-6; cholinesterase, 9001-08-5; dopamine, 51-61-6, 62-31-7; histamine, 51-45-6, 56-92-8, 93443-21-1; noradrenalin, 1407-84-7, 51-41-2; serotonin, 50-67-9

2011 The global distribution of wild tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.; Asteraceae) cytotypes with twenty-seven new records from North America

Volume 58, Issue 8, December 2011, Pages 1199-1212

a  Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
b  Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, 14 College Farm Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
c  Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture, College of Liberal Arts, School of Environmental Design, Temple University, 201 Dixon Hall, 580 Meetinghouse Road, Ambler, PA 19002, United States 


Artemisia dracunculus (wild or Russian tarragon), is a polymorphic, herbaceous perennial with a widespread distribution that spans western North America, Eastern Europe and most temperate of Asia. This wild relative of the culinary herb French tarragon has recently been the focus of a number of studies which have investigated itsmedicinal activity in type 2 diabetes bioassays. The species is documented as having from diploid to decaploid cytotypes and chemical variation has previously been shown to occur between cytotypes. To help focus germplasm collecting efforts for ongoing studies on variation of medicinal compounds within the species, a literature review of the geographical occurrences of cytotypes was conducted. This review revealed a lack of records from North America. In order to fill in this gap in the cytogeographic distribution, meiotic chromosome counts and flow cytometry were used to determine the ploidy level of 27 individuals from 16 different populations throughout the western United States. The results revealed distinct patterns of cytotype distribution. Both diploids and polyploid cytotypes were found in Eurasia, and the distributional range of each cytotype was found to be increasingly restricted as ploidy increased. For North America, even with the inclusion of many new records, only diploid populations were documented, with the exception of one hexaploid record from Arizona which was found in the literature. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Author keywords

Artemisia dracunculus; Botanical therapeutic; Cytology; Distribution; Germplasm selection; Medicinal plant

Indexed keywords

GEOBASE Subject Index: bioassay; chromosome; cytology; diabetes; dicotyledon; flow cytometry; genotype; geographical distribution; germplasm; herb; medicinal plant; new record; perennial plant; ploidy; range size; wild population
Regional Index: Eurasia; North America
Species Index: Artemisia dracunculus; Asteraceae

Recovery of Vanillin and Syringaldehyde from Lignin Oxidation: A Review of Separation and Purification Processes

Volume 45, Issue 3, 2 July 2016, Pages 227-259

LSRE-Laboratory of Separation and Reaction Engineering, Associ. Laboratory LSRE/LCM, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, Porto, Portugal 


Lignin is an underexploited side-stream of pulp and paper industry and biorefineries, being used for energy production at mill site or as low value material for dispersants or binding applications. However, an integrated process of reaction and separation can be implemented for the production of high added-value monomeric phenolic chemicals such as vanillin and syringaldehyde. In this review, the main research advances in the recovery of vanillin and syringaldehyde resulting from oxidation of lignin are addressed, covering various separation methodologies namely liquid-liquid extraction, supercritical fluid extraction, distillation, crystallization, membrane separation, and adsorption. Studies in this area started in the early years of the 20th century, but in the last decades several processes have been suggested, mainly for vanillin separation. Finding the ultimate industrially feasible process is still a necessary task and this review points out the most promising technologies and sequence of processes. Copyright © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Author keywords

Adsorption; liquid-liquid extraction; membrane separation; oxidized lignin; syringaldehyde; vanillin

Indexed keywords

Engineering controlled terms: Adsorption; Distillation; Effluent treatment; Extraction; Lignin; Liquids; Oxidation; Separation; Solvent extraction; Supercritical fluid extraction; Supercritical fluids
Liquid-liquid extraction; Membrane separation; Oxidized lignin; Syringaldehyde; vanillin
Engineering main heading: Paper and pulp industry
PaperChem Variable: Byproducts; Energy Production; Lignins; Paper Industry; Pulp Industry; Separation

1844 Richard Theodore Greener becomes the first African American to graduate from Harvard University.

Volume 176, 24 December 2015, Pages 90–101

Global medicinal uses of Euphorbia L. (Euphorbiaceae)


Ethnopharmacological relevance

The genus Euphorbia (spurges, Euphorbiaceae) is the third largest genus of flowering plants, with almost 2000 species. Its exceptional diversity of growth forms and near-cosmopolitan distribution have attracted human interest since ancient times. For instance in Australia, topical application of latex of Euphorbia peplus L. is used as a home treatment for skin cancer and actinic keratosis. Its use in Australian folk medicine has inspired the release of the drug Picato® (ingenol mebutate), and further fostered interest in natural products and medicinal uses of Euphorbia in recent years.

Aim of the study

To provide an indicative overview of medicinal uses of the genus Euphorbia driven by the recent interest in biologically active natural products from Euphorbia in drug discovery. We assess documented medicinal knowledge and value of the genus Euphorbia and the taxonomic distribution of this value.

Materials and methods

We undertook an extensive survey of over 260 multidisciplinary publications on the online repository JSTOR using the search term “Euphorbia medicinal”.


Medicinal uses were identified for >5% of the species in the genus, including descriptions of treatments for a variety of diseases. The most-cited medicinal uses around the world were treatments for digestive system disorders, skin ailments and, especially in the Southern hemisphere, infections. Consensus ratios indicated that the most-valued medicinal uses of Euphorbia species are in the treatment of digestive and respiratory complaints, inflammation and injuries, especially by members of Euphorbia subg.Chamaesyce.


The present study gives a first indicative overview of Euphorbia species used for health and wellbeing around the world. The exceptional diversity of the genus Euphorbia is not only represented by its growth forms but also by its diverse medicinal uses. Our results highlight the importance of research into medicinal uses of Euphorbia species and their importance as a source of natural products. Furthermore the medicinally highly valuable subgenus Chamaesyce was identified as chemically under-investigated, emphasizing the need for further studies investigating the chemical diversity to which the high medicinal value of Euphorbia subg. Chamaesyce can be attributed.

Graphical abstract


  • Euphorbiaceae
  • Medicine
  • Poison
  • Toxicity
  • Worldwide

1898: Peggy the Pug, Tom, and the Cat Martyrs of the USS Maine

1898: Peggy the Pug, Tom, and the Cat Martyrs of the USS Maine via @HatchingCatNYC

Understanding the selection processes of public research projects in agriculture: The role of scientific merit

Volume 56, October 01, 2015, Article number 1316, Pages 87-99


a  Wageningen University, Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group, Hollandseweg 1, KN Wageningen, Netherlands
b  Wageningen University, Management Studies Group, Hollandseweg 1, KN Wageningen, Netherlands
c  University of Bath, School of Management, Building 8 West, Quarry Road, Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, United Kingdom 


This paper analyses factors that affect the funding of agricultural research projects by regional governments and other regional public authorities. We study the selection process of agricultural research projects funded by the Emilia Romagna regional government in Italy, which follows funding procedures similar to many other European regional public authorities. Leveraging a unique dataset, a Heckman selection model demonstrates that the scientific merit of proposed projects is the primary selection criterion. Still, factors such as the experience of the proposal's reviewers and the gender composition of the reviewing team also influence whether or not a submitted proposal receives funding as well as the amount allocated to the proposal. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Author keywords

Agriculture; Italy; Peer-review; Research projects; Selection biases

Indexed keywords

GEOBASE Subject Index: agricultural research; development project; gender; government
Regional Index: Emilia-Romagna; Italy
Species Index: Emilia