Thursday, August 25, 2011

Experimental Infection of Egg-laying Hens with Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Phage Type 4 and its Three Mutants

Seongbeom Cho, Nicole S. Crisp, Jessica R. Maley, Kristin M. Evon, Muhammad Younus, Mokhtar M. Arshad, Sangwei Lu and A. Mahdi Saeed
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Volume 47, Number 2, April 2010 , ISSN 1349-0486

Abstract : The emergence of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) during the past three decades as major contaminant of eggs and other poultry products caused a surge in human infections. This could have been mediated in part by emerging S. Enteritidis strains with enhanced virulence. The overall pathogenicity of Salmonella is controlled by numerous genes. To assess the role of a few specific genes thought to contribute to the pathogenicity of S. Enteritidis in egg laying hens, we conducted an experimental infection of egg-laying hens, with a wild type (WT) S. Enteritidis phage type 4 strain and three mutants (M1, M2, M3). These mutants were produced from the wild type by the inactivation of the prgH, SEN4287, and tyrR genes, respectively. We observed that the WT and the M1 mutant had shorter durations of fecal shedding and faster clearance from internal organs of the infected hens than the M2 and M3 mutants. The isolation rates of the wild type S. Enteritidis and the mutants were highest from the ceca, moderately high from the liver and spleen, and lowest from the ovaries of the infected hens. Hep-2 cells attachment assay revealed attenuated attachment for the M1 mutant while the M3 mutant seemed to have enhanced attachment. Colonization of tissues of the infected hens by M1 mutant appears to have been attenuated.
Keywords : egg-laying hens, experimental infection, mutants, Salmonella Enteritidis, pathogenicity

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Wittgensteinian Defense of Cultural Relativism

Emily Heckel
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Abstract: Cultural relativism is an integral part of the field methodology for cultural anthropologists. The concept of cultural relativism grew from developments within the philosophy of language, particularly associated with figures such as Wittgenstein, Quine, Whorf, and Sapir. These philosophers all argue for some version of the concept that linguistic categories, encoded in thought, help create the shared cultural realities in which we live. This concept of linguistic relativism, famously articulated in the SapirWhorf hypothesis, led to an emphasis in anthropology on the emic, or insider’s, perspective. Ethnography is the process of eliciting the meanings by which the host culture constructs reality and translating these into the discourse of the discipline in a final written product. Steven Pinker, along with other evolutionary psychologists and cognitive scientists, refers to any and all versions of this view as the Standard Social Science Model allowing him to defeat cultural relativism in one fell swoop (or so he thinks). Until a few years ago, the main critique of the ethnographic method came from the postmodern critique of science, which questions objectivity in the social sciences on both ethical and epistemological grounds. Recently, the critique of cultural relativism has come from evolutionary psychologists and anthropologists. Research in cognitive science and psychology points to an evolutionary cause for what has previously been deemed cultural behavior. Some, including Steven Pinker, believe that this research should lead us to give primacy to evolutionary causes and should undermine any version of cultural relativism. Steven Pinker, an evolutionary psychologist, presents

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Post-Racial Leadership: Racialized Mass Incarceration in the Age of Obama

Ian Haney López
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Abstract: President Barack Obama‘s election has inspired many to marvel that we now live in a ―post-racial‖ America. Obama himself seems to embrace this notion, not perhaps as a claim about where we are now, but as a political stance that dictates how best to approach society‘s persistent racial problems. In this essay, I assess Obama‘s post-racial politics. To do so, I use the lens of racialized mass incarceration. Because race is so central to the contemporary administration of criminal justice, it constitutes a particular challenge to the post-racial narrative. When measured in light of mass of imprisonment, what does the claim to be post-racial mean? Obama rejects this term as a temporal claim that we have come to the end of history as far as race is concerned, or as a descriptive claim that race in the United States no longer corresponds to advantage and disadvantage. ―You know,‖ the President recently remarked, ―on the heels of [my electoral] victory over a year ago, there were some who suggested that somehow we had entered into a post-racial America; all those problems would be solved.‖ Then he deadpanned, ―That didn‘t work out so well.
The rejection of post-racial as a temporal or sociological claim seems entirely appropriate, as even the most cursory engagement with American criminal justice at the start of the twenty-first century demonstrates. The United States puts people under the control of the correctional system at an anomalously high rate, shutting behind bars an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of black and brown persons. A 2009 report shows that one in every 31 adults in the United States is in prison or on parole or probation; broken down by race, that is one in every 11 African Americans, one in 27 Latinos, and one in 45 whites.
Race remains a stunningly powerful predictor of super- and subordination, ensuring that race has not nearly played itself out in America‘s long struggle for a more perfect union.

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‘Like The Wick Of The Lamp, Like The Silkworm They Are’: Stupid Schoolteachers In Classical Arabic Literary Sources1

Antonella Ghersetti
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Abstract : he alleged stupidity of schoolteachers was a common topos in adab literature of the Abbasid period as well as in later sources. Indeed, the 'stupid schoolteacher' was a stereotype much like 'the dull person', 'the smart sponger' and 'the ridiculous bedouin'. Frequent references to such images indicate that the intended audience clearly revelled in this kind of literary device. This article examines diverse ways of reading and interpreting the adab sources where we find ourselves in the realm of fantasy as much as reality. Indeed, while the standard steroetypes of schoolteachers are varied, amusing and predominantly negative, they are not all as obvious as they at first appear.

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The Role Of The Biographer In Constructing Identity And Doctrine: Al-.Abbadi And His Kitab. Abaqat Al-Fuqaha. Al-Shafi.Iyya

Felicitas Opwis
Georgetown University

Abstract: This paper explores the role of the biographer in compiling a biographical dictionary, focusing on al-'Abbādī's (d. 458/1066) work on the Shāfi'ī 'school' of law. The paper argues that al-'Abbādī straddles a fine line of faithful transmission of school doctrines and artful arrangement of the materials in order to shape the identity, authority structures, and doctrines of the school according to his vision. To highlight al-'Abbādī's role in constructing the identity and authority structures of the school the paper focuses on three areas: first, how al-'Abbādī lays out his vision of the school in the entry of the eponym of the school by delineating the areas of law that distinguish al-Shāfi'ī from other founders of schools of law; second, how al-'Abbādī deals with contradictory positions held among members of the school; third, how he gives the school of law also a theological identity (Ash'arism) by discussing such topics as free will, the createdness of the Qur'ān, and the definition of faith (īmān). The paper details the author's range of editorial hints and techniques of presentation that guide his audience to the 'correct' Shāfi'ī doctrine. It presents reasons why al-'Abbādī takes recourse to these measures and points to the effects of his presentation of school doctrines.

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The .Ubada B. Al-.Amit Tradition At The Crossroads Of Methodology

Pavel Pavlovitch


Abstract: During the past few decades, Western studies of the origin of Islam have made considerable advances in assessing sources which have long been considered a repository of exegetic, legal and historical material about the first centuries of Islam. Growing scepticism towards the Islamic foundation narratives and the traditional accounts of Islamic history undermined the notion that, unlike other religions, Islam 'was born in the full light of history' and 'its roots are on the surface' (A. Renan). The study of the first centuries of Islam has thus become the focus of clashing methodologies, often yielding conflicting accounts on how, when and where Islam emerged. While studying Muslim traditions (hadīth-s), Western Islamicists expressed varying opinions about reliability of lines of narrative transmission (isnād-s), which, according to the traditional Muslim view, control the authenticity of the information included in the substantive part of the tradition (matn). One pole of the spectrum is represented by scholars who reject the link between the isnad and the matn. For them, the isnād is a fictitious authentication device that does not give any information about the historical development of the narrative. These scholars prefer to study the relationship between topically affiliated narratives, whence they derive information about the chronological development of the concepts conveyed by these narratives (literary analysis). The other part of the spectrum varies in the degree of acceptance of the isnād-s. Nevertheless, these scholars generally agree that, provided certain methodological stipulations are met, a considerable part of the transmission line is authentic and correctly represents the ways through which the traditions were transmitted. With certain qualifications, the method of scholars who accept the isnad may be described as isnād-cum-matn analysis. In this article, I study the famous 'Ubada tradition dealing with the punishment for adultery and fornication (zinā). First, I follow the historical development of the tradition by means of literary analysis. Then I apply to the same tradition the principles of isnad-cum-matn analysis. Although different in their treatment of the hadīth material, the two approaches are shown as capable of yielding results that are not mutually exclusive.

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Tokens Of Resentment: Medieval Arabic Narratives About Gift Exchange And Social Conflict

Jocelyn Sharlet

Abstract: Stories about gift exchange can confirm individual relationships and communal bonds, but they can also articulate social conflict. This analysis focuses primarily on stories in the first of two extant monographic compilations on gift exchange, the tenth-century Book of Rarities and Gifts by the Khālidiyyān, and concludes with a story from the anonymous eleventh-century Book of Treasures and Rarities. It explores expressions of social conflict through the features of rhetorical focal points, silence, communication at a distance, and the incongruity between fine gifts and tense situations. The discussion examines social conflict by following the development of main characters in other stories. These features of gift exchange stories suggest an interest in emotional experience, and the relationships among different stories about the same person imply an interest in character development. The pleasant practice of gift exchange offers a counterpoint to and a commentary on social conflicts.

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