Data Set Studying Sea Urchins

fertilization and development in a tropical urchin: potential
for adaptation to a tropicalized eastern Australia
Foo, S.A., Dworjanyn, S.A., Khatkar, M.S., Poore, A.G.B., and Byrne, M. (2014). Increased temperature, but not acidification, enhances fertilization and development in a tropical urchin: Potential for adaptation to a tropicalized eastern Australia. Evol. Appl. 7, 1226–1237.

A New Way of Presenting Data

Hans Rosling demonstrates a variety of different ways to demonstrate data in his TED-Ed “The best stats you’ve ever seen.” At 9:23, Rosling demonstrates the child survival rate depending on GDP per capita of different regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, etc.). The graph is in motion and shows the change in the percent of child survival based on money over 1960-2003. The regions can be further scrutinized into countries that are present within it and individual trends can be examined as well. The graph displays the strong linear relationship between child survival and money through bubbles that also represent the population size of the regions, countries, or cities being examined.

Observational Study

The researchers in the study investigated the impact of different types of osteoporotic fractures on mortality rates in men and women. A 5-year cohort study was conducted in the city of Dubbo, Australia, on residents aged 60 and older between 1989 and 1994. A cohort study is a type of a longitudinal study, more generally, an observational study, that involves collection of data over a specific period of time. The sample size included a population of 2413 women and 1898 men, all of whom met a criteria of having only low-trauma fractures caused from standing height or less, had no underlying disorder that could contribute or increase the risk of a fracture, and met the age requirements of being older than 60.1

The experiment studied the entire population of Dubbo aged 60 years and older. Personal interviews were conducted initially with a 5 year follow-up through cross-reference of official death certificates to assess the mortality status of the participants. The researchers calculated the standardized mortality ratios for each type of major fractures. Mortality rates were higher within fractured patients of the three age groups of 60-69, 70-79, and 80+ than the general population with no fractures.1 A high observed ratio of the SMR indicated an excess amounts of deaths in a study population. “For women and men, hip fracture was associated with significantly shorter survival than in the general population.”1 Overall fracture incidence was 29:5 in women and 14:4 in men, which increased with age and reduced survival rate over the next 5 years.1 Men in all fracture groups had higher SMR of 2:2-3:2 than women with SMR of 1:7-2:2. The increased mortality rates of men due to vertebral fractures had not been documented before however, the estimated SMR of women with hip fractures was consistent with other studies conducted in larger communities.1

The strengths of the experiment included investigating a stable population, which allowed accounting of all fractures. The researchers did not account for the selection bias of patients as the community chosen was dominantly white and a higher number of patients had vertebral fractures.1 Despite the limitations, the research can be used to understand the impact of osteoporotic fractures and how it significantly increases mortality rates as compared to a standard general population with no fractures. More people in the United States are living to an older age due to advancements in medicine. As a result, there needs to be a higher effort by medical care providers to reduce the risks of osteoporosis in elderly men and women in order to allow for a longer life.

1 Center, Jacqueline R., Tuan Nguyen V., Diane Schneider, Philip Sambrook N., and John Eisman    A. “Mortality after All Major Types of Osteoporotic Fracture in Men and Women: An          Observational Study.” The Lancet 353.9156 (1999): 878-82. Web.